MOVED ☺


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I have mooooooved …. ☺

It’s amazing that I consistently get new followers here, considering I’ve not written here for years. You newbies must not like to read much. (Grin!)

Anyway, my photojournalism work has moved to flashPress.

It’s where I’ve been writing from, full time, for a few years now, working steadily to share the good stuff, cool people and what’s happening with the liberty-lovers.

I publish twice a week there, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and occasional publish special editions on the weekends. It’s been a great base to work from in promoting indie-businesses, artists, books, events, products, travel and leisure, fitness, food and well … all sorts of other interesting stuff.

Look for this stuff and you’ll know you’ve landed in the right place!

FLASHPRESS.AD.2.E                  flashPress logo.1000xE

God bless, thanks for the read and please don’t forget to thank  a veteran at your next opportunity!

femmeflashpoint

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Prayer Props


I admit it.  I use props.

However, there’s something to be said for using props during prayer.  I’m not referring to props for background or decoration.  I’m referring to items that have been conducive to supporting my prayer time.

For my readers who don’t pray, this post will likely be totally irrelevant to you.  For my readers who do pray … it might still be irrelevant. (Wink!)  For most of you, I hope it’s relevant and I’m only sharing it because it’s on my mind, and there have been several recent answers to several recent prayers.

In truth, I’ll pray anywhere, anytime.  It’s also usually the quiet sort of prayer.  However, there are a few exceptions to that.  Primarily, those more prolific prayer occurrences are spontaneous and tend to happen when I’m on a bumpy flight, or riding with Bobby Debenport or McGuyver.  Riding with either of them behind the wheel could cause an atheist to pray very sincerely and very loud. (Teasing guys – kinda, sorta.)

Simply put, prayer is communication.  If you think I talk too much to people, say a prayer of thanks that you’re not God!  When I’m not sleeping, or talking to everyone else, a great deal of the time I’m talking to Him.  I wish I were as good at listening as I am with telling Him about every little thing that my mind deems important.  That part’s still a work in progress, but it’s showing improvement.

Rev. L. Beloat’s prayer niche was kneeling at her bedside every night until she wasn’t able to kneel anymore.  The older I get, the more I try to incorporate examples of those who had the goods, so to speak.  She had the goods, and she set a wonderful example.

But unlike my great-grandmother, that special prayer time isn’t spent at my bedside, or on a walk, or even while I’m driving, although I do use those times to pray a great deal of the time.  But, for the last several months, my prayer niche has been during workouts.  Possibly and probably sounds silly, but it works very well.  I gather my equipment, head to the patio, climb on my machine and for as long as I can manage to maintain it, it’s just me, some music and God.

All Christians have things to pray about.  But, when life gets busy it’s sometimes hard to find a little peace and privacy to actually push everything else away and spend some personal time with Christ.  He always has time for intimacy with us, but we often set aside such a small amount of time for Him.  Yet, He’s still unfailing in being right there with us and ready to listen and care about what we’e saying when we begin to pray.  I decided I needed more of that sort of time with Him than I’d been alloting.  Glad I did.  It’s made a wonderful difference in many situations.

Several months ago, I devised my workout time to do two things.  When my momentum builds, so does my focus, and it’s been a wonderful way to focus on Him.  So now, workouts are both physical and spiritual.  By the time I’m through, sweating and winded, I’ve also made a trip that’s taken me a whole lot farther than my machine on the back patio.  And, the totality of the time hasn’t been spent in asking for things.  Much of it is spent in admiration and expressing my thanks for His attention.

That’s how I do things.  It isn’t how I think everyone should do them.  On the other side of the spectrum, though my prayer time is usually private and quiet, I have to say that there have been some individuals who’ve spent out loud prayer time that I’ve loved, I mean realllly loved, listening to.

Rev. Kenneth Reeves would be in the top five of those individuals, right up there with Rev. Arby Mason, Rev. Lucille Beloat, Alfred McClellan and Pop Cagle.  There are several others also, but I’m only alloted to but so much page space until I move this blog elsewhere, which will be soon.

There are some wonderful folks who’ve been walking through the fire recently.  And, I’m very thankful that God has answered prayer for those of us lifting them up to Him with some wonderful reports.  It made me happy to hear good news reported from the McCool & Bryant families.  I was also happy to hear good reports regarding Pastor Jerry Arman and my friend Reggie D.  Those are only a few to mention.  The list is actually much larger.  Thankfully, God has a perfect memory, and He never minds how long the list is.

It’s a wonderful privilege that we can pray wherever we are.  But, it’s an even greater privilege to have that special place and time set aside for just me and Him, or you and Him.

My hope is if you haven’t devised a time and place yet, that you’ll consider making an effort to do it.  You may not receive the answer you wish for, but you’ll always receive an answer.  You’ll undoubtedly get His attention, and He’ll listen – whether you speak with fancy words or plain ones.  He doesn’t really care either way.  He’ll just be pleased that you’re taking the time acknowledge Him, and talk to Him.  He’s very special that way.

Have a great evening.  I’m heading for a workout. 🙂

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Stockyards Blues ….


Torres and I met for lunch at our favorite haunt today, which is Risky’s in the Fort Worth Stockyards Station.  It was one of those unplanned sort of things.  She called for a quick catch up over the phone, we both happened to be off duty, and decided to meet up in person instead of continuing the phone chat.

It turned out to be a nice little bright spot that I was in need of.  I’ve had a bout of depression for a few days that I haven’t managed to climb out of yet.  The stockyards and good company seemed like a great way to get my mind on things less gloomy.

We had rain this morning in Fort Worth, which cooled things off considerably.  So, I had good weather on my side along with good company, and the familiar atmosphere of the stockyards.  It made for a great mix and my demeanor improved a little as soon as I stepped onto the brick street near the train station.  By the time Torres got there I was already petting a horse and chatting with a cowboy while we waited for the longhorns to line up for the noon herd drive.

I find it hard to feel gloomy around a horse.  This twenty-year-old cutter with the dusty face had me smiling in under five seconds.  I felt bad that I didn’t have a treat for him, so he had to suffice with compliments and a petting.  Next time I’ll go armed with peppermints.  A mint in exchange for a smile seems a more than fair trade.

Beyond the horses and cattle, the city-people-tourists always make for a good grin as well.  When the longhorns are brought through, with no barries between them and the spectators, the looks on the tourists’ faces is priceless.  The cattle and horses are well behaved, so I haven’t seen a any city-people gored yet.  They just sometimes look as if they’re expecting that they might be.

I’m pretty certain the couple on the bench under the tree are local folks.  They were as relaxed as it gets when the cattle came through.

Torres and I stretched a quick lunch into nearly three hours of smiling and laughing and I left feeling quite a bit better than when I arrived.  Any reprieve from the blues is a good thing.

Hopefully, this little setback will resolve itself soon.  I’m not one who enjoys wallowing in the emotional trenches, and I have projects to complete that require enthusiasm and a positive attitude.

Therefore, I’m doing my very best to put it in God’s hands and expect for things to be back to rights in as little a time as possible.  That seems to be the best way I know of to tackle it.

I hope your week is off to a great start, and I’ll catch up with you here again next post.

Until then, be safe and God bless!

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I met this guy …..


Before I left on my Tulsa trip, I needed some repair work done on my vehicle.  I was recommended by the guys at the local auto glass shop to go see Art at Cooper’s Tire to have my tires switched out before leaving town.  I agreed to go see Art, and one of the fellas from the glass shop even went with me to introduce me to him.  Art turned out to be a super guy!

I’ve been back several times for other issues he’s been overseeing and assisting the repair on.  It’s helped relieve a little of the load off of McGuyver’s shoulders. (McGuyver being Jonathan, the resident-rocket-scientist-next-door, patriarch to the muscle-next-door, and husband of Jen-next-door … did you get all that???)

My point is, since my dad died, Jonathan now has two households to handle repairs on, and amazingly, things really do break down, or become broken, when I’m nowhere near them.  He takes care of plumbing issues, carpentry issues, electrical issues, auto issues, etc., etc.  He even built my desk, which is the coolest desk in the world, by the way, and custom designed by McGuyver to fit in my tight quarters.  I try to pay attention when he’s fixing things, but what can I say?  I’m blonde, I’ve got ADD and I barely know the difference between a washer and a bolt, or a Phillips and a flathead.  Thankfully, McGuyver has great patience, and more thankfully, so does his wife, Jen.

And so, Art’s been a great help with the auto-issues regarding things that McGuyver can’t get to himself.  He has a gazillion projects going on at his own house right now.  No kidding, there’s at least a gazillion and I’m probably leaving a few out.

Art has agreed to sit for an interview and photos in two weeks.  The reason I want to do an interview with him is because … well, I can only say it will be worth the read.  And, for the locals who aren’t blessed enough to live next door to McGuyver, Jen & The Muscle Next Door, it will be realllllly advantageous to get acquainted with Art.

That’s my little bit of word smithing for the day.  I’ve been up all night, running errands all morning, and Prince’s song “Delirious” has been playing in my head for the last hour.

So, I’m saying goodnight and signing off.

Hope you have a great weekend!!!

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Recovered and back on track! :D


 With so little sleep the last two days, at 0300 this morning, I was running out of gas and struggling to stay alert for the rest of my shift.  Luckily, the night shift has a few more privileges, so I occupied myself between calls by reading.  On my latest read, I’ve been hanging out in a little English village situated near the coast and some soggy moors, with a little kid named Pip.  Pip’s being “raised by hand”, and the hand belongs to his psychopathic sister who should be keel hauled (I have a recent addiction to that term, thanks to Tarrin Lupo – and I’m still having a ball finding places to use it whenever I have the chance) if for no other reason than she’s an arrogant bully, and she enjoys degrading, smacking, switching, cuffing and headbanging skinny six-year-olds.  Can you tell I have a problem with people who pick on kids?

The read, of course, is Mr. Charles Dickens’ classic, Great Expectations.

There are so many novels written during the way back when era that I haven’t enjoyed actually reading due to the style in which they were penned.  But, for several of them, wading through the old English lingo was a chore that was/is worth it because the stories are fantastic.

One of my favorites (as well as one of my most difficult reads to get through) is a Tale of Two Cities.  I LOVED the characters, the hair-raising adventures they find themselves in, the chivalry, the references to covert travel, and how it was managed so long ago between England and France.  Also, the secret operations by a handful courageous people on a mission, and how they managed to weave their way in and out of an angry nation.  France was rightfully angry and the citizens had fanned the blood lust to such a high temp that they ultimately began suspecting one another, and becoming an even greater monster than the one they were revolting to overcome.  It seems the people traded one bad situation for another.  They even established a fast lane for head-lobbing!  And, out of all that, came the crescendo with a character that I’d started out not liking so much.  He surprisingly moved forward to being one of my all time favorite literary heroes, and his last words became one of my most cherished quotes.

“It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.”  Considering what the unlikely hero was facing when he said that leaves my heart with endless applause for Mr. Dickens and his blessed talent for word smithing.  The jargon was difficult for me to process, but wow … what a story!

I realize it’s a shame for a someone with a partial background in lit and journalism to not have read all of the classics, and enjoyed reading them, but that’s the case with me.  In my defense, Stephen King and Dean Koontz kept getting in the way of my read time.  But, to make things right, I’m working diligently to incorporate as many of them as I can manage into what time I’ve got for reading.

Great Expectations didn’t start out with quite the rush that a Tale of Two Cities came flying off the page with, but, I’m loving this little guy Pip, and his blonde-brained brother-in-law, the blacksmith with the big heart.  For the life of me, I don’t know how they stand being immersed in such miserable company all of the time, and yet manage to maintain such a bright outlook.  Mr. Dickens had a way of penning the human spirit’s determination to stay either on top or in the gutter, depending on who the spirit belonged to.  His characters will either inspire you to cheer for them, or, as in the case of the sister/wife who needs a good old-fashioned jack-slapping for attitude adjustment, he can make you loathe them.  Yup, I’m totally loathing her, and her fish-eyed uncle too.

There’s my update on my latest classic read.  If the shift is quiet, I hope to finish it tonight.

Literature aside, I’m happy to report that God has once again flown to the rescue and the migraine siege has ended!  My thanks to the 911 responders for immediate prayer, and to God for being so quick to answer.  I slept for five hours today without moving.  I know this because Ma checked in on me when she passed my room, and was amazed enough to mention it to me when I woke up.  The nap was supposed to only last half an hour, and when I’m asleep, I move about every five minutes, dragging my teddy bears and pillows to wherever I need them to get comfortable again.  Five hours without moving is kinda spooky.  It almost never happens.

I woke up without a headache, and if I don’t make any sudden or jerky movements with my neck, I’m pretty much pain-free.  Wooohoo!!!  🙂

I have several more articles coming out soon on Hubpages.com.  I keep running into the most interesting people, places and things to write about.  Many of their stories won’t go to Hubpages, they’ll go in a book, but for the ones that are time sensitive, Hubpages works well to get the information out to readers in a faster fashion.

So, please stay tuned …. there are good things coming!

God bless and have a great evening!

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A little coffee with my IBPF ….


My “Monday” started yesterday, which was Wednesday.  I have every Monday and Tuesday off, and since the schedule is new to me, I’m still having occasional confusion as to what day of the week it is for me, compared to everyone else.

The new position is coming along well, and thankfully I still get to pull some hours back at ‘home’, which would be LLFW.  I miss my friends there, and I like the work, so the new schedule works out very well for me to get to do both.

Mondays and Tuesdays I keep reserved for literary projects and whatever else is needing done.

Wednesday morning my workweek was supposed to start at 0900 at LLFW (the funeral home), but late in the night I woke up with a MONSTER migraine.  Truly, it’s the worst one I’ve endured in six months.

I took medicine.  And then more medicine.  I paced the floor.  I threw up.  I put one of my sister’s Hot Sox around my neck, and slathered myself with mentholatum.  Continued to swallow migraine meds and Ibuprofen with my coffee and 7-Up, but nothing I did was helping.

So, Wednesday morning, I called off for work that day.  I spent most of the day in bed, and by evening, I was still having a hard go of it, and called off at the new job as well.  It was my first day to miss work since I started, and I sooooo hated calling in sick.

Today, I made it to LLFW, but it was a struggle just to get showered and dressed.  It’s getting well on into the afternoon, and what little reprieve I had from pain earlier is quickly ending.  My head is aching again like a micro-dwarf is mining away with a pickaxe inside my cranium.  Yes, I’m still eating Ibuprofen like candy, or at least as often as I’m allowed to take really big doses of it.

So, I’m off to bed, and saying a prayer that when I wake up, I’ll feel like I’m recovering again.

Times like these, I realize I live way too far away from home.  My sister is still the best therapist I know for migraine pain.  Last time she treated me for one, she left me in a stupor in one of her gravity chairs.  When I woke up the pain was gone, but I was in a fog (probably from fatigue d/t working all day then driving 15 hours straight to get home), and couldn’t figure out how to get out of the chair.  Ultimately, in my attempts to sit up and escape it, I tipped the whole thing over and ended up in the floor with the chair on top of me.

Chair issues aside, her treatments for migraines work wonders, therefore I’m wishing she wasn’t 15 hours away when I develop one.

Anyway, I’m off to bed with high hopes that when I wake up the whole episode will be over and I can get back to being the me the way I like me …. without a headache and a smile on my face.

See you on the flip side!

femme

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The real Miss America






WOW!!!
The real Miss America .
This 19 year old ex-cheerleader now an Air Force Security Forces Sniper,was watching a road that led to a NATO military base when she observed a man digging by the road.

She engaged the target (she shot him). It turned out he was a bomb maker for the Taliban,  and he was burying an IED that was to be detonated when a US patrol walked by 30 minutes later. It would have certainly killed and wounded several soldiers.
The interesting fact of this story is the shot was measured at 725 yards.
She shot him as he was bent over burying the bomb. The shot went through his rear and into the bomb which detonated; he was blown to pieces. The Air Force made a motivational poster of her..
Folks , that’s a shot 25 yards longer than seven football fields!
If You Can Not Stand Behind Our Troops , please Feel Free To Stand In Front Of Them!!!!!
This is an augmented copy of what the local newspaper posted.
I loved it, and the young lady’s mother works for the same funeral services company I do.
She’s wonderful, and looks like she knew what she was doing when it came to raising kids right. 🙂

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Anniversary …


Friday is one year since my dad’s been gone.  I can’t say time has flown, but the time passing seems surreal.  His memorial service is a week from Friday at DFW National Cemetery.  My step-mother is looking forward to it.  She says it will give her closure.  Each day there are loads of questions that come into my head that I wish I had thought of to ask him about while he was here.

 

Luckily, I have male friends who do a wonderful job in lending an assist when I’m in need of information of the mechanical sort, and I have an abundance of caring hugs when I need those too, but, I for sure miss my dad, his voice, his facial expressions that so often mirror mine (not the surprised ones, or the ones that say, “I have no idea what you’re talking about” … but, there are others that are/were nearly identical when they cross/crossed  our faces.

I miss the familiarity of not having to say what’s on my mind, because he read me so well.  I miss him leaving messages on my cell phone, saying, “Rigsby, this is your dad.” Like, I couldn’t figure that one out simply by his voice, and by the fact that he’s about the only one who called me that since before I was two.  

I’m still sorting tools in the garage, finding a few, staring at them and thinking, “What the heck did he DO with this??”

Every day after work, I walk into the house wondering what sort of task I can find to pick up and start where he left off. 

I’m missing him a lot. 

femme

 

 

 

 

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Father’s Day 2010


 For my friends out there who are fathers …. best wishes and happy Father’s Day. 🙂

 

I’ve been up and out since 0430 this morning to meet a friend for coffee across town.

Then back home to fire up The Beast and drive it a whole 3 miles to Wally-World to pick up ‘stuff’.  (I hate going to Wal-Mart).  I only stalled it six times.  I’m getting better with diesel standard shift because six times is an improvement!

I’ve learned I can’t take off quick and roll tires over on a diesel dually.  They have one speed …. slow and frustrating.  Daddy’s Ford is like Mr. Miyagi – teaching me patienceeeee …..  and patience is a pisser.

Today is another first for us.  Father’s Day without Daddy.  Kinda sucks, but, I’m smiling and staying busy and thinking about the good stuff rather than being depressed, which would have disappointed him.

Hope you have a wonderful afternoon too …

femme

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My favorite Marine …


I’m off today, and killing time ‘till Torres shows up for a skate trip after while.

And, while having coffee and checking emails earlier, I noticed a scar I’ve had on my leg since forever has faded to nearly invisible.  I’m likely the only one who would notice it because I know it’s there.

When my Dad got out of the Marines full time, he stayed in shape.  He worked out on weekends with my little sister and I ‘assisting’ him.  He did push ups while we rode his back like a pony.  We climbed onto his feet so he could ‘fly’ us while he worked out his legs.  And, the finale was Nee with both her feet in one of his hands, me and mine stood in the other.  She and I held hands to make a ‘London Bridge’, and Daddy lifted us both into the air, one kid in each hand, over and over until he was exhausted.

It was better than any amusement park ride.

But, the BEST thing to do with our dad was swim.  He was a Master Diver, and an underwater demolitionist and engineer during his time in the Corps and he loved to swim.

Other kids told us how their parents threw them in the water and it was sink or swim.  Our dad was wonderful with us.  He was patient.  He was never too far away.  And, he for sure, never scared us into learning how to make our way through water.  My sister and I both love the water and are both excellent swimmers still, thanks totally to him.

On one swim outing, I got hurt.  I felt something bump my leg, hard, and it turned out to be a gar, with very sharp teeth.

The water turned red, and when I pulled my leg up to have a look, I nearly passed out.  It was gaped open and bone was showing under the bleed.

My mother had been a nurse for several years by then.  She never got excited over what I considered carnage, but this made even her eyebrows raise in alarm.  We were 30 miles from a hospital.  But, luckily, the doc she worked for was a close family friend and his office was less than 20 miles away.

When my dad saw the blood … wow!  I never remember that man moving so fast!  And, he’d been drinking for half the day.  I was 15 feet from shore, and suddenly, he was there, then he was yanking me out of the water, and pulling me over his shoulder like I was no more than a sack of cotton.  I was bleeding all over his chest, and then we were out of the water.  He climbed (with me STILL over his shoulder) about a 20 foot sand cliff, got me to our car, and then to our doc’s house (who’d been drinking too, LHM), then off we went to the office for them to suture me up.

I was, and am, a horrible needle-phobe.  So, when I spent fifteen years in medicine, my empathy for patients getting poked and prodded was truly genuine.

One Army doc, one Marine, and two nurses (both of their wives) held me down while the Army doc tried to quickly get sober enough to suture up my leg one handed.  (A talented man with as much more patience as my father.)  Not bad for two drunk GI’s trying to corral a really fit, strong, scared and angry 10 year old on a mission to escape.

I’m still way impressed. 🙂

Doc D. died while I was in college.  Daddy’s been gone for nearly a year now.

So, if they can see things like this, I wonder if they can share a memory and smile.  It’s not an impossibility … right?

femme

 

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