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Seven years in transit(ion)

Today is the seventh anniversary of surrendering to an unanticipated call on my life – that of selling off most everything, packing what was left into the back of the truck and leaving what had become my home… for?

That was the question. I really didn’t know to what or where I was beckoned but I was certain that it was necessary to be obedient to God’s prompting. For anyone who thinks it’s a relatively simple operation to pull up roots and drop your life in the Lord’s hands, turning you at will, His will, to travel where you’ve been invited to minister, the short answer is: it isn’t.

By A. Dru Kristenev - Sunday, September 10, 2017 - Full Story

A Host of Golden Daffodils

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees.
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

By Wes Porter - Saturday, September 9, 2017 - Full Story

The Dunleithians

The word “boondocks” describes most Mississippi Delta locations, especially Dunleith, where I grew up. Its remoteness provided an ideal environment for a secret society known as the Dunleithians.

To attain membership in this exclusively male warrior cult, boys must complete several grueling requirements. First, they had to read The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn and pass an oral examination administered by the club’s elders, all fifteen to eighteen years of age.

By Jimmy Reed - Thursday, September 7, 2017 - Full Story

Fear, chaos and the kindness of strangers in the eye of Hurricane Harvey

First published on ConservativeWoman:
We’d booked a trip to see the solar eclipse in Nashville. My husband worked there many years ago and wanted to show me around. We thought it was a good idea to follow this with a short break in Galveston, Texas.

After two lovely days there I woke in the early hours of Friday, August 25. Staring out of our hotel window, I saw Hurricane Harvey bending palm trees and churning the sea right past the shoreline. We had decided the night before to pay heed to the voluntary evacuation notices and risk driving to Houston International Airport before the storm got any worse. I naively thought we would be able to catch our flight out the next afternoon. The next 48 hours were a lesson in patience and compassion.

By Karen Harradine - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - Full Story


Are ‘bulbs’ actually bulbs? Not always, although it is accepted parlance in the gardening world to call any root storage organ such. Actually, there are ‘true’ bulbs such as daffodils and tulips, corms like crocus, tubers as with dahlias, and rhizomes such as canna. Some are just plain confusing—iris, for example, depending on species, may arise from bulbs or rhizomes. And as a matter of interest, if you’ve eaten onion or potato this week, you’ve consumed a bulb and a tuber. Sprinkled turmeric in curry and that’s rhizome while taro comes from a corm—which is also what a banana plant grows from

By Wes Porter - Saturday, September 2, 2017 - Full Story

Peggy Pokechop

My boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird always kept a housecat or two, especially master mousers, and was never without a pack of hunting hounds, but above all he preferred the company of an animal that is ranked just below humans in intelligence: the pig.

Over the years Jaybird befriended a slew of swine, including such notables as Hortense Hamhocks, Clarabelle Chitlins, Teresa Tenderloin, and Ophelia Oink, but the pig he loved above all others was Peggy Pokechop.

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - Full Story


Way out in the farthest, least populated back reaches of the Mississippi Delta, rows of wrecked automobiles, engines, transmissions, and tires crisscrossed a huge junkyard owned by four brothers.

Everybody in the Delta knew where the junkyard was, and referred to its owners, not by name, but as the Neanderthals. Antisocial, they seemed to have no use for females, who were terrified of them (as were no small number of men), not to mention children, for whom they were the source of screaming nightmares.

By Jimmy Reed - Friday, August 18, 2017 - Full Story

Education Created and Promoted Progressivism, ANTIFA, and BLM

As a parent who struggles to pay the tuition for their child at the average university in America, or goes into debt borrowing the money, consider what your child must face in order to finish a four years of college education, which may or may not help them get a job.

The American campus is no longer the place of learning, to discuss and exchange ideas, it has become a place of indoctrination, of fear, a place where your children are further indoctrinated, and are not prepared to deal with or function in real life and in the job world.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - Full Story

Why durian is the smelly ‘king of fruits’ (video)

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2017 — Durian is known as the king of fruits in Southeast Asia, but it’s also banned from many public spaces due to its powerful odor. This week’s Reactions video explains the unique chemistry behind durian, and features fellow YouTubers from PBS Digital Studios reacting to this stinky delicacy as they try it for the first time:


By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - Full Story

Dyslexia, My Gift

I wrote this column to encourage others with dyslexia.  The layout is simple.  The paragraphs without parenthesis are my original words.  The paragraphs with parenthesis are my editor’s corrections.  Please share with others who struggle with dyslexia!

Growing up I didn’t know I had dyslexia.  I couldn’t read until I was in the third grade.  I’ve struggled my entire life to comprehend what I’m reading, to spell words properly, to understand the meanings of words and enunciate them.  Having to go back and read something three, four, five or more times is frustrating.  Especially when I still don’t understand it.  Now, if I hear something I don’t have the same struggles.

(For some kids, school always came easy. Reading, and even writing, seemed to be second nature to them. But in my case, school was a constant struggle. I couldn’t read until I was in third grade. I struggled to comprehend what I read, to properly spell words, to understand the meanings of words, and to enunciate them. Reading something three, four, five or more times was frustrating—especially when I still didn’t understand it. I dreaded tests. In fact, I hated them. My palms would sweat and my stomach hurt. To this day, I still hate the thought of taking a test.)

By Nathan Tabor - Monday, August 14, 2017 - Full Story

Grant Hall and the Fate of Eight Conspirators

Grant Hall is located on the green and perfectly manicured grounds of Ft. McNair, near the banks of the Anacostia River and the Washington Channel of the Potomac River.

Building 20, Grant Hall, was part of the Federal Penitentiary that was built on this site in 1829. It was designed by Charles Bulfinch, the same architect who designed the Capitol. In 1831, a women’s ward was added to accommodate female prisoners. The Old Penitentiary was built on the Arsenal Grounds, formerly enclosed by a high brick wall.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - Full Story

Natural preservatives on the rise

Beginning this year, Oscar Mayer stopped adding artificial preservatives to their hot dogs. Taking their place is celery juice, a natural source of the preservative sodium nitrite. This week Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, examines the trend toward “clean labels” and natural preservatives, and the efforts to incorporate them without sacrificing the quality or shelf-life consumers have come to expect.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - Full Story

Cookin’ And Eatin’ Crawdads

When my three daughters invited me to eat crawdads with them, I was thrilled — nothing boosts my ego more than being seen in public with my pulchritudinous progeny. After devouring a huge pile of the succulent crustaceans, we bid good evening to each other, and I strolled homeward, reflecting on how blessed I was to be loved by those girls.

I also thought about the first time I ate crawdads. My boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird invited me to join him for an afternoon of fishing at a creek near my father’s Mississippi Delta farm. As we walked down a railroad track toward the stream, I was carrying a can of night crawlers, dug from his compost heap, and he was toting a black pot, a few bricks, a box of salt, and several bags of spices.

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - Full Story

Three old dudes go out with a bang - while Unforgettable and Arthur blow up in their own faces

A remake of an old comedy and two movies I hope are never remade are on tap for this week’s Blu-Ray releases. “Going in Style,” “Unforgettable” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” come from Warner Brothers (“Going in Style” is being released this week, while the other two appear to have escaped, rather than been released).

Let’s tackle the old dudes first, since it’s easy for me to identify with such seasoned folks. This new 2017 version stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin in the roles first occupied by George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. I never saw that first film but, since Hollywood seems to have difficulty remaking a successful film these days without adding left wing dogma, I went into this one anticipating very little worth recommending. But I was surprised.

Oh, I get the politically correct stuff here, in that these three musty steers are at their financial wits’ end and are being screwed royally by a big bank, and I understand how rewarding it could be to stick it to the Man in such a way as the guys here do.

Mulling over the aromas of wine

A fine wine has an ideal balance of ingredients. Too much or too little of a component could mean the difference between a wine with a sweet and fruity aroma and one that smells like wet newspaper. To help wineries avoid off-aromas, a team reports in ACS Sensors a sensitive device for detecting a compound that can affect the beverage’s fragrance.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, August 4, 2017 - Full Story

Some As Grace; Some As Mercy

For my stepdaughter Jennifer and me, a stroll around town on Sunday mornings was a big event. Often she would spot coins, give them to me for safekeeping, and race ahead, pigtails swishing, searching the sidewalk.

Before heading for church, we always plopped down on padded benches in front of a café, I to enjoy coffee; she, a soda.

On one of those mornings I challenged her to a little game: “Jennifer, if you find enough coins to make a dollar before we sit on this bench next Sunday, I will double it.”

By Jimmy Reed - Monday, July 31, 2017 - Full Story

American Civil War Museum and Historic Tredegar

Nestled on the bank of the James River in Richmond, Virginia, near the American Civil War Museum, the Tredegar Iron Works began operating in 1837. The name Tredegar honored engineers Rhys Davies and his crew who were recruited from the Tredegar Mills in Wales. The proximity to railroads and canal boats made this location ideal.

On this very hot and lazy Saturday afternoon, with temperatures upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, locals were sunbathing on the beach nearby.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Friday, July 28, 2017 - Full Story

Ghost in the Shell a surprisingly watchable sci-fi Blu-ray disc

It may have started life as a Japanese comic book, but Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell is a compelling and eye-dazzling adventure that’s much better than I had expected going in.

The movie, debuting on 4K and conventional Blu-ray (our sample was the Blu-ray, darn it, which comes with a DVD and digital code in the package as well - and a 3D version is available, too) hearkens more than a little to Blade Runner, in its look and overall storyline, but more in an "inspired by" or "homage" manner than being a complete rip-off.  It made me curious to see how the Blade Runner sequel will turn out when it debuts later this year.

Speaking of a not-too-distant future, Ghost in the Shell is set in just such an environment. Look at the streets, with their obtrusive (but perfectly logical given the way our society is going) holographic ads all over the place - and the abundance of neon and other signage, and it looks exactly like a 21st century take on the 21st century envisioned by Ridley Scott and his collaborators back in the 1982 Blade Runner (though I don’t remember seeing flying cars in "Ghost"). There’s less rain in this vision of the future, it seems, but that’s okay because perhaps it means the seas didn’t really rise after the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate accord.

The Revolution of Vatican II was Misinterpreted?

It is often voiced by conservatives disheartened by the changes in the Catholic Church that Vatican II was a good council, but that it was misinterpreted. If these good people were better informed as to what took place at the Council, they would never say any such thing. Though Vatican II started with the best resolves, it was hijacked in the opening session by rebel bishops because the pope had planned the Council without their advice and against their designs.

We gather that Cardinal Tisserant, the key draftsman of the 1962 Moscow-Vatican Treaty who presided at the opening session, was part of this plot to usurp the Vatican Council. According to Jean Guitton, the famous French academic, Tisserant had showed him a painting of himself and six others, and told him, “This picture is historic, or rather, symbolic. It shows the meeting we had before the opening of the Council when we decided to block the first session by refusing to accept the tyrannical rules laid down by John XXIII.” (Vatican II in the Dock, 2003)

By David Martin - Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - Full Story

Good mood food: A fresh start

On Sunday at the British Open golf tournament, Jordan Spieth had one of the worst front nine of golf ever by someone leading the tournament. He eventually lost his two-stroke lead to Matt Kuchar, and many golf observers had to concede that Jordan didn’t have it that day, and would probably lose the tournament.

Hole number 13 was an even bigger disaster for Spieth, and even he expected to shoot a double bogey or worse. He managed to shoot an unlikely bogey.

By Herman Cain - Monday, July 24, 2017 - Full Story