06 Jun 2013 07:34 pm

My Mother is the best. I have been so blessed to have her in my life.

10 Nov 2012 11:10 am

Who is this man?

Who is Ben Gazhi?
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22 Sep 2012 12:41 am

Sailors on the Rigging

29 May 2012 08:44 pm


I found this eye on a tree today.


Then I found two more eyes on the same tree.


Then I looked up and saw many eyes on the same tree.


This woeful eye made me feel sad.


When I got home I discovered that my husband had made me some cheese toast…….with eyes.

20 May 2012 10:23 am


Wow! It’s been a while since I have posted.Yes, I am still a blogger but last December The Wide Awake Cafe was hacked and although I reported it to my “so-called carrier” they did nothing to restore it. I lost links and the ability to post my own photos. (which always inspire me) I have discovered another way to post pictures but it is annoying. In fact, until I figure out how to upgrade Word Press driving my blog is like driving a 1930s jalopy. Yes, I needed to upgrade the Word Press but haven’t been able to because I am so technology deficient. I will work on this more as the school year is ending in a week. What a year it has been. I find myself getting more and more devoted to my teaching. Plus, I am doing more artwork myself.

I still have the same zeal to comment on the woeful times of Obama but at the end of the day, when there is time, the zeal has taken the backseat to the bed.

Yes, I was for Rick Santorum over Mitt Romney. I’ve gotten over that, however. I was for Mitt in the 2008 election instead of the hapless John McCain. I believe I was right. In fact, I know I was. So, now it is Mitt again.

Mitt and Ann Romney

One of the nicest things about Mitt Romney is his wife, Ann and the fact that he is NOT Barack Obama.

30 Mar 2012 12:46 am


Sabby in the pink.

is nineteen years old. He’s still feisty and fierce, loving, and loyal and extremely jealous. Sabby loves whom he loves and other cats and dogs had better not get in his way.


A recent photo of Sabby. He still has the look although our vet tells me he is almost blind. But Sabby still leaps from chair to table to chair and recognizes each one of us so there has to be some sight left.

Sabby hails from upstate New York, born in Watertown in January, 1993. We got him from a soldier and his wife who were moving to Germany. The couple had two dogs and Sabby and they could only take two pets with them. They chose to take their dogs so we snapped up one year old Sabby. His real name is Sebastian, named for the crab in The Little Mermaid. We took Sabby home and introduced him to Abbey, our female cat we fell in love with in Panama. For Sabby and Abbey it wasn’t love at first sight.


Abbey was two years old when we moved to Fort Drum, New York. She moved from a very tropical climate to a very cold one. The first winter she caught a bad cold that almost killed her.

But we were a family. Sabby, Abbey and our sweet dog, Pattertwig.


Sabby sat at the door on the inside watching Pattertwig on the outside. It was cold at Fort Drum, New York.

A few months later, deep in the winter, Captain joined our family. The cat triumvirate was complete. For years poor Pattertwig was ruled by the three. Sabby, having been raised along side two dogs always seemed the most comfortable with Patter.


How could Patter deal with the three of these picnicking cats? She did it with her own intrepid optimism.

One day when we were stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Abbey did something that really annoyed Pattertwig. Normally peaceful Captain never got into internecine opportunities but he was pissed big time at Patter. Sabby, who always considered Patter his “bud” was also really irritated at Patter and both male cats went after her. It made the very atmosphere in the room very tense. The humans had to intervene. Patter, Abbey, Sabby and Captain all had to be put in “time out” for a time.

Fort Sill was the last post all four were together. Sabby and Abbey went to college in the fall of 1999. Patter went to stay with his grandparents because on the advice of the vet she wasn’t considered healthy enough to fly overseas to Germany to our new post. Captain traveled with us to Heidelberg, Germany.

It was really hard breaking up our pet family, not to mention, leaving our daughters and son behind in their college and military careers.

When we returned in 2002 I wanted my pet family back but Kate was getting married and Abbey was staying with her. My parents wanted to keep Pattertwig and she had really been good for their health. They took her for walks, or rather she took them for walks.

Sabby came back to me when we returned from Germany. (and Captain) It was funny watching Captain and Sabby getting reacquainted. A lot of hissing and screaming (mostly by Sabby)

He was later joined by two new cats we had met in Germany, Amos and Bear. A friend had asked me to keep them while she and her husband moved to England and then later when they moved back to the states and had some difficulties she called me and asked me if I would keep them for good. I said yes, and she flew them from Tennessee to Arkansas. They stayed for a time at college in Oklahoma. The weekend Kate got married Bear died of a heart attack.

Sabby could tolerate Amos but he always liked Captain a lot so the reunion with Captain was a good one, after a lot of hissing from both of them. Our precious Captain died August 6th, 2007.

Only Sabby, of the original pet family was left. But he was not to be alone for long. When my daughter left for law school she left Amos and Asta with us. After graduation Asta left with her, leaving Amos with Sabby. It took a while but Sabby and Amos became buddies.

We lost Amos to cancer on February 5th. Oh, Amos. I miss him badly but I think Sabby even misses him more. Sabby is friendless now among the feline set but there is still Penny, a puppy we discovered in our back yard a year and a half ago. Sabby and Penny are now in a state of détente.

So, it’s Sabby and Penny now, ruling our household. Nineteen years of Sabby in our lives has been a blessing. I hope for many more.

27 Dec 2011 12:46 pm


I happily worked on my Christmas tree this year, anticipating the reaction when our family (especially my four grandchildren) arrived for Christmas Eve.


No matter how hard one works there are always a few last minute things to do. I almost forgot to hang the stockings.


Almost every room downstairs had some Christmas frippery hanging around. I take “Decking the Halls” literally.


The Santa tree went back up this year and our dog, Penny treated it with respect. (That means she didn’t use the tree as a chew toy.)


The tree on the piano was filled with special ornaments given to us by a dear sister-in-law, some in memory of her two lost children.


The dining room wasn’t left without Christmas touches. This year we hosted the annual Christmas Eve celebration at our house. We had a sit-down Dickens Feast with Turkey, Ham, Scalloped Corn, Baked Apples stuffed with dried fruit and pecans, Glazed Carrots with Pecans, Duchess Potatoes, Salad, Broccoli Cornbread, Rolls, Holiday Mincemeat Pie and Hard Sauce, Kentucky Derby Pie, Rum Cake, Banana Split Cake, Christmas Cookies and Eggnog with Brandy, Rum and Nutmeg. So what that the kitchen was filled with too many cooks? The result was glorious and delicious.


We have lovely bushes beside our house that have holly-like blooms on them that are at their best on Christmas. These berries added some love to the kitchen. I took time to drink in the moments and the wonder of this Holy time of year. We watched Jesus of Nazareth, which to me is the authoritive Christmas Story. We watched Elf and Love Actually.


All the attention and work was worth it watching our grandchildrens’ wonder at Christmas.


Farewell, Christmas, 2011. You were a joyous and hopeful occasion. I look forward to seeing you again next year.

More Christmas Frippery here. I love it!

24 Dec 2011 09:46 am


This fall has been a busy one for me and I haven’t visited the Wide Awake Cafe for a while. Although I have no time at all today, I want to wish everyone who visits this tiny cafe a Very Merry Christmas. Christmas is my favorite time of year and every year I find myself wishing that the whole season lasted longer.


Christmas means so much more than dressing the house.


Wishing for snow like we had last year but it’s not in the forecast this year.


Still, we will have light.


Merry Christmas!

25 Oct 2011 02:59 pm

I recently wrote about the Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights) making an appearance in the Civil War after the Battle of Fredericksburg in December, 1862. Some soldiers called the celestial occurrence God’s Windows.


( Billy Rogers Photography via Facebook / October 24, 2011 )

It happened again last night in Northern Arkansas. I went outside when I heard about it but the lights didn’t appear in our sky. I wish I could have seen it but we are too far South.

I saw the Northern Lights for the first time when I was twenty six years old and on board an airliner somewhere above Iceland. My husband and our two year old son were on our way to Augsburg, Germany for our first overseas Army tour. When the pilot announced to all the passengers that we had a wonderful light show outside our windows I was awed but also very frightened. I had never seen nor heard of the Northern Lights. The sky was on fire with blue, yellow, green and red lights dancing all over it. I will never forget the sight.

02 Oct 2011 11:38 am


Our Banner in the Sky, painted by Frederick Church during the Civil War.

The Aurora Borealis shone down upon both the armies of the North and South at the Battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War, a very rare occurrence in the latitude of Virginia. On Sunday, Dec. 14, 1862, a bitterly cold night, the Union Army had just suffered one of its worst defeats.

Shelby Foote, in his Civil War Trilogy, wrote of the spectacle:

“A mysterious refulgence, shot with fanwise shafts of varicolored light, predominantly reds and blues—first a glimmer, then a spreading glow, as if all the countryside between Fredericksburg and Washington were afire—filled a wide arc of the horizon beyond the Federal right…to one Southerner it seemed ‘that the heavens were hanging out banners and streamers and setting off fireworks in honor of our great victory.’”

In 1905 Elizabeth Lyle Saxon wrote in A Southern Woman’s War Time Reminiscenses ” It was near this time that the wonderful spectacle of the Aurora Borealis was seen in the Gulf States. The whole sky was a ruddy glow as if from an enormous conflagration, but marked by the darting rays peculiar to the Northern light. It caused much surprise, and aroused the fears even of those far from superstitious. I remember an intelligent old Scotch lady said to me, “Oh, child, it is a terrible omen; such lights never burn, save for kings’ and heroes’ deaths.”

It was not to be a victory for the South but a great tragedy for our nation in the loss of life; nearly 620,000 lives and over a million casualties. But out of the death and destruction came freedom for the slaves, and a victory for human worth and dignity. There would be, in time, a great reunification of all of the states but, no longer, would people consider their own state, as General Robert E. Lee once did, “their country.”


God’s Windows had opened for a time on the night of December 14th, 1862 and human beings, being creatures of emotion, misinterpreted the meaning. The metaphysical meanderings of time have always intertwined great human events with cosmic and natural eruptions. Great men and women have emerged in dark times, when all of civilization seemed lost.


Abraham Lincoln would have seemed an unlikely choice as the leader of the strife filled United States of America had he emerged in the days of Hollywood casting. He was born poor, had very little education and was from what we now call flyover country and yet he was elected President of the United States in 1860. Abraham Lincoln guided our country through the most devastating experience in its history. He was never to see the flowering of the spring of the reunion of the states; the conciliatory plans he had in mind for reconciliation with the South were cast away just six days after the surrender by Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Boothe in Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.

Throughout Lincoln’s presidency there was little peace to be found inside or outside of the White House. There was the death of his son, Willie, the anguish of his wife, Mary, the constant attacks of friends and foes and the failures of his generals.

Throughout his life he also believed in dreams and other enigmatic signs and portents. As he grew older, and especially after he became president and faced the soul-troubling responsibilities of the Civil War, he developed a profound religious sense, and he increasingly personified necessity as God. He came to look upon himself quite humbly as an “instrument of Providence” and to view all history as God’s enterprise. “In the present civil war,” he wrote in 1862, “it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party—and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose.”

Lincoln seemed to understand his place in the great stream of time. Just days before his death he spoke of foreboding dreams. Abraham Lincoln never graduated from high school, college, Harvard or Yale, (although those colleges did exist during his lifetime) but he is considered by most historians to be the greatest of all American Presidents.

“In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity.”
–Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862

This exceptional nation produced exceptional men - and women who walked through hard and bitter times, not stopping when events seemed to present no victory, no solution, no relief. Abraham Lincoln, and the Founders before him saw the glorious light through the darkness that John Adams described in a letter to his wife, Abigail:

“The day is passed. The Fourth of July, 1776, will be a memorable epoch n the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever. You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this declaration and support and defend these States; yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means, and that posterity will triumph, although you and I may rue, which I hope we shall not.’’

In this present time of darkness and gloom in which the American people are steeping like a teabag too long in a cup of now tepid water, the economy and culture rests on the edge of a cliff and the 2012 Presidential Election approaches, like a distant candle seen through a fog. There are now nine Republican candidates competing for the GOP nomination, and some Eastern Elite nervous Nelly Establishment types are urging one more Republican politician to enter the race to unseat Barack Obama.

Since 2009 we have watched our Liberty rapidly decline due to the passage of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. The EPA and the NLRB have declared war on business, spending is out of control and Obama has hinted that he is tempted to bypass Congress altogether.

Enemies, foreign and domestic, are working day and night to weaken our nation while Obama prances about the country blaming its very citizens for its problems. He claims that America has lost its greatness because America is soft.


It will take a Republican with incredible courage and backbone to unite the party and the independents behind him (or her) and withstand the barrage of attacks Obama and the media will gleefully inflict upon him. (or her) There will never be another Ronald Reagan but there are candidates who may possibly possess the remarkable personality traits and conservative principles that Reagan will forever be known for. Our Republican nominee will also need to understand (and become an expert on) the times of Abraham Lincoln. We are at a great divide in our nation. Lincoln more than understood that fact in his time and he counted the cost and led the Union without the assistance of pollsters. The United States of America is now on the line. We may never know it again as it once existed if it continues to be led by Barack Obama.


Will God’s Windows open again? Will they be misinterpreted? Time is short. If we keep gazing up at the stars we could easily go to sleep. We are so close to the edge of the cliff if we begin to dream we might fall off. How far is the fall? Have we already fallen?

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