Back in the early 90s, there was this phenomenon known as the infomercial. We’d never heard of the internet. The Oregon Trail had yet to be invented. Cell phones came in huge satchels that looked like briefcases, which made them problematic for people who carried briefcases, since why would one carry 2 briefcases? There were no influencers, because there was no real way to globally influence. Pagers were all the rage. So, how could we inform the masses that there was new stuff to buy? There were two basic ways. You could pay for an ad at the back of your favorite magazine (mine was Victoria because I would rather pretend to be a fine, distinguished lady than come to terms with 3 kids under 4 and a wardrobe made from puffy paint sweatshirts where you couldn’t tell what was paint and what was baby spit up) or you could pay for a 2 am television spot to sell your wares. And, that is how, one night way after the Knot’s Landing reruns had ended, I would up nursing a baby and meeting makeup artist Victoria Jackson in an infomercial about her too special to be sold in stores makeup line. All hail the birth of the MLM age. Guess what? I ordered the makeup. 6-8 weeks after they processed the paper check I mailed them, I received a faux tortoiseshell case of, what turned out to be, some really good makeup. Since that experience, I’ve chased that good MLM dragon for over 30 years, never having that pleasant interaction again, until recently. Abandoning my bad experiences with multi-line marketing tragedies like liquid vitamins, shopping clubs, fitness memberships, and even lipstick, I decided to give a certain skin care line a spin. I’m not naming the line. It gets a bad rap for being an MLM to begin with, but pretty consistent good reviews for quality. Instead of going in blind, as I did with the 1991 makeup line, I decided to actually use the google as a verb and do some research. And, now we dive into the topic at hand, the almighty bois d’arc tree. Because, who knew how life affirming a tree could be?
Columns & Editorials
Schools nationwide have been struggling with yet another problem mid-pandemic: A lack of substitute teachers. Texas has not been immune from this concern. According to a news story on the ABC 8 News website, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD needed 147 subs to cover teacher absences. They managed to secure 81. A principal for GCISG expressed sadness for the students and correctly stated, “It is the students who will pay the price” for the lack of staffing.
When you hear “estate planning,” what do you think of? For many people, these words evoke images of immense wealth. But estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy – it’s for everyone. And it’s about more than preserving wealth – it’s about putting you in control of your own legacy. But how can you achieve this worthy goal?
“God’s love is so big, almost nobody can explain it,” says Jamie, age 8. “It’s bigger than 999,999,999 gallons of chocolate milk. No one really knows how big his love is, but all I know is that he loves us no matter what.”
When I think about GOD creating all things out of nothing my mind is not able to understand that. I do know He did because we have the proof when Jesus fed over five thousand men plus their wives and children with two loaves of bread and a few small fishes. He did not have any materials at hand to make all that food. He just blessed what he had and multiplied it to feed those people. That tells us that we can never understand GOD’S power. If GOD did not love us like He does no one on earth could survive.
Dear Aunt B,
“I’m looking for a house/In the world/Where white shadows will not fall/There is no such house/Dark brother/ No such house/At all.” Some say Langston Hughes wrote this poem for the love of his life, and, at times, his muse, Elsie Roxborough. Some say this is a ridiculous notion, that Elsie certainly didn’t deserve to be immortalized in a poem. Some say she was a disgrace to all the races she represented over the years. Some say, if a person is of a number of races, why shouldn’t they reap the benefits of each one? Some say the benefits to anything come with the repercussions of everything. And, here I sit, writing in my kitchen, a cat in my lap and a poodle at my feet. Me, a middle-class white girl who grew up a lower class-ish white girl in a suburban Dallas town miles from anything important or cultural or awe-inspiring, who dares to decide to tell you the tale of a black aristocrat from Michigan who decided to pass for white, and occasionally, Hispanic. How dare I. But, I am free falling down a rabbit hole that, seemingly, has no bottom. And, you just have to know this story. Because, Elsie was something else. She burned both ends of a candle we call race. Somehow, she wound up with all wick and no wax. But first, let’s drop the Roxboroughs into history.
2021 was a year of major changes for Lori and I. We had decided to get out of the bustle of the big city that Forney has become and embrace a simpler life in the country. For months we focused on a four-county area to look for a new home: Kaufman, Rockwall, Collin and Hunt. Then one day Lori showed me a beautiful home that had come up on Realtor.com, on ten acres 2 miles north of Lone Oak, Texas. It had been on the market for a couple of months but we didn’t see it until the price had been reduced and it fell just outside the top of the budget range we had been searching in. The house was built in 1892 and was more than twice the size of our little house on Woodcrest in Forney, where we had lived for 38 years. A bonus was that it had a huge workshop and a barn on the property. We put in an offer and eventually closed on the property. We later found out the couple we bought it from had moved from Forney 12 years earlier. They had done a lot of improvements to the house and property since then.
We read in the paper that severe storms were coming in the north part of our country. It appears that this time the people were prepared for it and were okay when the storm came. I believe the storms coming are a good example of the storms Christians face almost daily. Jesus told his followers to look to GOD for protection when the storms come to us. More often than not we always try to protect ourselves without GOD’S help. I believe GOD is sometimes broken hearted at the things we try without going to Him with our troubles. In the fast paced life we live today I believe GOD is pleased when we go to Him in prayer and tell Him about our days living on this world. GOD has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us and protect us through this life.
Dear Aunt B Readers,
There is something I had never thought of when I am studying my Bible. When I study a part of my bible I can go back to that point of time in my mind. For example, if I study about Noah building the ark I can go back to that point of time. I can see a giant ark sitting on dry ground. I can see the lush green trees and green fields of grass and vegetables, and fruit trees everywhere. It had not rained on the earth at that time. The ground was watered when water came out of the ground and watered everything. People did not eat meat or animals at that time. It was after the flood that GOD told Noah that animals, birds and fish would be for food for the people as they spread over the earth.
Dear Aunt B,
IS AN OATH OF OFFICE JUST WORDS?
If you’re a certain age, you’ll need to withdraw money from some of your retirement accounts each year. But in 2022, the amount you must take out may be changing more than in other years – and that could affect your retirement income strategy.
“I would be normal, and if someone did something wrong, I would send him to the dungeon,” says Claire, age 6.