Thursday, June 1, 2017

Editor's Corner

 

June 2017

“If I get married, I want to be very married.” – Audrey Hepburn

That quote could pretty much describe the viewpoint of my parents, John (Jack) Edward Carroll and Lena May (Joslin) Carroll, whose wedding pic is shown at the bottom of this column. Wed June 10, 1934, until the death of Daddy Jack, July 1, 1996, but forever in my mother's heart and mind. Although she became a victim of Alzheimer's Disease, she asked at least once, and often many times, what time Daddy would be home for supper. Grandmother Nora Viola Alexander, Carroll, Fisher, King, whose only child was Daddy, once remarked if he stood on his head and walked with his ears, Mother would applaud and say "Isn't he wonderful!" They did tend to vie for his attention, which he gave them and each of his four daughters. He believed ladies should be on a pedestal and never have to want for anything.

Mother, barely 16 when they wed, wrote this poem the night that Daddy proposed to her, after walking from his grandparent's farm, about 3 miles across the Elk River, in freezing, icy road weather. (Grandfather Kendrick would not let him take the horse and buggy out in such weather.) Since Daddy had been living in Texas with his mother and stepfather Earl Joseph King (they married when Daddy was 8 years old) he had already had quite a bus trip to get to Missouri, so nothing would deter him from proposing on Valentine's Day. He was always a romantic, and when a later position, being a refrigeration engineer with the Permian Ice Company grew into a partnership, the volume of summer business made celebrating their anniversary  in June more of a problem than a celebration, so they celebrated on Valentine's Day. Mother loved green in all shades; Daddy was color blind, but faithfully bought her a special ordered heart shaped green box of chocolates for that special day each year.

Love is God's Gift 
 
  By Lena Joslin Carroll
February 14, 1934
(after the proposal which culminated in 62 years of marriage)

Love - love - what can it be?
A sturdy bridge twix thee and me?
Or just a shaky stair
Trembling in every breath of air?
Or could it be that God so great
Has sent His love to those who meet
And vow to always be the other's friend
And try to all his sorrows mend?
For God is there in every union,
That's rooted in devout communion.
With vows to be true each to the other
And God's help to be a good father and mother
For in God we Trust -
For love that time cannot rust!
A marriage is made in Heaven they say,
Must yet be lived on this earth each day!
But with help from God up above,
And our hearts joined in true love,
Perhaps this life we both can live
And keep that center of love alive
Thru all our daily pressures
And build a memory full of treasures
Thank you, God - Our thanks go to You!
And may we always be true to You.

June has been called the month of brides (though nothing was submitted this year for weddings nor Father's Day) but several of our family weddings did occur in June-- your editor's first one was June 15th. Mother's brother Jack Oakley Joslin wed Mary Louise Couch on the 5th of June, so we ended up celebrating all three anniversaries on the tenth for a few years.

Thomas F. O'Neill, in his column "Introspective," tells his perspective on life, and how he explained it to his students in China. LC Van Savage recalls those 'Bohemian Days' in "Consider This" with "What's Your Sign?" and her article lauds a lady who has become known as "The Butter Lady." The second article is by Bethany Davis Whitaker, reprinted from her blog, "Altogether Beautiful." This time, she focuses on setting goals and fitting them time-wise in "Selah & Goals."

The first article is "AG Adair - Hall of Honor Inductee" with recognition of his many years of community service and dedication to seeing the students and athletes of the school were well represented in news coverage. Adair is the one who started "Hobbie$, Etc." the magazine in newspaper format that evolved into "Pencil Stubs Online" which is dedicated to his memory.

"Armchair Genealogy" by Melinda Cohenour has the second half of her interesting spotlight into a family member, Sidney Washington Creek, who she titles as "A Much Maligned Man." Rod Cohenourin"Cooking with Rod," whets our appetite with "Chile Colorado." Judith Kroll's column "On Trek" urges everyone to "tilt the scales in their world in favor of love." Dayvid Clarkson does daily reflections and we include a few of our recent favorites along with a photo he took in "Reflections on The Day."

"Irish Eyes" proves Mattie Lennon is interested in good music. He features the performers of Irish songs in "Books, CDs and Writers’ Week." He received this announcement, forwarded it to Pencil Stubs Online, and so here it is:

* * * * *

AUD$15,000.00 for a single poem VC International Poetry Prize
Dear Poetry Supporter
I’m writing to let you know one of the richest poetry prizes in the world is open for only a few weeks more. Could you please share this news with your writing community? 
THE 2017 UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA VICE-CHANCELLOR’S INTERNATIONAL POETRY PRIZE
Now in its fourth year, the prize celebrates the enduring significance of poetry to cultures everywhere in the world. It marks the University of Canberra’s commitment to creativity and imagination. Prize entries may be submitted until 30 June 2017.
PRIZES AND DETAILS
Head Judge: Billy Collins
The winner will receive AUD$15,000.
The runner-up (second-placed poem) will receive AUD$5,000.
All poems entered for the prize must be single poems that have a maximum length of 50 lines.
Each entry of a poem costs AUD$20.

http://www.canberra.edu.au/about-uc/competitions-and-awards/vcpoetryprize
Previous winners
2016 Michael Lavers – ‘Your father at fourteen’
2015 Elisabeth Murawski – ‘Iconic Photo: Lee Miller in Munich, April, 1945’
2014 David Ad├Ęs – ‘Dazzled’
Kind regards
Monica
Dr Monica Carroll
VC International Poetry Prize Administrator
Centre for Creative and Cultural Research
20C15 | Faculty of Arts and Design | University of Canberra | Bruce ACT 2617 | AUSTRALIA
vcpoetryprize@canberra.edu.au

* * * * *

Bud Lemire adds a half dozen, some whimsical, some deep: "Nagelkirk's Fruit Market," "Maybe I'm Dreaming," "Autumn Love," "Good in Every Day," "Universal Blessings," and "Through The Eyes of A Senior Companion." Bruce Clifford penned "This History." Dayvid Clarkson does lovely poster style pictures and this issue shows one with his poem "Arise Spirit of Mine." John I. Blair's six poems for this month are "Three Wires," "T Shirt Ritual," "Running The Field," "Garden Ghost," "Primal Cold," and "Goldenrod."

Mike Craner, without whom this ezine would have never made the web, deserves many bouquets for his expertise and patience. Not easy keeping this little ezine able to continue its mission of encouraging writers, experienced and beginners, and to promote reading. Now if he only had a solution for the slow internet service in this area.

See you in July !!!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

 

AG Adair - Hall of Honor Inductee

 

The Monahans-Wickett-Pyote Independent School District established a Hall of Honor to recognize and honor alumni, educators and community leaders who, through achievements, endeavors, leadership and character, have demonstrated excellence in their field and/or commitment of service to the school district; and therefore, are positive role models for the students of the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD.

On May 27, 2017, AG Adair along with three other individuals was inducted into the MWP ISD Hall of Honor. Adair was nominated by Armando Flores, who stated he had known him his whole life and added, "Mr. Adair, in my eyes, will forever be known as "The Scribe for the Monahans Loboes." Those of us who have followed only have attempted to fill the void he left in writing about his community. Those are shoes no one will ever fill."

Flores prepared the remarks made by Mrs. Clara Edwards, who received the same category honor - MWP-ISD Supportive Community Member - in 2016. She presented the plaque to Dottie (Adair) Olgin during the Ceremony for the 2017 Hall of Honor inductees.



Dottie Olgin and Clara Edwards

 
Edwards Presentation Remarks:
Mr. Adair became News Editor for the Monahans News in 1962. During that time until his death in October 1996, he wrote news articles and covered school related stories in academics, school board, school activities. But I remember him most for his coverage of Monahans Loboes/Loboettes (Lady Loboes.) His articles were factual and positive for the young athletes which is something that carries on today.
Mr. Adair was a charter member of the Monahans Optimist Club, a member of Monahans Masonic Lodge 952, where he was the first to receive The Golden Trowel Award for 50 years of Service. Additionally, he was a member of the Scottish Rite, York Rite Knights Templar, Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star, a charter member of the Ward County Council for Handicapped Children.


AG and Mary Adair, 1985 
Mr. Adair served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He entered service on November 27, 1942, and served in the 29th Infantry Division and was involved in D Day as he landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1945, and also fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He left service on October 31, 1945. He also served in the Texas State Guard, where he served as 1st Sgt for Company B and later became the 403d Battalion Commander. He was President of the Texas State Guard Association in 1986.


Adair shortly before D Day 
He became Sports Editor for The Monahans News in 1986, and served in that capacity until his death, contributing to the documented history of our beloved sports teams. He was a life member of the VFW and Adjutant of the American Legion. He was known for speaking to adults, youth organizations about his dedication to his country and the proper display of our nation's Flag. He got his start in the newspaper business upon his release from active Military Service in 1945 until 1996.
Along with the above noted information, Mr. Adair was a Christian who dedicated himself and his life to serving his country and his fellow man through his involvement in various organization in civic practice. The Monahans News office along with the Ward County Archives holds timeless examples of literature he wrote concerning Monahans High School that have become a part of history.
Three other inductees were honored in the Ceremony: Mr. Alfredo Franco with the MWPISD Alumni Award; Mr. Howard Powers (with 61 years teaching) with the MWPISD Employee Award; and (also posthumously) Mr. Perry Coursey with the MWPISD Extra-Curricular Award presented to his widow.



Dottie Olgin, Mrs Coursey, Howard Powers, Alfredo Franco, and Master of Ceremonies Mrs Kellye Riley, Superintendent.

 
A lovely Reception followed the Ceremony of Induction where the Hall of Honor is, in the foyer of the Jerry Larned Complex. Faculty and MWPISD board members served refreshments.



The Plaque

This next pic shows AG Adair in the early '90's, running the Goss Press that he and one Goss representative assembled in less than 24 hrs, then ran the first four color issue ever printed by the Monahans News. AG and one of his classmates established, and published a weekly commercial newspaper, beginning in their Junior year in Camp Wood, Texas, for which they received recognition from the Associated Press as being the youngest owner/publishers of a commercial newspaper in Texas. He also lettered in four sports and was Salutatorian when he graduated. After the war, an adult when he went to work at the Uvalde News, he began at the linotype machine, a skill that came in handy in Monahans when they were still doing "hot type" and their linotypist was delayed in an emergency. The entire paper had to be "set" that way, except rubber mats that served as the photo bases, black and white only. He always said his blood was at least half ink.



AG Adair

Armchair Genealogy

A Much Maligned Man: Sidney Washington Creek

Born: 13 January 1832 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri
Died: 12 September 1892 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri

Chapter 2 in the Life of the Much Maligned Man


       Our first chapter covering the life of Sidney Washington Creek ended with his marriage to Lucinda Estes and the beginning of their family. They had ten children who attained adulthood. A quirk of the Creek and Younger families seemed to be the bestowing of multiple names and nicknames for all the children so that various records are to be located using given names that, at first glance, appear not to belong to the person into whose life one is delving. Thus was certainly the case for Sidney and his bride, Lucinda.

•       The first child born to this union was Georgia Ann Mary Creek who arrived in December of 1854. Georgia would marry Benjamin A. Franklin (a famous name, but NOT the famed statesman, inventor, and unlikely ladies man of historical import).

•       The next child to arrive was Charles Jefferson “Jacob” Creek, born 12 January 1856 and who married Sarah Emma Reynolds, the granddaughter of Killian Anderson Creek and great granddaughter of Abraham Creek, a not so distant cousin to Charles.

•       Third in line was Emaline whose trail of names and nicknames is surely one for the books: Emma Evaline (Emaline, Emma, Emila) “Lucy” Creek, b. 17 Feb 1858, who is known to have wed three times: Emma was enumerated on two separate Census documents as being Emma Jones. The second marriage to Mr. Johnson is documented by the probate of her aunt Virginia Lee Younger Creek’s estate where she is listed as Emma Johnson and by the clerk’s recordation of her name at the time of her third marriage. She is shown as Emma Johnson on the clerk’s official marriage record when, at age 35, she wed Oliver James Breeden. No records have been found to ascertain the names and dates of marriage for the first two husbands. (She is also listed as a household member in sister Ludicy’s marriage list as Emma Evaline Pascoe along with one Alfred Pascoe. More mystery.)

•      Next in line is the mysterious Lamira (reputed to also be known as Elvira) who appears in the 1870 Census age 9, but not in school, and for whom no records exist beyond that point in time to this researcher’s knowledge. No marriage record age 18 or 19, no death records, and no appearance on future Census records. We must assume, therefore, this child did not attain adulthood and whose demise was not officially marked by Clay County clerks. An additional clue that this child may not have survived is the fact Aunt Virginia Lee (Younger) Creek does not leave a bequest in her name in her estate probated in 1895, although all other surviving heirs of Sidney Washington Creek are named as legatees.

•      Sidney Beauregard “Beau” Creek, second son, born in May of 1863, Beau had his own bit of problems as documented by the Liberty Tribune. (The paucity of documentation for vital events in this family’s history cause one to tear out hair! The Civil War and burnings of libraries, courthouses, and general mayhem cost family historians dearly.) We do know that on 6th January 1886, Beau wed Mary Eliza Whitten in Clay County. We know of three children born of this union: William Coleman, Nellie May, and Charles Sidney Creek. We have a date of death (15 Dec 1894) for Beau that has been carried down by many researchers for which absolutely no documentation has been located by your author. In fact, stories carried in the local newspapers of the time indicate that Beau got up to some meanness in concert with his cousin, one John Creek, and (reputedly) his older brother Charles Jefferson (which appears to have been a case of mistaken identity):
“Liberty Tribune Mar 24 1882; Mr. John Creek, who was arrested on suspision of shooting Mr. Mitchell, and taken to Clinton County and discharged, was in our office Wed, and says he had nothing whatever to do with the shooting, was at home sick with the mumps.”
“Plattsburg, Misouri Mar 22-David Mitchell, the victim of the recently attempted assassination near this place, yesterday evening swore out a warrant charging Charles Jefferson Creek, of Clay Co., with the crime.”
”Liberty Tribune Apr, 21, 1882 Beau Creek, confined to the jail at Plattsburg for shooting David L., Mitchell, has made a confession that John Creek hired him to do the deed. John Creek has been arrested. Men are cousins.”
 
      It appears little, if anything, came out of the issue as Beau wed in 1886 and fathered children in the ensuing years from 1887 to 1892. However, further research shows an S. B. Creek confined in the State prison at Joliet (listed as S B Creek, aged 37, born May 1863 in Missouri, confined to Illinois State Penitentiary, at Joliet, Will County, Illinois, literate, married some 11 years, occupied as a baker in prison) and the Census in 1910 also references one Sidney B Creek as an inmate (Age 48, Single, both parents born Missouri, out of work). These records could be attributed to a different Sidney B. Creek born about the same time in Missouri; however, it is interesting to note that Mary Eliza Whitten Creek relocated to Joliet, Illinois per the 1900 US Federal Census and remarried in 1905, before the 1910 Census. This lends credence to one Sidney B. Creek, inmate, being OUR Beau Creek. More mystery. The records for inmates in Joliet so far transcribed for historians do not include the data for this inmate.

•      Susan Ludicia (Ludisa, Sudisy, Ladicee, Dicie) Creek, born 25 May 1865, wed William Henry Parks on 27 Aug 1891, coming into the marriage as Ludicy Crandells and appearing on the 1900 US Census with Parks as Head of house in Joliet, Illinois, with a daughter, 13, named Lucy C. Crandall. No marriage to Crandall has yet been found. She is named as a legatee on her aunt Virginia Lee Younger Creek’s probate records as “Dicey Parks.” Her younger sister, Sarah Lee (called Sadie or Sally) married John Henry Parks, brother to William.

•      Lucinda “Lucy” Agnes Creek, born about 1868 per varying documents. The 1870 US Federal Census lists the household thusly: Post Office: Liberty. Name Age S W Creek 38 Lucenda Creek 38 Georgia Creek 16 Charles Creek 14 Eveline Creek 12 Elmira Creek 10 Sidney Creek 8 Lucinda Creek 6. This would omit Lucinda “Lucy” Agnes Creek who would be 2 years of age. It is possible she was residing with another family. The 1880 US Census: Name Age Sidney W. Creek 48 Lucinda Creek 44 Emeline Jones 21 Bougard S. Creek 18 Ludisa Creek 15 Lucinda Creek 12 Virginia Creek 10 Sarah L. Creek 8 Lillie M. Creek 3. (This census clearly lists Ludisa and Lucinda as separate daughters, three years separating them in age and would appear to confirm her birth year as 1868.) On 24 Oct 1888, Lucinda wed Joel Melvin Stallings. Two daughters were born of this union. Joel died in 1910. Lucinda lived many years in the State Home. Her mother referred to her as "my afflicted daughter" in her Will written in 1891. The will misspelled her married name as "Slottings" rather than Stollings. She died in the State Home 22 Oct 1941.

•      Virginia “Ginnie or Jennie” Darlisco Creek, born 1869 in Clay County. On 20 Jul 1889, Jennie would wed Joseph W. Hamilton, a marriage that would prove ominous in the history of this family. Joe Hamilton was inclined to drink and when he drank, family legend is that he was inclined to get ugly. And when he got ugly, poor Jennie was frequently the target of his anger.

•      Sarah Lee “Sadie, or Sally” Creek, born 7 Feb 1872. On 29 Oct 1890, Sally married John Henry Parks, brother to her brother-in-law William Henry Parks. Two sons were born of this union, Samuel W. and Charles Sidney. By 1900 it would appear this marriage had ended, as John lists himself as “widowed” on the Census and Sarah weds again on 12 Sep 1901 in Spokane, Washington to William L. Rozier. The 1910 Census shows Sarah Rozier living in Cripple Creek, Colorado, with sons Sam and Charles Parks. However, Sarah gave him another chance as a second marriage is recorded 19 Jan 1915 in Shoshone County, Idaho. William was a miner, a dangerous job but one which drew many men in order to support their families and, always, with that promise of immense riches. This marriage, too, would end in divorce, as Sarah ended her life as Sarah Shirley, with a daughter named Lillie Pearl Shirley. The name of the father to Lillie Pearl is lost to history.

•      Lilly or Lillie M (perhaps Madeleine per one researcher) Creek, born about 1873 in Kearney, Clay County. Lilly married William Simpson on the 17th of October 1891. By 1910 this marriage would have ended, as William Simpson is listed as “divorced, hired man” on the Census for that year. No other records have been located for Lilly that provide additional information for her life thereafter.

      The first documented trouble arising in the life of Sidney Washington Creek occurred when he was a young married man, having purchased farmland in order to provide for his new little family. It was not an easy life in those days, when a lack of birth control presented new mouths to feed at a fairly regular rate and all the food, clothing and shelter was earned by the hard physical labor and wise investments of the head of each house. Thus, we see a squabble over assets turn very ugly and present the first blemish on the reputation of Sid, an article in the Liberty Tribune:
 

      Your author has been unable to locate additional information regarding this incident, other than the biographical information for the victim. It would appear this incident was deemed by the investigating officers or the prosecutors for the county to have been a case of self-defense, for no record of incarceration or a break in the arrival of additional children to the household occurs.

      The trouble that would impact Sidney and all Americans during this critical time would be the simmering tensions that ultimately boiled over to incite a War unseen by Americans before or since – the great and horrible Civil War.

      Previous columns by your author have covered the tensions that arose between the abolitionists of Kansas and the slaveholders of Missouri who migrated from the Deep South states of Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and surrounding areas. The system of slavery was deeply embedded in their heritage and was key to the success of their settlement of the western lands. There were atrocities on both sides of this argument, personal loss, outright thievery carried on in the name of the “cause” by both sides and deeply held convictions that exploded into the Civil War that split this young nation.

      Jacob Creek and his wife, Virginia Lee Younger Creek were right in the midst of this fomenting of hostility - intensely felt convictions held by both sides – an atmosphere rife with assaults and retaliations, spiraling into ever more intense hatred, which would reach its crescendo with the Civil War and its horrific aftermath. In 1870, Jacob Creek was listed as one of the Old Men of Clay County “Disfranchised.” After all his family’s contributions to the very existence of this country, the Northerners who flooded into Clay County to take over the rich farm lands and implant their banks and banking laws had the audacity to disenfranchise, among many other Southern sympathizers, this elderly man! The result was stripping away of one of the very most vital and essential rights – the right to vote.

   In these times and this atmosphere was Sidney Washington Creek maturing into a young husband, farmer, slave owner and father. His maternal uncle, Henry Washington Younger, was the father of the sons who would become infamous as the Younger Gang. His grandfather, through his many amorous liaisons would sow the seeds that would bring forth his mistress’ Parmelia Dorcas Wilson’s grandsons, the Daltons. The Younger boys would ride with Sid Creek alongside William Clarke Quantrell while cousin Abner Creek and brother Creth Creek would ride with “Bloody Bill” Anderson. The so-called leader of the Confederate group in Clay County treated his duties as more of an avocation than a vocation – showing little spine and even more desultory organization skills. Thus, when faced with the unending thievery, arson and heartless raids of the Red Legs of Kansas, the boys were attracted by the strength and flamboyant style of Quantrell. Cole Younger and brother-in-law John Jarrett would become Quantrell’s right-hand men.

   Thus, would these dramatic events affect the life of our young man, Sidney Washington Creek, cousin to the Youngers and the Daltons, trusted soldier for the Confederate cause riding with William Clarke Quantrell, one of the most flamboyant and controversial figures in that great and glorious and horrible War.

   Next month, the dramatic end to the story of Sidney Washington Creek. Stay tuned.
Researched and Compiled by Melinda Carroll Cohenour – Spring 2017.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Cooking With Rod

Chile Colorado


    This month we will fulfill a special request to publish our recipe for Chile Colorado made with Beef. This is a classic dish that truly wakens the taste buds and, for me, brings back fond memories of home.

    This wonderful concoction can be used as a straight bowl of chile Colorado with onions and cheese. It can be used in enchiladas cooked in the oven in a classic meat-filled tortilla and topped with cheese. Or, it can be used as a burrito filling. We like it with flour tortillas and served as suggested below.

    The preparation of Authentic Red Chile Sauce, prepared New Mexico style, involves the use of traditional dried chiles which are typically hung around the home in ristras, which make for a most colorful and useful decoration – especially at Yuletide. The dried chiles are reconstituted and flavor is added by seasonings and fresh vegetables. The process is outlined below.

    Bon appetit!

 
Ingredients:
  • 4 lbs. lean beef stew meat (you can cut this yourself from a prime lean roast of beef, but to save time, buy the prepared stew meat)
  • 1 cup flour, for dredging
  • Ground black pepper, to taste (don’t overdo this and ruin the authentic taste, though)
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground Mexican Oregano
  • 1-2 Tbsp. cooking oil (I prefer corn oil, but vegetable oil will do. Not olive oil, wrong flavor)
  • Water to cover meat
  • Authentic Red Chile Pepper Sauce (see recipe below)
  • Tortillas
  • Rice, Mexican style
  • Refritos (refried beans), garnished with cheddar while hot
  • Garnishes and sides for Tortillas: Ground cheddar or Mexican blend Cheese, Guacamole, Diced onions, green onions (white bulbs and green tops), radish slices, sour cream, Pico de Gallo (your choice or all of these garnishes)
  • Authentic Red Chile Pepper Sauce: (I prefer to make my own, but have found a local purveyor of an excellent packaged “starter pack” that works. It is named Bueno, sold here in Oklahoma in the freezer section at Uptown Grocers or Crest Foods. This is authentic New Mexico red chiles which have been charred, deseeded, destemmed, and reconstituted, flash frozen. All it takes is heating before adding to your meat portion.)

    Ingredients:
  • 2-3 large Poblano peppers, packaged as dried whole sections (Anchos)
  • 2-3 large Anaheim peppers, packaged as dried whole sections (Guajillas)
  • 3-4 cups HOT water to cover
  • 1 fresh green or red Bell Pepper, diced and seeded, membranes removed
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeno or Serrano peppers, deseeded and diced
  • 6 to 8 cloves of fresh garlic, minced fine
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Mexican Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Directions:
     
    Begin preparing your Authentic Red Chile Sauce.
    • 1. Prepare dried chiles by removing seeds and stems. The flesh may break up, but that does not matter, just don’t waste it. Scoop all the dried flesh into a sauce pan or large bowl.
    • 2. Cover with HOT water. Let stand about 20-30 minutes until the chile flesh is “reconstituted” or has become softened. Cover and reserve.
    • 3. Prepare fresh chiles, peppers, and onion. Remove seeds and stems (unless you like it really hot, then leave the seeds and membranes) from the jalapenos, or Serranos, and the fresh Anaheim peppers. Dice bell pepper and onion.
    • 4. Put reconstituted peppers and water (all the water, do not waste a drop!) along with fresh peppers, onions and garlic into a blender. Do not overfill; this will probably require you to work in batches. Blend until no chunks remain and mixture is silky smooth.
    • 5. Pour liquefied chile and vegetable mixture into a large saucepan. Add seasonings and place entire mixture on medium or medium high heat to start.
    • 6. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to Low or Medium to permit to simmer until thickened, wonderfully odiferous and smooth. This sauce should have a nice gloss to its surface.
    • 7. Leave this to simmer while you prepare your stew meat. This should take about 30 to 45 minutes. Do NOT permit the sauce to burn or scorch.
    Prepare Beef:
    • 1. Spread stew meat out on a platter and season on both sides with ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Mexican oregano and cumin.
    • 2. Dredge seasoned meat in flour so that all sides are well covered.
    • 3. Heat corn or vegetable oil in large skillet.
    • 4. Add stew meat to hot oil in skillet in batches to permit the meat to sear well and prevent it from steaming and becoming glue-like. As each batch is properly browned on all sides remove the batch to a platter where it will stay warm while you work with the next batch. This will usually require three rounds of searing.
    • 5. When all the meat has been browned, add it to a large stockpot.
    • 6. Pour water into the hot skillet and stir to loosen all the browned bits. Add this to the stockpot with the meat.
    • 7. Add enough water to the stockpot to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to allow the meat to simmer. Cover to keep in the heat and steam the meat to a wonderful tender doneness.
    • 8. By the time you’ve prepared all the meat and started the stewing process, your Authentic Red Chile Sauce should be just about ready.
    • 9. When your stew meat is tender, add about 3 cups of the Authentic Red Chile Sauce and stir thoroughly. (You can store the rest of the sauce you made in the freezer and use later.)
    • 10. Let the meat continue to simmer and soak up the flavors of the chile sauce. After about an hour, the Chile Colorado is ready to serve.

        We love this dish served with hot flour tortillas, sides of Mexican rice and refried beans. A few tortilla chips, guacamole and the garnishes make a great meal.

        This meat is also fabulous with breakfast. We love to serve it with Mexican rice, refritos and a couple of fried eggs, preferably sunny side up but over medium works, too. For the breakfast version, we like to pair it with fresh orange slices or cantaloupe perfectly chilled. A hot Mexican coffee with chocolate and heavy cream makes the meal pure perfection!

        Bon appetit!

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

    Consider This


     

    So…What’s Your Sign???


         Anyone out there remember the hippy-dippy, Bohemian, cool and groovy days when people, usually young, would be out on the prowl looking for other young people, usually of the opposite sex, and began conversations with, “So…what’s your sign?”

        What was that? I get it that nervous folks will latch onto a question like that when they’re anxious, trying to make a meaningful connection. But seriously, what was that? Was everyone back then a Zodiac geek? If the lady sipping a chocolate martini at a local bar was asked by some dude what her sign was, and back then they all asked, and she answered “Sagittarius,” what did that mean to him? Or, to ensure his getting invited back to her flat, did he say something stupid like, “Well now, talk about coincidences! I’m a Sagittarius too!” which, he was sure, would seal the deal when in fact he didn’t know a Sagittarius from a Chiropodist. And, did it actually work?

         Maybe his asking the young lady what her sign was did help his cause, but why? That’s the part I don’t get. I do understand that scholarly people make huge and important studies of the planets and stars, and for them it is all extremely meaningful and important and teaches us a great deal. Many learned men and some women too have “brought the planets home to us” advising us that knowing about them will help us to better understand our world, and for that, we have to thank scholars like Copernicus, Galileo, Hawking, Sagan, Newton, Einstein and countless more. For them, planets spinning about in the Great Vast meant something, taught us things, but likely had little if anything to do with people scoring. That’s the part I don’t understand.

        Lately I hear a lot of “universe talk” too and once again, don’t quite get it. Folks will say, “The universe has been so good to me.” Or, “I’m counting on the universe to help me through this mess I’m in.” Or, “I know the universe will help me to sell my home/get me out of bankruptcy/make her divorce me/motivate me to lose 40 lbs., fix Fluffy’s mange problems” etc. This “universe” of which they speak appears to have a whole lot of control over their lives. My answer is always the same; “So, a gigantic hole in the sky around 13 billion years old, where great bunches of stars, planets and outer space stuff floats about, has total control of your life, your emotions, your future? Seriously? I mean really??” And they all nod solemnly and say quietly, “Yes. It does.”

        OK then. I don’t get it but as for me, one of the Greatly Ignorant, I don’t think I can possibly rely on that huge hole above me to fix the pickles into which I so frequently find myself. Oh, and one other curious thing—a lot of those folks who insist the results of a long-ago Big Bang can catapult them to greatness and glory, seem to never get to either of those places, and yet still get a whole lot of the unpleasant things we non-universers get; diseases, car trouble, scary kids, broken bones, obnoxious relatives, leaky roofs, gout, gas, gallstones and GERD. So where is their precious universe when they most need it? Up in the sky where it belongs.

        Alas, I guess I won’t understand why someone’s Zodiac sign under which they were born has anything to do with anything, and I sure won’t be counting on any ancient frozen black hole floating above my head somewhere as having the slightest anything to do with anything in my life. I’m trying, but it’s just not working for me.

         My sign, by the way, is Capricorn and when I’ve read about how Capricorns are supposed to be, the “definition” is completely opposite of what, who and how I am. And I sure never needed that “what’s your sign?” thing to snag Mongo back in 1957. I also have a very nice life without having ever had any contact with that great vast thing Up There. But hey, maybe it’s been watching over me all along. If so, thanks.

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

    Reflections on the Day


    A Few Recent Reflections


        On a cold crisp night, I look to the stars, even in the dark, you can see the remnants of navy blue. The crystalline stars seem to define Father Sky as Grand Mother Moon has yet to make her entrance. Contemplating time, it seems we never have enough, always governed by the clock. What if we understood that we are eternal, that we truly have all the time we require? No time during your past was wasted. This journey is like reading a book, once read another book will appear. If we could learn to read and enjoy without the compulsion to skip over parts and read the last chapter to see how it ends. Enjoy each chapter and relish the story line. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

        Tonight I was reflecting on a story a Friend sent me.


       “One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off to the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And he was really friendly; I asked, ‘Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital! ‘This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’

       He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.”

        The bottom line is that compassionate people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. So as we drift off to the Dream World remember Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so … Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t, and by all means have a blessed, garbage-free day! Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

        Reflecting on the coming day as I consider the actions of others. There are some well-meaning folks with a strong grounding in their beliefs and are firm in their vision of the world. I appreciate that. But when your voice disturbs my peace I have to ask, “How is this serving you?” I think it is a means to validate yourself at my expense. What you perceive is not necessarily my truth. You think you are doing what is best yet in reality what you are doing is not in my best interest. I encourage your opinions and to think freely yet I do not accept your concepts that I must live as you. If your position will disturb others then keep your thoughts to yourself. Think before you speak. Do not use the phrase, “I’m just trying to be honest.” or “I just speak my mind.” These are simply saying, “I don’t care, I come first.” When we interact with others we have a great responsibility to take the time and the effort to ensure that we are reflecting true compassion. Humble bow Dayvid.

        It is a misty evening, which I enjoy as it appears to deepen the quiet and bring the world closer. The distant drum calls my name as sure as my heart beats. I look to the sacred circle, the Elders wait. I am grateful for the day and will look for the lessons of the Dreams. I think on the time I wasted until getting to this place. A draft of smoke stings my eyes. ‘You have not wasted time my Son. For every moment and every breath were required to bring you here.’ My eyes no longer hurt I see the wisdom. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.The pic below is by Dayvid. He says "It is wondrous what is in our backyard... right in front of my deck. Pay attention, be amazed, and tell about it. Namaste"

     

    Irish Eyes

    Books, CDs and Writers’ Week


           Since I saw you last I came across some interesting CDs. “Songs Along the Way”, is by singer Marian Quirke. Marian, now living in Doneraile, County Cork, was, “born in the fields of Athenry into a family tradition where music and singing in particular was second nature.”

          In her early years she was regularly exposed to the American wake where she witnessed the sad parting of many fine young men and women from the locality. Neighbours would gather the night before bringing whatever money they could spare in an envelope to speed the traveller on their way.



    Marian and her dog.

           A night of singing and revelry would follow. She says “We also had the annual station party where if you were asked to sing, you just got on with it and stood up and belted it out...no excuses accepted...when we were younger going out in the 'wran' was a huge part of our childhood...I believe all of those singing opportunities laid the foundations for my particular little venture into the recording world. Some of the songs on the CD were sung back then....”The Queen of Connemara “ was one my father's favourite which he taught to me when I was knee high... “I loved You Better Than You Knew” was usually sung by a cousin who died too young...a fine singer he was......others are songs I've gathered along the way....the album itself was inspired by my sister who lives in New York and had pestered me for years to do 'something' with my voice.” Marian has certainly made good use of her voice with “Songs Along the Way.”



    Marian Quirke's CD
    Details: https://www.facebook.com/Songs-along-the-Way- 1672305203061

    * * * * *

           Singer Ann Rowan fell victim to cancer in August 2016. She would be 60 now. Her friends have brought out a double CD, “ Singer” (see pic at bottom of column) and are holding a Benefit Concert her memory. All proceeds will go to Saint Luke’s Hospital.


    the late Ann Rowan

    * * * * *

           Much has been written about the Liffey Hydro-Electric Scheme which caused the flooding of a whole valley in west Wicklow to make an artificial lake, In1940. Now a number of volunteers in Valleymount have compiles a book, “Stories of the Flooded Valley.2
          It is made up of thanscripts of interviews with fifteen people, most of them born in the first quarter of the last century, who remember the “flooding” and before it. In the stories of suck people as Billy Craul and Davy Doyle we are re- introduced to people who speak in a dialect and with a sentence-structure now almost obsolete. The book contains many black-and-white photographs which have been rescued from the jaws of obscurity.



    The Flooded Valley
    Details from Harry Farrington at; gossiefarrington@gmail.com

           I told you last month that my One-act play, “A Wolf by the Ears” was about to be staged by the Kill Musical and Dramatic Society. Well, I couldn’t be better pleased with the production. Director Niall McDonald and his cast did a wonderful job of bringing my work from page to stage. The characters came alive in a manner that I could not have anticipated.

          By the time you read this I hope to be, once again in the cultural capital of Ireland, Listowel, for Listowel Writers’ Week. This year we have some literary heavyweights such as Mike McCormack and Jess Kidd, Colm Toibin and Chris Cleeve to mention but a few. On the Saturday P.J. Lynch will be painting a portrait of Ryan Tubridy and according to the programme, Tubridy," . . will sit still and as quiet as a mouse." That'll be one for the books.

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
    CD of Ann Maria Rowan's songs, "Singer."

     

    On Trek


     
    We can change the world!! Just by our thinking!!
     
    I have watched the stock market and it amazes me how when everyone is up and happy, the stock market goes up and happy :)
      When everyone is fearful and afraid, the stock market goes down, like it is fearful and afraid.
      When the sun is out people are out and about and wear a smile
      When it is gloomy, the people are gloomy.
      Somehow there is a connection here. You cannot sing, Singing in the rain, while weeping. It is a no go. Even our pets, if we are sick or unhappy, or even in a bad mood, they tend to be more depressed. When we are acting happy alive and well, they are too.
    How can we connect the dots?
     
    The world is incapable of change because it is an EFFECT. However if we all change our thoughts about the world, then we are changing the CAUSE. We change the cause, the EFFECT will change automatically. We are Image makers. We cannot be saved from the world, but we can escape from it's cause..how we think about it. As was said by Ghandi.."Be the change you want to see in the world."

    What is the purpose for us of a flower? It brings us joy. We fill our yard with flowers, we smile every morning evening and night. It is a given.

    We feed the birds, and watch them, they bring us joy. We fill our life with the singing birds, and every day we smile.

    If we look at the world thru eyes of love instead of fear, and enough people do it, we can change the world... Mass consciousness.

    Everyone won't do it all at once, but if enough people will, it will tilt the scales the other way..the way of love. Love casts fear outside.

    If we are fearful of a dark room, we turn on a light. We are light, we need to keep sharing the light thoughts and putting light back into the hearts of our brothers and sisters around the world., so we can all become beacons of joy and love.

    If you smile, you cannot frown. If you smile and others see you, they will smile back. It is a given.

    So each of us can change the world within us, by being the image makers..Conjure up a picture of goodness and love, and kindness.. And watch hate and fear disappear.

    I see the scales tilting now in favor of love. Will you join me in projecting our love instead of our fear?
    Judith

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    Introspective

    Every person at some point in their lives
    needs to ask themselves this simple question,
    “what is my true purpose in life?”


          A purposeful life will help you find something more meaningful -- in the things you do for yourself and others. It can also help you achieve what you most want in life - true happiness. People, throughout the world have the same deep desire -- to be happy.

          For me happiness is not something that is given to me with each passing day. It is something I try to bring to each passing day. In other words, happiness is not found in the things we want to get from life. But rather happiness is found in the things we give to life.

          There is an old Buddhist saying, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

          I like to tell my students at the Suzhou International Foreign Language School in Suzhou, China. That there will be times when the burdens of life make us feel as if we are carrying them on our shoulders but without life’s pressures diamonds will never appear.

          Kellen Keller once said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” On our life’s Journey things may not always go as planned but that does not mean there are not greater opportunities before us.

          I like to remind my students, that the most precious things in life, cannot be built by hand, bought, or sold by man. They can only be experienced through a wondrous soul and shared from one heart to the other. Happiness can only be experienced once it is shared with those around us.

          There is also an old Chinese proverb, “Fools seek happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under their feet.” We all want happier lives and the material things we seek and desire may in fact make our lives a little more comfortable. But the material things we acquire in life - will never provide us with a meaningful and purposeful life.

          There are also things in life that we can give away and keep, our word, a happy smile, and a grateful heart. There is an old saying, “It’s not happiness, that leads to gratitude, it’s gratitude that leads to happiness.”

          Our greatest achievements in life, will not consist in fame or glory, but in the unremembered, unrecognized, and undetected acts of loving kindness that were bestowed on others. That is where our true purpose and the meaning of life resides.

          I am a firm believer in the universal law - what we give to others is returned to us a thousand-fold. I also like to remind my students that kindness and love are the greatest forms of wisdom and love itself is the afterglow of life.
      Always with love from Suzhou, China
      Thomas F O’Neill
      WeChat - Thomas_F_ONeill
      U.S. voice mail: (800) 272-6464
      China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
      Skype: thomas_f_oneill
      Email: introspective7@hotmail.com
      Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:
      http://thomasfoneill.blogspot.com
      Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

    Good In Every Day


     
    I look for something good in every day
    And cherish what I find in every way
    For there is good, before the day is done
    Sometimes in each moment, sometimes in the sun
    Sometimes we must make it good
    Because nobody else would or could
    It's all inside, search your mind
    Be positive with all you find

    The state you're in, is the key
    Of what kind of day, it will be
    Sometimes it can be almost anything
    Maybe a song, and the way they sing

    It could be a compliment said to you
    Or something you've waited for, that came through
    Whatever it is, you will know
    And it makes for a happy soul

    Change your mind, think positive
    Find the good in each day you live
    I cherish what I find in every way
    Because I look for good in every day
    ©April 23, 2013 Bud Lemire
                              Author Note:
    If you look, you can find good in every
    day. The sun, the birds, a friend, a song,
    a book, events, a letter, a comment, TV,
    and so much more.

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

    Three Wires


     
    Three wires rope around my chimney,
    Hooked into the mortar in the bricks,
    One black, one white, one gray.

    I know what two of them are for:
    The black is from a television service
    I canceled years ago; the white’s for phones.

    The gray’s a mystery; and though I ought,
    I do not care to fight
    Through tangled vines and look.

    But it heartens me to hope the gray
    Links to information I have not yet used,
    Not yet needed, not yet sought.

    ©2017 John I. Blair, 5/30/2017

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    Maybe I'm Dreaming

     
    I was attacked by a dog that look like a cat
    It meowed and it barked, can you imagine that
    Then it chirped and it tweeted and it flew in a tree
    It's the craziest thing that ever happened to me
    I saw a squirrel of rainbow, not black or not gray
    It was so beautiful, as it scurried away
    A bushy tail with colors of the rainbow
    It touched my heart, and warmed my soul

    I saw a bird, that hopped like a bunny
    I know to me, it sure looked pretty funny
    It chirped and it tweeted, as it hopped around
    As quick as a rabbit, so fast on the ground

    Oh my, what is happening to me
    To distort my vision, and all that I see
    Am I really seeing, all that is there
    Why are my eyes, open and aware

    Maybe I'm dreaming, and really awake
    As I look out, at a purple colored lake
    I must be crazy, and going insane
    Or something I ate, messed up my brain
    Oh well, I'll enjoy the colors, no matter what I see
    And accept them all, for coming to me
    ©Oct 30, 2005 Bud Lemire
                           Author Note:
    Must have been one heck of a dream.

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    T Shirt Ritual


     
    Today I held
    A fabric ceremony,
    A T shirt ritual.

    After years untold
    Some cozy clothing
    Had reached a point

    At which my arms stuck out
    In places not intended
    To have openings.

    All my life I’ve been
    Loyal to my garb
    Beyond the edge of sense

    But there comes a time
    When sense prescribes
    An end to things.

    So when I donned
    My holey shirt this morning
    And felt a scrap of cloth

    Flapping in the breeze
    From the ceiling fan
    I knew what I had to do.

    ©2017 John I. Blair, 5/19/2017

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    Universal Blessings


     
    As you journey through your life, there are many lessons
    They'll take a lot out of you, but they'll be Universal Blessings
    Sometimes thoughts will come, as you gaze at the moon
    Will the love of your life, be finding you soon
    So many questions, and still we wonder why
    Why the ones we love, always have to die
    There will always be the unknown, wherever we go
    Things that are unseen, but they will help us grow

    At the time we think, oh what a curse
    And think that things, couldn't get any worse
    In the end, we'll understand the lessons
    And recognize them as Universal Blessings

    Beware of what you ask for
    Because you'll receive even more
    The Universe knows your very needs
    So watch what you plant, careful what seeds

    Go on your journey, remember you're not alone
    Watch for every sign, be aware of what is shown
    Remember you're here to learn the lessons
    In the end, you'll receive Universal Blessings
    ©Nov 12, 2006 Bud Lemire
                            Author Note:
    Those Universal Blessings come to us all.
    We must be alert and watch for them, and
    embrace them and grow from them.

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    Running The Field


     
    I once raced the length of a football field,
    Barefoot on grass, kissed by the air,
    Flushed with the deed. Once was enough,

    Enough to tell this was not my life –
    The flare of speed, the thrill, the pain,
    The knowledge I was done.

    I’ve rather sought the long, slow pace,
    One day, one hour, one step,
    Persisting till I’m there.

    ©2017 John I. Blair, 5/3/2017

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    Arise Spirit of Mine



     
    This is a poem by Dayvid as he chose to present it. 


    ©April 27, 2014   Dayvid Bruce Clarkson

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    Garden Ghost


     
    I used to haunt my garden,
    Walking every night in darkness
    To see the moon and stars
    And listen to the night sounds.

    Now I’m old and growing frail,
    Which forbids this pleasure
    Lest some late-night accident
    Be my last disaster.

    So I stand inside my room,
    Staring at the night,
    Guessing at what might be there
    Transpiring in the gloom.

    This is not perfect, but I still
    Find beauty in the night garden,
    Watching the wind-tossed leaves
    Of goldenrod and grape,

    Watching moonlight on the trees,
    Affirming in my mind again
    What it means to be alive
    Despite the night.

    ©2017 John I. Blair, 4/30/2017

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    Through The Eyes of A Senior Companion


    Through the eyes of the Senior Companion, I've seen it all
    The reason for each, and why they answered the call
    What makes each of them special, and how do I know
    I watch what is said, and I watch what they show 
     
    I imagined myself, I put myself in their shoes
    I watched each of them, with the time that they use
    Each one is special, in their own way
    With their own unique style, they use every day

    Nobody does it, quite the same
    In fact, each have their own favorite game
    Each have, their own style
    Some will laugh, some will smile

    Helping is their job, in their own way
    Their personality with each, is what makes their day
    Nobody can be like another, unique is to be us
    But these are some people, that you can trust

    Deep inside, you will come to know
    These volunteers, with a special soul
    Every day, they give their all
    They throw the dice, they catch the ball

    When you wonder, when the day will be done
    They bring along, their own style of fun
    I applaud the Senior Companions, every day
    I celebrate everything about them, in every way
     
    ©May 23, 2017 Bud Lemire
    Author Note:
    Just this year I became a Senior Companion, and I've
    met so many wonderful Senior Companions that I work
    with. We aren't working alone, we work as a team to
    make those who struggle, make it through their days,
    brighter with cheerfulness and fun. Each Senior
    Companion I work with, has their own style of helping.
    And their own method, and personality, that they bring
    to the program. I'm proud to be a Senior Companion,
    and work along some really wonderful people.
    .

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    Primal Cold


     
    This November night we got a taste
    Of the primal cold that fills space.

    Tiny lizards who boldly creep
    Across my window screens
    Are sheltered in some leafy place;

    Finches, fat from eating sunflower seeds,
    Fluff feathers deep inside the hollies,
    Cherishing the warmth absorbed
    On softer afternoons;

    And furry animals
    Like coons and possums,
    Cats and dogs and people,
    Sleep snuggled up together,
    Savoring their friendships.

    ©2016 John I. Blair, 11/19/2016

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    Autumn Love

     
    It was Autumn Love, while the leaves were falling
    On that special night, I heard her love calling
    She settled down, and she touched my soul
    I knew right then, she had made me whole

     She told me that she dared the chance
    Our souls were crying for a special dance
    The dance of love, right then and there
    Of a love so deep, that we'd always share

    Ever since that night, I've felt so much more
    That I've ever felt, in my life before
    Someone told us that our love was so deep
    We were Twin Flames, our love would forever keep

    Nothing could keep us apart, except our own mind
    Another love like this, we would never find
    For our souls came here, in search of this love
    She's always on my mind, she's all I think of

    She completes me, in all things I know
    Within me, she's with me everywhere I go
    This love found on Earth, started in Heaven above
    On that special night, we experienced Autumn Love
    ©January 11, 2017 Bud Lemire
                                  Author Note:
    Vicki, that night would forever bond me to you. Never
    being complete without you. Your love has held me in
    place through the years. I love you so very much, and
    I thank you for all the love you share with me.

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

    Goldenrod


     
    There’s something about goldenrod,
    The kind I know,
    As if upon another world than ours.

    The springtime shoots drive up
    With urgency belying
    The months until they’ll bloom

    And keep on reaching for the sky,
    Trying how high they can go
    Till gravity commands and bends them low.

    Some spike to fifteen feet or more,
    Herbaceous towers defying plausibility,
    Almost intimidating in their show.

    Just about the time I deem them weeds,
    The tops flare out in graceful feather shapes
    That shift from green to golden glory.

    Waving across October blue above,
    Entertaining bees and wasps and butterflies,
    They put my doubts to shame,

    Reminding me that I should never doubt
    The absolute correctness
    Of all things that grow.

    ©2016 John I. Blair, 10/11/2016

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    This History

    Taking to the sea
    Wondering what will be
    Not many ships around
    Too many empty sounds

    Seeing past the waves
    Never knowing what to say
    This journey all in time
    The only engine I could find

    I guess you don’t know me the way you knew me
    The way you held me in those distant memories
    You can’t know me or ever forget me
    There’s nothing left but this history
    This history

    Talking to the salt
    Opening Pandora’s vault
    A light glows orange, yellow and brown
    Wearing the hidden bells only crown

    I guess you don’t know me the way you knew me
    The way you held me in those distant memories
    You can’t know me or ever forget me
    There’s nothing left but this history
    This history

    This history of long ago
    This history of long lost souls
    This history of letting go
    This history never to be told

    ©5/3/2017 Bruce Clifford

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    Nagelkirk's Fruit Market


     
    I remember as a kid, a place where we'd stop
    After stopping at Holiday, for our pop
    We'd stop at Nagelkirk's Fruit Market, for my favorite fruit
    After picking out the best one, we would scoot

     We'd head over to Pioneer Trail Park, for our picnic there
    This is a memory, that I wanted to share
    There were many fruits to choose from
    There was a favorite fruit for everyone

    Strawberries from the Copper Country, were found
    Apples for Ninety Nine cents a pound
    Nectarines and peaches too
    Some berries that were juicy and blue

    Cantaloupes that were as sweet as could be
    These fruits wander around in my memory
    That little fruit market on North Lincoln Road
    Is what inspired me to write this ode

    Although watermelon was the only thing on my mind
    There were many other fruits you would find
    Nagelkirk's is a great place, in Escanaba's history
    It will always be a fruity place, in my memory
    ©May 29, 2017 Bud Lemire
                             Author Note:
    Nagelkirk's Fruit Market has been popping up in my
    memory lately. I figured I'd jump at the chance to
    write a poem about it. At the same time, it would
    be interesting to hear what your memories of it
    would be. Which reminds me, next time I am at
    the store, I need to pick up a watermelon.

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

     

    Selah & Goals


     
    So, it's been a few weeks since I wrote a blog post and I was actually quite frustrated that I couldn't find inspiration, but it ended up giving me a nice break or a "Selah" as the title of this post says. I'm super type-A and so when I first started writing again back in December, I told myself I would blog once a week, but sometimes we all need to pause and recollect our thoughts instead of charging forward.

    On that note, I've decided I really want to embrace this summer. I want to thrive. I want to chill out and slow down. I want to grow an intentional life despite the mess that surrounds me on a daily basis. I've decided I don't have to have it all together to live purposefully. That's why I'm going to start writing out monthly goals!

    May Goals:
      Think before I speak: This is a BIG one for me. I have two tendencies with the voice. Sometimes to fill the silence and space and get rid of awkwardness, I just start rambling and I'm not intentional about what I'm saying. Other times, I get snappy and rude, most often with Blake, and I cut people off with what I want to say instead of listening to the other person and then responding intentionally. I want to try and work on both of these things!
      Eat more fruit: Okay, so admittedly I really really love junk food. My absolute favorite are Oreos and I swear I can eat a whole pack of them in one sitting, if I'm not careful. I actually really love fruit, so I'm hoping I can actually stick to this one! Bring on all of the watermelon, bananas, and strawberries!
      Eat out at one new restaurant: Charleston is pretty much the food capital of the world, or at least to me, and there are a million and one restaurants we want try that we haven't gotten around to yet! I think this month will be The Burger Company ( over 20 different types of burgers- YES PLEASE!)
      Read my bible app or do a devotion before getting onto social media/ no scrolling through Facebook in bed: Both of these are terrible habits that I need to kick. Literally, the first thing I do in the morning is get on Facebook which doesn't always start the day off on the best note, and then even after I say I'm going to bed, I scroll for another 25 minutes, which probably messes up my sleep. I need to stop! Besides, I really want to start my morning off with Jesus, instead of being judgmental like Facebook tends to make people.
      Social Media Fast for one week: This is bouncing off the last goal. I've never done a fast from social media before, so this will be very interesting.
      Finish Grace, Not Perfection: I've been "trying" to finish this book for 3 months...maybe this is what I'll do when I do my social media fast!
      Beginner's Yoga: I don't have money for a gym membership at the moment, but there's plenty of youtube videos that I'm sure will help me learn the beginner's poses! On top of that, I really want to start working out at least 2-3 times a week.
    Alright, so there we go. 7 goals for this month, and now it's actually time to start them instead of just brainstorming. While, it might be halfway through the year already, "better late than never". Intentional is one of my words for the year, and I haven't been doing a very good job at it. So, I hope that setting goals like this will help me to simplify and focus on what really matters. I'm probably going to mess up, but this is not about being perfect, it's about the progress, and the little by little steps. I don't want my goal-setting, or my life for that matter to be pressure filled. I want to cultivate good goals that stem from what God has given me. As Lara Casey says "It's time to cultivate what matters."

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

    The Butter Lady of Sabattus


        Successful people more often than not get to be that by dint of hard work. It’s almost unavoidable. Some become successful by luck or inheritance, but not by sweat equity. I recently met a most interesting and hard working woman named Lisa Westleigh from Sabattus, and I want to tell you about her. She’s well on the road to success, and it’s all got only a little luck involved.

         Coming out of a difficult life situation some years ago, Lisa desperately wanted to be self-sufficient and after much self-evaluation her dream was narrowed down to --–you’ll never guess---buying Jersey cows and making home-made butter from their milk. I know, weird, right? Not to Lisa Westleigh! Oh, and in case you think Jersey cows come from New Jersey, they originated on the Island of Jersey, a small British island in the English Channel off the coast of France, and it’s one of the oldest dairy breeds. I have a personal and special connection with them because when I was a kid a big advertising campaign began with Elsie the Borden Cow---she was a Jersey, arguably the most beautiful breed of cow on earth. I was tortured daily by the Boys of the Fifth Grade because of dear old Elsie---you know, the usual udder jokes with which fifth grade boys can be most creative, but I have moved on. Really. I have. That I changed my name to LC has nothing to do with all this.

        Eventually Elsie (the cow that is) married Elmer and in the proper amount of time, gave birth to Beulah and later to her brother Beauregard. Happy family. Ultimately got into the glue business, I think.

         Anyway, Lisa Westleigh needed a farm, and again luck kicked in and she became friendly with Ray and Tina Ellsworth who happened to have a huge recently unused farm in Sabattus and knew a lot about the dairy business, Lisa was starting a herd, she was dreaming of Jersey cow butter, and a friendship and business was born.

         Now I’m not here today to hawk Lisa Westleigh’s all natural home-made butter, but it’s unusual; intense and delicious, cookable and eatable right off the knife, and no I’d never do that. Not. I was very curious as to how butter is made and even though Lisa is a great representation of pioneer women, I did most stupidly once ask her if she churns from a big wooden thing with a wooden plunger, and of course she frowned, and looked at me as if I’d suddenly turned into Lady Lunatic. One word answer; “No.” Apparently she does not sit on her front porch churning her butter in a wooden churner thing. Apparently today it’s all electric now. Who knew?

         This nice pretty woman with a warm, strong handshake and big grin, had an epiphany at age 34, that this was what she wanted to do. Raise Jerseys and make butter. When I was 34, my personal epiphanies most assuredly did not include taking on a career involving exceedingly hard work, to say nothing about getting up while it’s still dark outside, but then that’s just me.

         Lisa was determined. Divorced and eager, she began to make plans, and these plans included Jersey cows and making home-made, natural butter. She lived in a camper back then, and today the results of her epiphanies are actually happening. The butter is there and she sells it to people. They think it’s fabulous.

        You’re dying to know what’s in this weirdly delicious butter, right? Jersey cow cream and sea salt. That’s it. Churned. Electrically. The milk from those long-lashed beauties never sees the air—it all goes magically from cow to butter. Please don’t write in for details. I have no clue how all this happens. It just does.

        Lisa’s cows eat pretty well for cows, good corn and hay I think, and it’s clear this strong woman has studied hard and learned everything there is to know about the business of butter making. And cow raising.

        Lisa Westleigh’s long-term goals are simple, modest and strong. And happy. She would like to live on her own farm which she’ll call the “Itty Bitty Farm” in a mobile home with her son Thomas who today helps her with her butter dreams, a wood stove, simple and uncomplicated creature comforts, and all surrounded by her gentle, beautiful butter making bovines.

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
    Pic Below: The Butter Lady with her Jerseys

    Monday, May 1, 2017

    Editor's Corner

    p

    April & May 2017

    “"Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.""--Will Rogers Soothsayer or not, Will Rogers often said what others were feeling but couldn't put into words as well as he could. Sometimes listening to the dialogue on TV will bring tiny nuggets of realization, that makes one ponder the intentions behind such comments. But mostly, the comments are expected and very unsurprising.

    That is not true of the compositions presented in this combined issue for April and May. Our authors have original and surprising ideas that they skillfully relay. \


    Thomas F. O'Neill shares hjs current experiencies in China in his column "Introspective." LC Van Savage speaks of Love and Marriage this month in "Consider This," and admits to a secret longing in her article "Vespa! SS!!!". The other article is by Bethany Davies Whitaker, reprinted from her blog, "Altogether Beautiful." Her insight is always meant to be helpful to others, gained sometimes painfully, but she always seeks the potential lessons .

    "Armchair Genealogy" by Melinda Cohenour has the first half of another interesting spotlight into a family member, Sidney Washington Creek, who she titles as "A Much Maligned Man." R od Cohenour helps our menu choices with his "April Beef Stew" in"Cooking with Rod."
    Judith Kroll's column "On Trek" relates her thoughts on "Time."

    "Irish Eyes" includes some of the various events with "Music, Poetry, Stories And Drama" that have kept Mattie Lennon busy lately. Some of his plays have been performed and another one is upcoming.

    Bud Lemire's two poems are"Housework Nightmare" and: "The First of May." Bruce Clifford submitted four poems: "I Won't Blame You," "The Big Extreme," "She Hid Herself So Well," and "Together." Phillip Hennessy tells us his poem "Six Feet Deeper" will soon become a song as it has the "feel of an Irish drinking tune."

    John I. Blair's six poems for this month are "Blessed Understanding," "At First Glance," "Sunshine," "Sitting at Their Feet," "Zander Sleeping," and "One O'Clock in The Morning." Your editor managed to get a bit of verse into the mix with "Dancing Branches."

    Mike Craner, without whom this ezine would have never made the web, deserves many bouquets for his expertise and patience. Not easy keeping this little ezine able to continue its mission of encouraging writers, experienced and beginners, and to promote reading. Now if he only had a solution for the slow internet service in this area.
    See you in June !!!


    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
    This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

    Armchair Genealogy

     

    A Much Maligned Man:

    Sidney Washington Creek

    Born: 13 January 1832 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri
    Died: 12 September 1892 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri

          Sidney Washington Creek was the fourth child, third son born to Jacob “Howdyshell” (Haudenscheldt) Creek and his wife, Virginia Lee Younger. There were 16 pregnancies for Virginia Creek, four of those pregnancies ending with the heartbreaking death of the child.

          The Creek family settled in Clay County, Missouri, early in its pioneer days. The progenitor of the Creek family who first settled in Clay County was Abraham Creek (b. 31 Jan 1783 in Pittsylvania, Virginia and d. 14 Oct 1859 in Clay County, Missouri) who made the move from Barren County, Kentucky, in 1821. Abraham was a first generation American, born to our Immigrant Ancestor, Killian Kreek (believed original Germanic spelling Guilliam Grieg, anglicized upon settling in America). He immediately assimilated into the business of settling the little township and participated in the building of its essential infrastructure. The following items appeared in the “History of Clay County” documenting important events in the growth of the county:

          “Court Proceedings in 1826. In May the first steps were taken to build a court house; Wm. Averett was allowed $30 per year for the support of his insane son; and Abraham Lincoln (uncle of the "martyr President"), Reuben Tillery and Abraham Creek were appointed reviewers of a road from Liberty to Estes' mill, on Fishing river.”

          It is believed Abraham, having served in the War of 1812, made the move in response to the government’s enticement to move the population centre Westward by providing recompense to its fighting men in the form of Land Warrants in the western part of the country. The historic association with the Lincoln family, working side by side with the paternal uncle of President Abraham Lincoln, is noted with pride by the author.



    Abraham Creek

          The families of Lincoln, Todd, and Creek were the pioneering families whose efforts formed the community and shaped the underlying philosophy of self-government, industrious community effort, bravery, and courage in the face of extreme adversity. Another extract from the same publication paints a broader picture of the closeness of these historic American families and that of Thomas Jefferson, as well:

          “From the History of Clay County, Missouri (Author: William H. Woodson, published by Historical Publishing Company, Topeka - Indianapolis, 1920.) The ?rst circuit court was held in Clay County at the house of John Owens, in Liberty, March 4, 1822. David Todd, an uncle of the wife of Abraham Lincoln, who was Mary Todd, was judge; William L. Smith, clerk; Hamilton R. Gamble, circuit attorney, and John Harris, sheriff. William L. Smith was born in a northern state, a man of education and of many accomplishments, popular with the people, and held this office until 1831, when he resigned the o?ice. Hamilton R. Gamble was a Virginian, born in 1798; came to St. Louis in 1818, came to Old Franklin in 1819, was circuit attorney in 1822, secretary of state in 1824, supreme judge in 1851, and in 1861, on the ?ight of Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson from Jefferson City, was made provisional governor of Missouri. He died in 1864. John Harris was a lineal descendant of Mary Jefferson, sister of Thomas Jefferson; Mary Jefferson married Col. John Turpin and her daughter, Obedience, married Col. John Harris. Very little business was transacted at this term of the circuit court as it was in session only two days. The grand jurors for the term were Richard Linville, foreman; Zachariah McGree, Benjamin Sampson, Robert Y. Fowler, Zachariah Averett, Howard Averett, John Ritchie, James Munkers, John Evans, Thomas Estes, Andrew Robertson, Richard Hill, David Magill, Walker McClelland, Robert Poage, Samuel Tilford, David Gregg, William Allen, Elisha Hall and James Williams. There are many descendants of the men who constituted this grand jury now residents of Clay County. The next term of the circuit court was in July following, and only one jury trial, that of the State vs. Jonathan Camron, who had been indicted for affray. A jury of twelve good and true men were selected to try the defendant; they were Abijah Means, Richard Chaney, Abraham Creek, John Bartleson, James Gladden, Francis T. Slaughter, Enos Vaughn, Andrew Copelin, John Carrell, Matthew Averett, Eppa Tillery and Samuel Magill, who after hearing the evidence, instructions of the court, and arguments of counsel, retired, but soon returned with a verdict, “We, the jury, ?nd the defendant not guilty”.
    [Extracted by Melinda Cohenour from the book on September 29, 2014.]
          On 26 September 1852, Sidney wed Lucinda Estes. The reverend John May officiated at the marriage. This union produced a large number of children and, as with so many families in these early days, a number of these children did not survive to adulthood. We do know that at the time of Lucinda Estes Creek’s impending death she listed the following in her will: Charles (Jefferson) Creek, Georgia Ann Franklin, Beau Creek, Jennie Hamilton, Dicey Parks, Sallie Parks, Emma Johnson, and Lillie Creek. At that time, young Lillie was still at home and had not reached the age of eighteen. Provisions were made for her care until such time as she attained the age of majority. (A few mysteries appeared in the Will, causing even the Probate Court crew to scratch their heads. Much research has, hopefully, ironed out those peculiarities as well.)

          Thus far, in the life of Sidney Washington Creek, most of his experiences had been pleasant – a loving family, comfortable home, prosperous farming, marriage to the love of his life and the start of his own family. Notwithstanding the loss of his babies, life had been good. But life has a way of banking sharply against obstacles and disrupting the flow of “milk and honey.” Thus would be the experience of Sidney Creek.

          The second half of Sid’s story will be told in the next column by this author. This will be a story that has intrigue, deception, violence, and every emotion known to man.

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.