Showing posts from November, 2023

"Counting Life's Blessings"

One of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house was eating all my favorites at the kid’s table on the porch that was situated just off her kitchen. It was a sufficiently spacious, heated, and multi-purpose area for storage, washing clothes, and of course, served as the back entry point into the house. Kids could be as loud and rowdy as they wanted without disturbing the adults gathered in the dining room! Thanksgiving at Aunt Brenda's After eating, and when the dining table had been cleared, grandma would gather back at the main table to sit with family members (generally, females who were recovering from the clean up!). It was a time to snack on grapes from the fruit bowl and chat about many things. Most subjects were “above my pay grade” as a kid! But one topic for discussion gave me much delight and interest. It was the rehearsing how God had blessed us over the past year. Everyone could participate in this time of sharing! I have been doing some reflectin

The Mighty Saguaro!

Arizona is home to the Mighty Saguaro Cactus. I enjoyed their splendor in the Saguaro National Park of Tucson. I’ve also seen thousands of giant saguaros dotting the landscape of the Sonoran Desert while driving Interstate 8 along the southern border of the state. It is only appropriate that the Grand Canyon State should designate the Cactus Wren as their state bird and make the Saguaro Cactus Flower the state flower. Arizonans are immensely proud of their cacti heritage! Credit: There are several reasons why the saguaro cactus is so admired. It is stately in size and stands as the tallest cactus in the United States. Although it may take ten years to grow one inch, the average height for a saguaro is over forty feet. Biologists say they only begin to spread their branches or iconic arms after 95 to 100 years and this variety of cacti are not even considered mature until after 125 years! Further, the waxy and thick outer skin of the saguaros protects them from excessi

Predator on the Prowl!

Many of us are fascinated with roadrunners. They are an entertaining species of the cuckoo family of birds. I have seen them in New Mexico and Texas. Of course, my first encounter was on television during the Saturday morning cartoons of my childhood. Who could forget all the ridiculously funny exploits and repeatedly failed attempts of Wile E. Coyote to capture Road Runner? These Loony Tunes cartoon characters were created by Chuck Jones for Warner Brothers in 1949. I can still hear Road Runners’ signature and irritating car horn sound tormenting Coyote with a rapid-fire “Beep! Beep!” as he speeds away in each episode! On the Prowl in Texas! A roadrunner is capable of limited flight. I have seen these birds in action and to me it looks more like a leap or hop than actual flying though. Most of their movement is usually on the ground running where they can scoot along at speeds of 15-20 mph. Their food source includes insects, lizards, snakes, and small mammals. Using their pointed bea

"You're Excused!"

“You have been summoned.” Many of us would feel a little unsettled to receive such a notice! That’s what Monique felt recently when she received her juror questionnaire. She wondered immediately, “How did they get my name?” Without doing my homework, I quickly answered, “From your voter registration.” That would end up being a partial answer. In Illinois, potential jurors are randomly selected from a master list of those holding a voter registration card, a driver’s license, or an ID card. When jurors have been qualified by the jury commissioners, then they are randomly selected to receive a juror summons. Image: iStock Credit: bubaone Monique did everything she could to explain her situation on the initial questionnaire she received. She mentioned that she is a regular (and to listen to her principal, an indispensable!) substitute teacher, unfamiliar with the Sangamon Court House complex, and that she gets a little anxious in new settings. Evidently, the jury commissio