Archive for April, 2012


April 20, 2012

I arrived home yesterday after work excited about another adventure in Austin for Longhorn baseball.  I don’t wait until Thursday each week to get excited about our weekend adventure…I usually start on Monday.  Let’s face it, I just like to stay excited and have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE.  It’s not always easy, but it is always healthy.  There are always a few chores to take care of before I leave.  I posted a blog on March 27 about “ONIONS.”

 I always plant my onions horizontal rather than vertical.  It’s easier and as they begin to grow they stand vertical on their own.  As you can see….they have begun to grow and stand up.

A few weeds have appeared in my garden, so it was time to crank the tiller for a little garden maintenance.  I checked the gas tank and needed gas.  My gas supply was empty from last week’s lawn mowing, so Pam and I had to go to town for gas.  I don’t need this!!!  I don’t have time for this!!!  Whoa Jerry.  Remember about ‘KEEPING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.”  Ok, I have time.  After returning from the gas station, I filled the tiller gas tank, cranked it, and began my tilling operation.  I noticed a stream of gas spurting from the side of the gas tank.  I don’t need this!!!  If you have read some of my earlier posts, you already know that this has been a year of everything I own breaking.  Not really, but I have had to do a lot of repair work this year.  But, ‘KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.”  Now I know why the gas tank was empty.  It had a leak.  But, I will not be defeated.  As the gas spurted, I tilled the garden and tried to forget about the price of gasoline.  I finished the tilling.  As you can see, the garden has enlarged since I planted 300 onions.

I now have tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, swiss chard, and peppers…all the rows have been weeded with the tiller.  Next week I will take care of the weeds closer to the plants.  Now I am getting excited about fresh vegetables that are sure to come.  With a good ‘POSITIVE ATTITUDE,” I am sure they will arrive.

Where am I going with this story?  With a leaky gas tank and all the other repairs that I have experienced the last three months, I could have let the NEGATIVE overpower the POSITIVE.  I could have just sat down and cried or stand up and do something.  I am just glad that every thing didn’t break at the same time.  I would have felt hopeless and probably just sat down and cried.  When the onions weren’t standing tall a few days after I planted them I could have been discouraged and straightened each of the 300 plants.  But, I kept a ‘POSITIVE ATTITUDE” and got my reward.

Life is filled with broken things and discouraging things happen more than we like.  We can sit and cry or stand and do something.

From the Wisdom Book:

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”  –John Wooden

“Challenges can be stepping-stones or stumbling blocks.  It’s just a matter of how you view them. –Unknown

“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but best, you very often get it.” –Somerset Maugham

I know the source of “KEEPING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.”  I can look to my past experiences and the times that I was lifted above difficulties and know that the Hand of God was always present.  It the time of need, He is always there.  I have learned that when I need encouragement it is time to give encouragement to others.  It is impossible to do that without being rewarded with a “POSITIVE ATTITUDE.”  So, have a nice day and give encouragement to someone in their time of need.



April 18, 2012

Rough Road Signs

A few weeks ago while traveling to Austin for our weekend Longhorn baseball adventure, I noticed this “ROUGH ROAD” sign on the side of the road.  This sign was located a few miles east of Huntsville on Highway 190.  I was westbound and on my return trip I forgot to check to see if the same sign was on the eastbound side of the highway.  Surely it is.  I have driven this route many, many times and this was the first time I had noticed the sign.  I have, however, noticed the highway from Jasper to Huntsville (about 100 miles) is indeed rough.  I don’t need a  sign to make that determination.  Since I first saw this sign I have been looking for an additional sign that will inform me when and if there are any plans to do something about the problem.  I am positive the highway department is aware of the condition of the road…well, maybe not positive, but whoever erected the sign is aware.

It’s really no big deal to me.  I will continue to drive the same road each time I travel to Austin.

This is another of my favorite signs.  “BE PREPARED TO STOP”….DUH!!!  It’s been a long time since I studied for my driving test, but I know the booklet must have included the instructions to always be prepared to stop.  I don’t know how many millions of miles I have driven, but with the drivers I see on the highway these days, I try to be prepared for almost anything.


The road we travel in this world is a ROUGH ROAD.  I don’t know when the highway department will take care of the rough roads, but I know God will smooth the road of life when we put our trust in Him.  Through our trust and faith in Him we are able to navigate the rough roads we face each day and know that we are in Good Hands.  The road may continue to be rough but as we overcome through Him, but we are strengthened by each and every bump.


April 12, 2012

I have been reading a few legal thrillers written by an attorney in Dallas.  My Kindle has come in handy.  When I read a good book and like the author, I can easily find other books written by him or her.  The first book I read takes place in Austin and I could really get into it because I knew many of the places in the story.  I could SEE the story as it takes place.  The next book was written about Galveston.  I am currently reading a story that takes place in Fredericksburg.

I came across an interesting fact while reading this book.  When traveling East toward Austin from Main Street, the street names are:












When traveling West from Main Street, the street names are:










Very interesting to me.  I thought the author was just taking liberties with the street names, so I checked the town map and discovered he was indeed correct.  I don’t know when the streets were named, but Fredericksburg was established by German immigrants on May 8, 1846.

Pam and I have made a few trips to Fredericksburg and always had a great time.  There are many things to see and do in this Central Texas town.  There are wineries, a wild flower farm, restaurants, and for the women….SHOPS.  If you haven’t visited, take time and see this part of Texas.


ALL WELCOME!  It’s great to find a town that all are welcome and also sends a message to come back.  That’s the way it is with God.  ALL are WELCOME to enter into a relationship with Him.  It is God who chooses us.  We only need to accept the invitation.  And there are times we let something come between us and God.  But the comforting part of this is He is always waiting with open arms for us to COME BACK.


April 9, 2012

The End of a Journey

Last May when Lyndsey returned to Austin from her years of travel across the country, this coffee table (chest) arrived from Kansas City.  The movers had not treated it very well.  It was broken pretty bad and looked like the end of an era.  It had traveled from Jasper to Austin, Florida, California, Austin, Kansas City, and back to Austin.  It began its life colored light pecan and pretty well natural pine.  Lyndsey decided to stain it ebony in KC and it looked good until the move back to Austin.  After she moved, I performed a little repair work on it, but in January we decided it need “A NEW BEGINNING.”  I had delivered the sleigh bed, so I loaded up the coffee table for a trip back to my shop.  The above picture shows the need for “A NEW BEGINNING.”

After one coat of paint stripper

After two coats of paint stripper

After sanding

After one coat of ebony dye

After two coats of dye and three coats of finish

Hand rubbing with mineral oil and rotten stone

A “New Beginning”

So, after a round trip from Austin to Jasper and back, the coffee table now matched the entertainment center and sleigh  bed as you can see from the pictures below.

Entertainment Center

Sleigh Bed

Pam and I left for Austin on Friday to visit Lyndsey for our Easter holiday.  That night we ate at a sidewalk cafe on Congress.  Great food.  We each ordered a “snack” and then shared.  I needed a little more so I order bacon and eggs (a little different from most places).

We went back to Lyndsey’s apartment to watch the last part of the Longhorn baseball game with the Texas Tech Red Raiders.  We started watching in the 7th inning and it lasted 14 innings, so we watched a lot of game.   The Longhorns lost in the bottom of the 14th inning.

I watched the baseball game on Saturday and later cooked chicken on the apartment grill.  It was quite an experience.  Cooking on a strange grill is always different and I had a few problems with getting the flame adjusted.  Every inch of the grill was covered with meat and a sudden flame-up had me flipping chicken until everything was under control.  Miraculously, it still tasted good.

Back to my story about “A New Beginning.”  There are a lot of things to do to give a piece of furniture a “New Beginning.”  All the old finish needs to be removed and begin again.  With building a piece of furniture, you only have to start out with the lumber and follow the plans until the lumber has “A New Beginning.”  Whether it’s a new piece of furniture or a refinished piece of furniture, it takes a lot of patience and work.  I’m not complaining….that’s what I love to do.

Easter was a time for “A New Beginning” for Jesus.  It was the day for His resurrection.  From the time He was betrayed by Judas until He was crucified on the Cross, He paid a terrible price for each of us.  Because of the pain and suffering He experienced, we may have “A New Beginning” any day of the week…not just on Easter.  Jesus made it easy for us.  He also made it very simple.  All we are required to do is accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  God will remove all the old stains and scars of our previous life and we will experience “A New Beginning.”


April 2, 2012




“Bastard Cabbage”

We drove to Austin Friday for another weekend of Longhorn Baseball.  We always look forward to the drive each spring and the Bluebonnets and other wild flowers along the way.  Central Texas is always beautiful this time of year.  We normally travel through College Station, but this year we opted to change our route through Brenham.  This is normally a more scenic drive and the roads and fields are covered with flowers.

We stopped in Brenham at “Must Be Heaven” for lunch.  They had a new item on the menu – “PBLT.”  Pam thought it might mean “Peanut Butter, Lettuce, and Tomato.”  But, substitute Peanut Butter for Pimento Cheese and that’s what I ate.  Very good!

We saw only a few Bluebonnets between Roans Prairie and Brenham, so we decided to wait to take some pictures after we left Brenham.  Still only a few wild flowers.  But, what we did notice was the shoulders and fields were covered with yellow flowers.  We finally decided these plants had choked out the wild flowers.

So, this morning I checked out what these yellow flowers were….”BASTARD CABBAGE.”  I like cabbage, but these were weeds.  Bastard Cabbage is a bad invasive plant.  When we first saw the fields covered with these yellow flowers, we thought what a nice wild flower they were.  They are not nice at all.  They are keeping the Bluebonnets and other wild flowers from showing their beauty all over Central Texas.

This plant originates from Eurasia, has been in the northern United States for some years, and has finally hit Texas and finds Central Texas conditions about perfect.  It is more invasive here than in other parts of the country.

Just as “Bastard Cabbage” invades the countryside and chokes out the beauty of nature, we can be attacked by the weeds of life.  If we let these weeds go unchecked, we lose the beauty within each of us.  That also affects the outward beauty.  Well, I don’t have any idea of how to control the invasive Bastard Cabbage.  I do know how to maintain both the inner and outer beauty that comes only from God.  We must fill ourselves with the Beauty of God….His Word.  Then we will be filled with His Peace and Beauty.  I saw a sign on a church Sunday afternoon that explains it.  ‘WE MAKE THE CHOICE AND  GOD MAKES THE CHANGE.”