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    “No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that is in the right and keeps on a-comin’.” Captain Bill McDonald, Texas Ranger.

    My Photo
    Location: Texas

    Good guys wear white hats. And they never run out of bullets.

    Friday, December 30, 2005

    Long Line of Love

    Twenty years ago, I boarded a school bus. I had been naughty and was not allowed to drive. I felt ashamed. The bus was loaded with freshmen from the Junior High School once attended. At the very back was a cutie sitting with her boyfriend.

    I tried not to be rude. I didn’t want to insult the fella she was with. But could not help but sneak peeks at her. Every single time she was already looking at me. I had no idea what was in store.

    The next year we met. We dated on and off until I left town for college. After that we stayed apart. We each became parents. Then one day we rediscovered each other.

    Ten years ago today we submitted to each other in holy matrimony. I love her more now than I ever have. When I look at my folks and my grandparents I understand that I will love her even more in the coming days.

    Over the past ten years, we have had more than our fair share of troubles. Statistically speaking, we should have hung it up a long time ago. But there is something about us that doesn’t apply to those statistics. We truly love each other. So even though life is often cruel to us, we stick together. I actually think the rough stuff has made us stronger.

    One of the great American songwriters is Michael Martin Murphey. He sang a song called Long Line of Love. He was talking about folks like us. What he said sums up how I feel today.

    I Bought A Beautiful Diamond Ring

    I offered it to the Sweetest Thing I Know She Said She Would Take It.

    We Started Making Some Wedding Plans

    She Came To Me and She Took My Hand and said

    Are You Sure We Can Make It

    I Said My Grand dad's Still In Love with My Grandma

    I Said My Dad Still Thinks My Moms the Sweetest Thing He Ever Saw

    I Come From A Long Line of Love

    When the Times Get Hard, I Don't Give Up

    Forever Is In My Heart and In My Blood

    You See I Come From A Long Line of Love

    Well the Years went by and we had A Son

    Now He Thinks He Found Someone for Him

    They're planning A Wedding

    He Called Me up On the Phone Today

    Just To See What I Had To Say to Him

    Did I Think He Was Ready

    I Said What His Grandfather Used To Say To Me-Its Been Handed Down For Ages It

    Runs In Our Family

    You Come From A Long Line Of Love

    When The Times Get Hard, You Won't Give Up

    Forever Is In Your Heart and In Your Blood

    Son You Come From A Long Line of Love

    We Both Come From A Long Line of Love.

    I love my wife more than any thing I will ever love on Earth. I just strive and pray to be worthy of her. I don’t succeed at that much. So far that hasn’t bothered her. Even though my hiney grew big and my head grew bald, she still looks at me like I just walked on the school bus. God bless her and God bless the next ten years.

    Monday, December 26, 2005

    Just for Me

    Christmas was fantastic. I hope yours was too.

    I didn’t get the car. I don’t think I got a thing on my list. But, what I did get was better.

    I saw my Wife’s face light up when I gave her a present. My children were grateful and received their gifts with gratitude. I was reminded that my family is amazing. I enjoyed the chocolate cake that I was looking forward to.

    This is no ordinary chocolate cake. It is special.

    When I was a little boy, one of my grandfathers was a roughneck. He would stay at my house during the week because I lived in Odessa (where most of the oil wells were). When he came on Sunday evening, he would bring a chocolate cake baked just for me. My Grandma Gwen baked it for my personal enjoyment. She knew I loved that cake. I don’t doubt she thought about me when she made it.

    She passed away years ago. Now my Mama Dell (Grandmother) and Aunt Valda will make it. Mama Dell made it just for me this Christmas.

    This cake may not win any awards but it is my favorite. When she made it she was thinking of me. She wanted to make me happy. She did just that.

    It is one of those special blessings you have to take personally. It is the same sentiment I feel when Echo makes fresh tortillas. It is being called by name in a very special way.

    I love these blessings. Sometimes the blessing is cake or tortillas. Sometimes it is the West Texas sunset. Sometimes it is the cool wind from the Pacific blowing in my face while I stand on the Oregon coast. Some times it is a father and son walk with Alex down by the creek. Every time, it is a blessing given for my own personal enjoyment. I love the things that are just for me.

    From the creator of a cake to the Creator of Heaven and Earth, my personal enjoyment was considered. I like being remembered. I like being loved. I like the things that were made just for me.

    Just in case you wanted to know:

    Texas Sheet Cake

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • .
    • Chocolate Frosting:
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
    • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
    • 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup chopped Texas Burket pecans


    Grease a 13X9X2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

    In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup butter, 1/3 cup cocoa, and 1 cup of water.

    Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. With an electric hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat chocolate mixture into the dry mixture until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin). Pour batter into the prepared pan.

    Bake in a 350° oven about 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.

    Pour warm chocolate frosting over the warm cake, spreading evenly. Place cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly before cutting.
    Makes 24 servings.

    In a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup butter or margarine, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans.

    Friday, December 23, 2005

    Sparring : Huddie is pretty in pink

    There once was a man from think sink.
    Whose pictures are fun. Don't you think?
    His humorous ways
    make me laugh through my days.
    Now don't he look pretty in pink?

    Super Huddie, you are a comedic genius.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    My Chrismas wish List

    Echotig made Santa lists for herself and the children. I think I will play along. Some of these are normal and some are pretty fantastic.

    You can't go wrong with a bone in Ribeye.

    Double Chateau Fuente, not the fanciest cigar in the world. But definitlely my favorite.

    I am pleased to anounce that Stetson has resumed production of the Ruidoso, the finest hat I know.

    A Canon Rebel XT with a good lens. That will get me back in the game. 10 years away and I still have the shutter bug.

    CF Martin & Company, an American icon, I'd like one with a Texas flag top but I couldn't find the picture.

    Benelli 1873 .45 Colt Sporting Rifle and a classic Peacemaker. .45 ACP another American Icon.

    Auburn Boattail Speedster, if your going to dream then dream big.

    All of these things are spectacular. I would love to have any of them. What I really want is peace, quiet and a few kind words. I want a piece of chocolate cake. I want time with the family.

    I want some time alone with Echo. A few years back, I walked her out to a windmill, knelt in the soft soil and gave her a ring. She said yes. That was a really good Christmas.

    Monday, December 19, 2005

    It's in the way that you use it.

    Robin titled a post with a song title the other day. It stuck in my head. So I hope this does the same to her.

    Now we go to crux of the matter.

    I spent today with a sick son. Alex was home today with a stuffy head and an earache. He had mixed feelings about that. He says he likes skipping school. He doesn’t really mean it. He would rather be there. I drove Echo into work and of course he went too. I tried to keep him quiet. Being quiet is tough for him. I just listened a while.

    He talked himself mute. After the Benadryl set in, he nodded off. As I watched him sleep, I contemplated how quickly he is growing up. Soon we will be all out of sick days together. Soon we will simply be out of days. Yesterday I held him in my hands. Tomorrow he will be riding into the sunset. He dreams of wearing a little tan beret. He just might one day. And I won’t be able to take care of him anymore.

    So I will savor the moments. Parents don’t get much time. But I don’t think it takes more time. We have enough. It’s up to us to make the most of it.

    Friday, December 16, 2005

    A Little Dream

    It feels good to get away from the city. Confusion and depression drove me away. I’m moving down an old familiar highway. I pull over, get out and walk up to an H-post. As I lean, I’m careful not to snag my shirt on the barbed wire.

    There it is. I came to see this masterpiece. The sun slowly moves behind the earth. Red, yellow, orange, purple, green, pink and gold dance all over the sky. God is so good. I am so small. I’m so happy that He does this just for me.

    Well, I saw this fella walking up way off to the North. I guess we can load up and I can take him to Odessa. Man I’m halfway to Andrews. I can’t believe he made it this far in this heat. “Friend, you are out of your mind. It is too hot to be doing this. Where are you going at this hour.” “ I’m here to see you.”

    “Who are you?” “Don’t you want to know why I’m here first? I’m here to cheer you up. God sent me. He doesn’t like it when your down in the mouth.” “So you’re an angel?” “You aint a prophet.” “Are you some sort of spirit guide?” “You aint Quanah Parker either. I’m a character.” “You’re right about that!” “I come to your dreams to cheer you up.”

    He turns toward the sun. The glare lights up his brim. “Come on, we need to walk.” I turn forward to see where he is looking. The fence and the sunset have been replaced by a small town street. The thick dark branches of pecan trees give me shade. The road itself is quite ugly. Some places it is brick and others it is asphalt. We walk up the steps of that old white craftsman from my past. He opens the door. The house smells like fresh tortillas. Our stuff is laid out ready to pack. The boys drum the floors as they play. My baby girl is sleeping on a blanket on the floor.

    This doesn’t help at all. Why did he bring me here? All this does is make me homesick for simplicity.

    “Do you remember it all?” “What?” “Do you remember how depressed you were then?” “All my memories are good. I don’t remember being depressed.” “Hoss you were tied up in court and up to your neck in debt. You drove a car on its last leg. Your wife hated living here. You just found out Tiger is Autistic. And your job wasn’t working out.” “Yea, your right. So how is this supposed to cheer me up?” “Don’t you remember?” “Remember what?” “Exactly. You don’t remember because it wasn’t important. You made it through and you will make it through again. Your troubles are no match for your mettle. God has delivered you over and over. So get out of bed and go make a difference.”

    A little Ghost from Chritmas past.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    I have Arrived

    I have been honored with a membership to an ultra exclusive club. I started reading Beast7 before I even started my own blog. One of my goals was to make it on to his blogroll without asking. His comments have been rare in both senses of the word. He doesn’t comment much but it is really good when he does. Thanks Beast7.

    If you aren’t acquainted with Beast7 you ought to be. He is an American Warrior, a good political commentator and he has a unique perspective.

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Discipline: Ozzie part 3

    Sometimes you take immediate action. Sometimes you let it roll for a while. I’m talking about discipline. I’m talking about children. Sometimes they need a spanking. Other times they need a hug. Some times they need encouragement. Sometimes they need reproof.

    One morning I woke up in the old farm house. It isn’t there anymore. A tornado saw to that. I woke up late then walked up to the television. The line up was familiar to me: reruns of The Jeffersons and Alice. I just laid there on the couch watching junk television. I could here the lawn mower running outside of the window. I was hoping he would hurry up so we could go have some fun.

    After the programs were over he came in to find me on his couch and in my underwear. “What is wrong with you boy? It is twelve o’clock and you aint done a thing all day! I’m disappointed in you!” He walked out of the room and left me alone with my laziness. I don’t think I have felt that way since. I know I don’t want to. This was new to me. This was a whole new kind of spanking. He didn’t use a paddle, a belt or an open hand. He used my conscience. I’ve been spanked with many things but my conscience causes the most pain.

    When you grow up, you suddenly become thankful for the spankings. If you haven’t, you still need to grow up. The making of ladies and gentlemen from children is a tough business. It is often but not always fun. Children need to be directed. As my Grandfather, Ozzie had the God given duty to direct me. I don’t think he ever took that duty lightly. He was good at it. He seemed to handle this discipline with skill. I am so grateful for this moment. I never want to disappoint him.

    The day comes when nobody blows a bugle for you. You have to start on your own. If you don’t, the world will pass you by and you will just miss out.

    Time passed. The house was replaced. The boy in jeans was now seventeen years old with stuff in his hair. Snooks, my first cousin 3 times removed, was over. Snooks was a yellow dog democrat and I was far from that. I was spunky. I said, “Sir, I mean no disrespect but you don’t make any sense.” I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. After Snooks left we retired to snap peas. My grandfather told me, “Zeener, I’m proud of you. You were respectful and kept him laughin’ the whole time. “Now that’s the way you do it.” The words all sons and grandsons want to here: I’m proud of you.

    From discipline to encouragement, he has the bases covered. Now that’s the way you do it.

    The picture at the top is from my favorite artist, Kyle Polzin. It is titled "Granpa's Gear you can purchase this masterpeice at the Windberg Gallery.

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    Sam Johnson gets a BigWhiteHat Award

    I don't have the time to devote to a great post on this. That does not matter because my buddy Beast7 did a terrific job with a speech transcript. Please go read it when your done here.

    I’m breaking my own rules here. I’m giving away my location and going political. Don’t get used to it.

    My congressman is Sam Johnson. He is a war hero and former POW. When John McCain is casting his honor to the wind, his former cell mate Sam Johnson is showing us what a real hero is made of. Too many former heros like Murtha and Kerry are selling their souls and selling out our warriors. Sam Johnson shows real support for our armed forces. Hats off and high in the air for a true Texan.

    Wednesday, December 07, 2005


    Never forget that brave men fought so we could live free.

    Monday, December 05, 2005

    What about Santa?

    Cheryl recently posed a question on her blog. She asked, “If I spilled the beans about Santa, would that make me a bad parent?? What fantastic subject matter!

    When I was a young parent I really had to give this careful consideration. Early on as a young know it all parent, I felt that fantasy was not a good thing. I didn’t want to tell my children that Santa was real then change later. I felt this gave me a credibility problem when it came to teaching that God is real.

    My mother prolonged the fantasy for as long as it could last. I caught my parents when I was 7 but kept up the charade until they wouldn’t buy it anymore. So I guess we all put on an act for years. And, why not? It was fun.

    So my parents think fantasy is important for children. They feel not having the fantasy is bad for the kids. I typically follow their example. But this is a little different. Starting with Alex we gradually let the children know more about the legend and where it came from. I think Alex still enjoys the fantasy knowing that it is fantasy. Zoe thinks Santa is absolutely real. Tiger doesn’t talk so we don’t have any idea what he thinks. This is all just fine with me.

    Over the years, God sees fit to impart wisdom right across my hiney. It hurts but, I do get a little smarter as we go. A few of these spankings have led me to get closer to Santa. I teach my children about Nicolas of Antioch and the legendary Santa too. You see I completely believe in the reality of Santa Claus.

    Santa may not actually fly in a sleigh but, he works overtime to afford a Rapunzell Barbie that cost too much and gets abused. Santa helps his children get the grandchildren gifts that young parents can’t afford. Santa stocks the shelves amid the madness. Santa puts together toys and clothes for poor children all over a small West Texas town. Santa sends truckloads of presents to children in the Rio Grande Valley Colonias who are experiencing their first American Christmas. Santa sends shoe box presents to Turkish children who lost their whole world in an earthquake. From my perspective, Santa does a good job.

    Santa doesn’t ask for a thank you. He does his magic and skips out of town faster than the lone ranger. Santa is the purest giver. He gives never expecting gratitude.

    Do I believe in Santa Clause? I don’t just believe. I happen to know him personally.

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    Heirlooms: Ozzie part 2

    It is strange. The details of life are often profound. Little things that many seldom notice can symbolize so much. My grand father stands here on the beach in San Diego a few weeks before departing for the South Pacific. He is wearing stacy adams shoes and a grey piped Stetson. That same Stetson topped his head for years. It became a symbol of great value to me.

    To him a grey piped Stetson was simply a good looking hat. To me that hat symbolizes what is good and right in a man. It means telling the truth. It means treating people right. It means stepping up and doing the right thing even when that is hard to do.

    There are so many times that this man stopped me and made me listen. Sometimes we would walk around the farm with cold guns just to make me listen. Sometimes we would drive away together just to make me listen. He has a knack for getting me alone and encouraging me to do the right thing. He has a talent for cutting away the distractions and concentrating on what really matters. He has the ability to remind me that I am accountable to my God and my conscience. He has me all figured out.

    I seriously doubt that he even remembers the moments that have made a difference. I doubt he associates golf balls, cane poles and shotgun shells with profound turning points in my life. But I do. These are the symbols of the times when his encouragement helped make me who I am.

    Do you treasure your heirlooms? I know I do.