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I took a break recently and caught up on some games I had picked up. One of those games got me excited about fighting. more
For better or worse, I’m back. more
I dreamt about basements twice last night, back to back. They were positive, protective spaces. My dreams are directly affected by whatever I’m ingesting intellectually, and I happen to be right smack in the middle of a book all about archetypes, the symbolism that constitutes our subconscious and souls’ language. So what were these basements trying to tell me? more
Another week of blistering, 100-plus heat and no rain to slake the thirst of our Ozarks’ parched earth — it’s miserable weather for most of us, but worse for that tiny but critical percentage who feed us. more
Hi everyone! I can hardly wait to continue with our story from last week. Our adventure has been going on since January, so we have covered a lot of ground together. Our couple is Johnny and Mary Lou, who grew up during the pre-civil war years and were eventually married when the war began. Each week we have been reliving their lives of heartache and problems. Our Johnny more
Ever since humans began tending to small patches of cultivated ground near their homes, the terms “rain” and “garden” have gone together. more
July 13, 2022 more
A little rain fell one Saturday night in the dog days of 2012. I don’t recall how much — less than a half-inch, I’m sure. Scant as it was, though, it gave our yard and over-grazed pastures a pale green blush. I overheard someone say it wasn’t enough to do any good, but it certainly was. No such thing as unwelcome rain in a drought. more
Last week my opinion piece was thanking those who serve or have served in the military, medical field, or law enforcement. This week I want to thank another group of individuals that answer the other call to help; the group I'm talking about is customer service. more
Hi everyone, welcome back again for a new week of adventures. This week we continue on with our civil war love story. Our young couple grew up together and were married when the war started. Our Johnny joins the union army and gets shot in Tennessee and left for dead and our Mary Lou is forced to stay at her parents home during the war years in which her father is a strong confederate supporter. (fast forward) Years have passed and still no Johnny coming home. By now she has become the general manager of the general mercantile store owned by Mr. Kissee and also the owner of most of Sand Springs. Mr. Kissee has received through his connections that the railroad is being built through Webster County and to finish at Springfield, Mo. We left last week with a celebration and hoedown being hosted for the railroad executive, that is scheduled to speak at six o'clock in the evening and then afterwards the music begins with a hoedown barn dance. The day goes well with the contest, music, games, and food. Mary Lou is constantly checking everyone and all is well until she talks to Mr. Kissee about the arrival of the St Louis-San Francisco executive. Mary Lou, "Mr. Kissee- it's 5:30, and still no arrival are you sure he is coming?" Mr. Kissee, "Don't you worry. I have this under control. You take care of everything else." Mary Lou, "O K Mr. Kissee, I am just worried. Look! Everyone is coming into the barn and sitting down, waiting for our railroad speaker." more
Hi everyone! So glad to have all of you back again this fourth of July week. We are truly blessed today to be living in a nation where our forefathers were willing to lose their wealth and lives to establish a new nation under God Almighty. Since January we have been reliving the lives of Johnny and Mary Lou who grew up near Sand Springs in northwestern Webster county. For many of us they have become our newspaper family. Our couple grew up during the 1850’s and eventually were married when our American civil war began. Our Johnny joined the Union army and Mary Lou stayed home living a life of mental anguish separated from her husband. Years pass and our Mary Lou has become the clerk and manager of the town's only Mercantile store with Mr Kissee as her boss and owner of most of the town. more
With it being the Fourth of July, I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful and safe holiday. more
Of the few truly important things in life, kids and livestock have to rank near the top. more
Howdy to all my friends and neighbors and beyond. O.K.- Let's briefly review and jump into this week's new adventures. Our young couple grew up together and eventually got married. On their wedding day, it was officially announced our country's civil war had officially started. Our Johnny and Mary Lou had a few happy months together before our young man joined the Union Army. Mary Lou had to live with her parents; in which her dad was a hard-core rebel supporter. more
I grew up in a house with cold running water in the kitchen sometimes and an outdoor toilet always. Anywhere I’ve lived since has been a mansion in comparison. So, it was kind of hard for me to have much empathy for a couple featured in the Sunday paper who lamented they had spent years of looking before finally finding the lake home of their dreams. more
With summer in full swing, many will start planning their BBQs, vacations, and Fourth of July events. Another popular pastime is watching movies. Movies, after all, are a great way to spend time with family and friends, escape the summer heat, or unplug from the world. Consider my picks of ten summer movies if you want to watch something but don't know what to go for. This list will have a mix of classic summer movies and some released during the season. more
Our truck and car both have cruise control. Our grandkids don’t, and oh, how they run. Sometimes I wish I could push “set” and hold them down to 55. But, I really wouldn’t want to. I don’t really get upset, just jealous. They race everywhere — from the car to the front door, from the front door to the play room, from the kitchen to the dining room, in circles through the house and hitting every room. more
Hi again to all my rambling reading friends and neighbors. This week we are getting close to the end of our civil war love story that has been ongoing since January first. Quick review: our story is about two young people that grew up in our county during the turbulent times of pre civil war years. Our couple of Johnny and Mary Lou eventually got married and the civil war began. more
Sunday was about the first man I ever loved and the best man I will ever know, my daddy. He was out of town this weekend, and it’s the first Father’s Day I have had to spend without him. more
Video games are a form of art. They can tell amazing stories that stick with you for years, and you actively get to be a part of it. Video Games are just one of the many forms of entertainment seeking to get attention from the general public. To help bring awareness, many companies have hosted conventions and events to give people a look at upcoming video games. more
I randomly ran across a couple different stories about author Mary Harrington. Intrigued by the synchronicity, I looked her up. Harrington’s book is called Feminism Against Progress, and her online writings are so thought provoking; they also reminded me of a point I have been eager to write about. more
Here it is the middle of June, and I’ve yet to wet a line. I don’t have a good excuse. I’m just minutes away from the Niangua River and only about a half hour from Bennett Spring on the east or Lake Pomme de Terre to the north. I can’t even use “no fishing permit” as an excuse. I haven’t needed one of those for six years. I didn’t need one when I was a kid, either, and I took full advantage of the liberty. I never came up with an excuse not to go fishing. more
Hi friends and neighbors of Webster County and beyond. Last week the Rambling came galloping back at breakneck speed after having a few weeks being dormant. I am happy to once again be sharing stories and folklore. Now I have run across several folks that are not familiar with our story that has been going on since January of this year. For those who have followed our story we have gone through many exciting adventures and their personal drama and the challenging life of our young couple. This week I want to go back to the beginning and remind everyone and bring everyone else up to par where we are out in order to be able to finish this story to a close in the next couple of weeks. more
Country and small town churches are windows to the heart and sinew of this country. Anyone seeking to discover the “real America” need look no deeper than a rural church on Sunday morning. Understand the folks gathered there and you will understand what makes ours both the strongest and most compassionate nation on earth. The country church building will likely be a cobbled, unpretentious structure. Somewhere under its painted boards may hide logs or rough-sawn timbers from the 1800s. Amid tiles in the high ceiling of the sanctuary may be hidden an old chimney pipe. On the wall behind the pulpit may hang a framed “Church Covenant,” its parchment paper yellowed and the wording faded, but the beliefs it embodies as sacred as the day it was agreed to. Sunday school rooms, a kitchen, indoor restrooms, a fellowship hall, and maybe even a brand-new sanctuary may have been tacked on to the original structure in a sprawling maze — wood and mortar contributions of many successive generations. Whatever its appearance, whether humble or grand, it’s just a building. The people are the real church. more
This summertime fills me with the gleeful anticipation of more time to be spent fully immersed in books. Keeping the kids sharp during their school breaks is vital, as is the continuity of each adult’s forever ongoing journey towards increasing knowledge. Reading gives us the opportunity to reach not only those higher levels of knowing, but also can enhance empathy, as we are able to understand others’ life situations to a fuller extent, when we read from their vantage point. I’ve recently come across several gems (already!) in my own kiddos’ summer reading lists that I found worth sharing.British author Beatrix Potter, who wrote and illustrated Peter Rabbit, and many more, has a fictionalized, though historically based, biography written about her called Nothing is Impossible, published in 1969. Beatrix’s grandmother is the only person who really talks to her during her pre-schooling years, as her father is busy dwindling away the family inheritance. Not surprisingly, the matriarch is upset, and tells her son about his kids’ upbringings, “But Rupert, I want them to live life, not just be blotters and absorb it. I pray their days on this earth may be interesting- and creative. They should do something with their lives, not just exist!” And, she later counsels young Beatrix, “My dear granddaughter. We would all stagnate, we’d rot, if things always remained the same. ‘The old order changeth, yielding place to new.’ A poet named Tennyson wrote those lines. Every day of your life you’re a whole day older, and even that’s a change.” The pages which beheld these treasures of wisdom to me were immediately puppy-dog-eared, so as to be referred to later, re-read as needed.Another historical fiction work from almost the 60s, The Far Frontier immediately piqued my interest because of its pioneer era setting. But, whilst reading the author’s note in the back, I grew even more excited for this read aloud on my docket, because of these words, “Asa Twistletree is modeled on several of the early naturalists, men whose love of books and learning, whose zeal for discovery and whose passion for all of nature stands out clear and sharp on every page of their journals.” Upon an initial thumbing-through of the old, stained up hardback, which carries that specific antiquated musk with it, it seems the young main character learns how to balance the growing of his brain with keeping alive his rural family’s survival skills, all from the old, strange-seeming Mr. Twistletree.And in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, another British great Roald Dahl wrote a lovely poem about children learning from books, as opposed to passively watching TV, which could be adapted to gaming nowadays, too. Super enjoyable in the audiobook edition via an accented, rollicking rendition, it ends with, “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books, Ignoring all the dirty looks, The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, And children hitting you with sticks- Fear not, because we promise you That, in about a week or two Of having nothing else to do, They'll now begin to feel the need Of having something to read. And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! You watch the slowly growing joy That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen They'll wonder what they'd ever seen In that ridiculous machine, That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen! And later, each and every kid Will love you more for what you did.”And finally, in a book not for kids, but about raising them, in the famous work named Emile, Jean Jaques Rousseau says in the very first page, “From the outset raise a wall around your child’s soul.” That we do by surrounding them with these worthwhile activities, experiences, and materials to soak up, like amazing books. And after childhood is over, when we raise that wall around our own souls, we can let the awesome facets of existence, which are readily available if you look in the right places, help the garden within it flourish. Summertime is the perfect time to water and fertilize those needs, so I hope you thoroughly enjoy it!        more
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