On our little farm in Lone Oak, Texas, we have cattle, a horse, ten chickens and a little Aussie-Pom dog named Toby. I’m just going to say it: Toby is a chicken chaser. He acts a lot more like an Aussie than a Pomeranian. However, our chickens, as you can imagine, don’t much like being chased. Our chicken coop is against the barn a good 200 yards in back of our house, and in between is the cow pasture. Lori and I have invested a great deal of time attaching rabbit fencing to the cow panels that surround our back yard. We have put up 200 feet so far and every time it seems like Toby won’t get out…he does. We only need to put up about fifty more feet and the entire back yard should be completely puppy proof.
Columns & Editorials
Two years into the pandemic and we have yet to find our footing. The call to “get back to normal” continues, but I think “normal” no longer exists nor will it ever exist again. But isn’t that a good thing? As we look back at “normal”, should we be eager to return to that place? Do we want to return to low expectations and low achievement? Let’s look at what “normal” was.
Watching a campfire flame flicker and dance can be mesmerizing or inspiring depending on the point of view of the watcher. Similarly, watching the actions of a teacher who is teaching a lesson to their class can also be mesmerizing and inspiring. The best teachers enthrall and enchant their students with the lesson being taught. Sometimes the material being covered doesn’t seem to invoke an enchanted response from the students in the class– just as often the most basic lesson catches a student so completely that the rest of the year goes easier for that student to the point that the learning becomes nearly effortless.
Dear Aunt B,
When you reach the appropriate age, it’s easy to apply for Social Security retirement benefits – just go to Social Security’s website and fill out the online form. But there’s another part of the application process that a surprising number of people ignore – the part that asks how much money, if any, you want withheld for federal taxes. And if you skip this section, you could face an unpleasant surprise when it’s tax-filing time.
Dear Aunt B,
Aesop was a storyteller in ancient Greece who lived over 500 years before the birth of Christ. He was also a slave, but because of his ability to learn and tell stories we now know him two and a half millennia later because he was a storyteller. His fables lived on through oral tradition and weren’t even written down until a couple of centuries after his death. By then, a lot of stories have creeped into the volume of his work and were attributed to him. A lot of Aesop’s fables, most of us have never heard. However, many told during our childhood have become part of us, stories like: The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Lion and the Mouse, The Fox and the Grapes.
It’s refreshing to see the increased interest in homeschooling. It is a great time for parents to trust their ability to ensure their children learn not only the academic content required by the state, but the moral, spiritual, social, and ethical standards that best suit their families. Homeschooling removes children from environments where parents have limited control and allows them to teach their children in an environment that they select and supervise. Given the conditions of many campuses and classrooms in our public schools, this can be a positive move for many families.
Now that spring break for Forney ISD is finished, the last part of the school year begins with time marching just a bit faster than perhaps students, teachers, and parents want. It is again a time of last “firsts” for students and parents– last first game, meet, theater opening night, band concert, state level event. But it is also time for many first “firsts” –first varsity start, first starring role, first solo performance. The teachers in Forney ISD also are working even harder to get all of their students ready for the end of year testing and utilizing the grants that were funded last fall by the Forney Education Foundation.
When you’re driving these days, it’s pretty hard to get lost because your smartphone’s Global Positioning System (GPS) can get you just about anywhere. And as an investor, you can have a similar experience by employing another directional tool – a personalized financial strategy.
It turns out that living in a 130-year-old house is a constant adventure. We are constantly finding things that we didn’t know were there. One thing for example, Lori was checking the filter in a return air grill that is no longer in use. When she pulled out the filter, she found a Brinkman Flashlight that still works. A couple of weeks ago she found a nice picture frame behind one of the wardrobes the previous owners had left behind.
Miracles are big business today. If you have any doubt, type the word “miracle” into your favorite online search engine.
Jesus said: There will be wars and rumors of wars that must come to pass before the end comes. Matt. 14:6.
Dear Aunt B,
Several years ago, a naïve me walked into the Kaufman County Courthouse and paid a licensing fee for a business name. I wanted to open a junk store. I wanted a bucket of rusty things for sale that sat so close to a stack of vintage doilies and those fabric calendars from the 50s that one would have to be careful of the orange hue you could pass along if you touched recklessly. I wanted antique books and faded velvet settees and antler sheds and old chiffon prom dresses and handmade candles and primitive corn husk dolls and creepy portraits of 19th century people I don’t know – all available for purchase to likeminded folks who understand what is lost when we lose interest in the making of the things. And, trust me, this world has lost interest in the making of the things. My husband was not a fan of this idea. He reminded me that I was the only person he knew that carted around creepy portraits and vintage dolls with crackling faces. So, reluctantly, I shifted the perspective of this “company” of mine to something more valuable… me. I would stage events with my collections. You could hire me to do your wedding or your baby shower – I collect vintage high-top baby shoes, too – or your commercial chalk art. Except, my idea of staging a wedding involves heavy furniture, U-Haul rentals, a makeshift flower shop, and my own manic brain that is prone to suddenly turn on a dime because I now see that we MUST have a mime performing, or a working 1890s carousel, or a French accordion player, or puppies instead of flower bouquets. I’m an enneagram 4 wing 5, after all. It’s all about emotions. I have beautiful ones, and I want to share them with the world. Actually, what this column is about today has nothing to do with my disturbed noggin. It’s that old company name of mine, still protected by the county for another 4 years. I was going to call my venture “Lost & Found.” My tag line: all good things must be lost in order to be found.