• Why Did Jesus Have to Die…
    We are walking through Hebrews at church and this week’s teaching on chapter 2 brought up a question that had me wrestling for an answer. “…we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace...
  • God’s Good Morning…
    No-one says “Good Morning” quite like God. Those mornings when the sky is in perfect cloudy-mode forming a filter that flings a ribbon of dawn colour across the wooded horizon that borders Rigsby Lane. The sun hasn’t quite come up, it will do so a little later, so I’m accompanied by a rosy veil reaching...
  • Tiny Bits of Soap…
    Yes, I still use a bar of soap. Liquid soap, in the shower, just doesn’t cut it…I’ve still not moved on to sponges or other soft, scrubby things that swish over my body creating lots of bubbles and soapy foam. I’m quite content with old fashioned, hard soap! My preferred brand is Yardley, particularly Lavender....
  • Dirt Road Flowers, Natives & No Sprinkler Systems…
    A year ago when we had our bridge re-worked on the lane, the charming drive down the hill, overhung with tree branches, hugged by tightly meshed undergrowth and brightened with the wildest and hardiest of flowers, was completely laid waste. I wondered if it would ever grow back? For a year it remained depleted.  Nothing...
  • Chilling Horses…
    I never thought of horses lying down. When they’re grazing in a field they’re standing up, heads down munching happily, moving from place to place…all day! Of course they’re non ruminant so they don’t clump together on the grass, legs tucked beneath them, chewing the cud and shooting the breeze like the cows and bulls...
  • Henny & Boys…
    All creatures great and small grow up too fast. And I’m not only talking about my two grand-daughters. My neighbour’s dogs, whom I give biscuits to as I’m passing, have been such a source of joy for me. Who can resist these two little bundles of fur with their big sister, Henny, entrusted to, “Train...
  • Trip to Bentonville…
    I had a rare weekend off, it was Hubs’ birthday, so I took him on a trip. When Daughts heard where we were going she said, “Ooh, can you bring us home some Hibiscus Cider from Black Apple Brewery?” “Sure,” we said. I’d read the small city we were going to was a hidden gem,...
  • Barn Work…
    During this summer we have done a lot of work on our Barndominium to get it ready to accommodate a responsible couple who will appreciate the beauty of rural living. One of the first things Hubs tackled was the repairing of a leak at the top of the hot water heater which entailed him having...
  • Aggro…
    One evening we heard the familiar yowl of a cat inviting someone for a wrestling match, or a game of chase or a bit of TLC from his favourite human. We ignored it until it turned nasty and then Hubs whistled loudly. The fracas stopped and then almost immediately started up again. We headed out...
  • Cardiac Centre of Texas…
    I decided to make this summer count instead of simply melting . I’ve already written about the crowns and implant I had done at my favourite dentist. The next port of call was to the Cardiac Centre of Texas where I met the most delightful doctor, clad in full Muslim attire with a mask so...
  • Oregano; Pure Deliciousness…
    Whenever I go outside to harvest, be it lettuce or arugula, flowers or tomatoes, mint or oregano, the cats wait for me on the porch mewing loudly, knowing that whatever I’m doing, it’s for them! They pounce when I set foot inside the screen door and follow hard on my heels to the kitchen where...
  • Baby Goats…
    At the end of a busy day at the winery my favourite place to go is up to the barn to see the baby goats. There they were all huddled against the indoor pen stretching their necks to get to the hay, that to their minds appeared ‘greener’,  on the other side. For goodness sake,...
  • Crowns and Post…
    For the last couple of years I’ve been tolerating hot/cold sensations in two of my upper molars, “A couple of small cracks,” my dentist said, “I’ll re-fill those for you…just tell me when.” I mean, who voluntarily goes to a dentist to fix something that Sensodyne toothpaste manages quite well? “You can leave them,” he...
  • A Meditation on Twinkle-Let-Toe’s Birthday…
    Our landline back in the day would announce the caller, at least the ones we had programmed into the menu. I typed in Twinkletoes for our oldest daughter, a nickname from her very early days as the first girl child after two boys. The automated caller I.D. would pronounce the names phonetically and the house...
  • A Sophie Sparrow Day…
    Spending time with my toddler grand-daughter Sophie, is always a treat. Hubs and I had fun for hours with her just last week while her parents went off to work a venue that made it difficult to have this very gregarious, bird trainer-in-training, stay in one place without getting distracted by other children and her...
  • Tucker & Tites…
    Daughts and her Hubs have an adorable dog called Titan. He’s a miniature schnauzer and very obedient. In fact he’s the best dog in the world. He now has a buddy who is a year old and if Tites is a miniature schnauzer, Tucker is a Toy. They were allowed to come over to our...
  • Daughts’ Daughts…
    Daughts is a Mum! Congratulations. There’s nothing more amazing in  life than your girl – child giving birth to her first baby which is a girl – child too. She’s a natural, not at all uptight. During her pregnancy she finished both her college semesters with A’s. Took her final when her brand new baby girl...
  • Early Walks…
    Early in the morning is the only time to walk during the summer here in our little town of Weston, North of Dallas, Texas. Yes, the word Texas conjures up oil fields, vast lands stretching to the horizon, cattle, horses and rodeos, cowboys, dust and, at this time of year, shimmering roads and interminable heat...
  • The Mower and My Cats…
    All my cats dislike the sound of the lawn mower.  They don’t mind if it’s far away down the field but when Hubs mows around the house, it gets too close for comfort. I don’t know where Callie goes, probably on the top shelf of my closet but I found evidence of Shad’s and Madge’s...
  • Rolling Cash…
    With the rainy season in full swing the stables at Grandalia Bend Farms on the corner of Weston Road and Rigsby Lane are perilous. As a two footed human I slip and slide in the clay-ey ruts and puddles, which reach my ankles and spill over into my short wellies…I must remember to wear my...
  • Caudalie Crest…
    I work most weekends at a winery just down the road. With all the rain we’ve been having this year there have been times when my shift has been very easy…after cleaning and stocking up the wine, finding more nooks and crannies to swipe my duster across, walking to the barn to check the bathroom...
  • Callie Frolics…
    Callie our calico cat turned 9 on May 8th. Compared to the 4 year old boys she’s an old lady, and she does spend most of her day sleeping in her comfy nest in the pretty little bedroom chair she adopted the minute it came in the house. So beloved did it become that we...
  • Remembering Churchill…
    There is a new book out by Erik Larson that chronicles the war years of Winston Churchill, The Splendid and the Vile. In it Larson shows how Churchill taught the British people ‘the art of being fearless.’ In Churchill’s words, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” As an optimist I wanted to know...
  • Something Rotten at Footlights…
    There was a smell in my bedroom. The weather had been wet, the windows closed, the heat on and I put it down to damp wood, or dusty corners; cat fur or lingering cooking smells; laundry or standing gutter water. Then it turned into an off kind of scent, touching on the acrid. I recognised...
  • My Concealer is my Mask…
    This masking up has become a habit. Fourteen months ago all I could do was complain… “I can’t breathe.” “No-one can see my happy smile.” “My skin feels so dry.” “My lipstick just gets blotted off.” “My glasses keep fogging up.” …were just some of my daily grumblings. A friend of mine in England made...
  • A Horse of Course 2…
    How did I become a horse person almost overnight? Here I am researching behaviours, best cleaning methods, bathing pros and cons even innate habits that may or may not be reasons why a horse behaves in a particular way. I’ve just gone horse crazy! My son and his wife own WTTW, a non profit, educational...
  • Babysitting Sophie…
    We were asked to babysit Sophie Sparrow for the first time ever.  She is 18 months old and goes everywhere with Mum and Dad. “The party this Saturday says ‘no children’ could you come and watch her and put her to bed?” Of course we said, “Of course!” We thought they’d never ask! So off...
  • Life Happens…Or Not…
    At Footlights there’s never a dull moment. We’re always mowing, pulling up thistle, dragging brambles out of trees, identifying birdsong, burning brush, building something be it a porch or a bower, digging beds, or simply putting up a pool for the summer. I was returning from the stable on Wednesday and saw a couple of...
  • Easter Sunday…
    This time of year, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday, is my most favourite season of the liturgical church. Six weeks of spiritual preparation; setting aside time to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice, his life, suffering, death, burial and resurrection. In the shops of course it is secular, with the baskets and the...
  • A Horse of Course…
    I think I’ve achieved what I wanted to when I approached the owner of Grandalia Bend Farms on Rigsby Lane to ask if I could help around her horse barn. I’d always dreamed that one day a horse would whinny at me and come over  to be petted.  I wanted to be as comfortable around...
  • Baby Shower Time…
    On Sunday Hubs and I threw a baby shower for Olivia Grace, due April 26th. Daughts and her Hubs attended with her since she’s in vitro for five more weeks. However, thanks to a sonogram we already know what she looks like, which is quite ethereal, or more precisely, 5D! I had plenty of time...
  • Day Four of Winter Weather…
    By now we were were on a roll. It was day four of winter weather and the temperatures were still dropping; not an above teens forecast in sight. I still walked, it was fun to tramp around on crunchy snow in my wellies. Our front forty was looking quite desolate, the sky absolutely matching the...
  • The Thaw…
    After several days of freezing temperatures the mercury slowly began to rise reversing the snowy-spell that had be-fallen much of the south. At Footlights I noticed my holly bush had caught drops of water from the roof and they’d turned into icicles to adorn the evergreen. As the day moved on and crept to 33º...
  • Winter Weather-the Following Days…
    Daughts and her Hubs suffered from power outages and frozen pipes for the first three days of the winter storm. Fortunately they have a fireplace and plenty of wood… and an axe which he’d borrowed from his brother the week before to try out the handle before carving himself a custom one for his axe...
  • Ash Wednesday…
    Well, I caught Magic suitably marked, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,” on this first day of Lent. I suspect he snagged a few moments in the fire-place while I wasn’t looking! He made me smile!
  • The Polar Vortex Hits Footlights…
    It had been cold for a few weeks…in fact the horses were having a break from me because it was rainy, muddy and downright miserable.  Their water had to be broken into, their grass was dead and they were wearing blankets and coats.  The air was filled with their breath and the tears from their...
  • Closing Churches…
    I just want to say that the closure of churches during the pandemic has worn very thin. I drafted a letter to the power(s) that be in my part of the world and was answered immediately with these few words, “Churches are re-opening this weekend.” Which they ended up not doing because we were hit...
  • Mesmerising Candles…
    At rural boarding school when the power went out (regularly in the winter as different unions went on strike for better working conditions or higher wages) it was an inconvenience. The house I lived in was a large, stately home with hundreds-or so it seemed to me-of rooms and a maze of narrow, dark corridors....
  • Perspective and Life…
    It wasn’t until I watched Call the Midwife that I realized the National Health (NHS), a social service that has been a part of my life since I can remember, was still dealing with teething problems when I was born. It was brand new for my parents. My grandparents had raised their children without it....
  • A Flurry of Snow…
    I’m always happy when it snows. The ground looks bright, dazzling even. A down comforter slung over Footlights concealing mud ruts in the driveway and beaten tracks through the open fields. Red berries clustered among the junipers could be directional markers if I had noticed them before the snow. Pure. I’m reminded of Revelation 7:14,...
  • Horse Spook…
    I’ve been grooming and bathing horses for a year now and this one was in desperate need of a good rub-a-dub scrub. While I enjoy my new skill there have been a few times when the horse I’ve been washing has ‘sat-back’ and I’ve stepped aside to watch the situation abate. No-one wants to be...
  • The Invisible Power of Prayer…
    Each morning when I write my journal I address it to God. It’s a stream of consciousness effort, limited to one page of my ruled exercise book and always ends with the same set of words, a mantra of sorts: “I love you above all things, keep me always safe and close to you.  Thank...
  • Happy, Happy Birthday Daughts…
    I don’t know about you Daughts, but on December 31st I always ask myself the same question, “Where did the year go?” I flip through my diaries and make a note of the highlights just to prove to myself that I didn’t spend it being a couch potato or hanging out a tad too long...
  • Another Way to Pray…
    Prayers: For most of us they are cries for help. World-wide. Just look at the prayer lists in any given church, upwards of 40 or more people each prayed for, probably on a daily basis, by loved ones, prayer-chains and whole religious communities, wanting God to fix things! Our liturgical service gives over a whole...
  • No Guilt Attached…
    Cats are nappers.  My two boys sleep most of the day and I would even venture to say, they are Masters of Repose. No matter how comfortable I think I am in my warm, soft and cozy bed, lounging with Hubs, sipping my coffee, chatting and enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning, I look in on...
  • A Barn Raising…
    Our bird keeping son, Simon, bought a barn. It came in a kit with everything included –  rather like an IKEA delivery only with more technical instructions – I couldn’t make head nor tail of the blueprints, I didn’t need to because I wasn’t the one putting it together. Hubs and I, looking for any...
  • Black Friday…Stay Home…
    Just thought this pretty tactless flyer that plopped into my mailbox today warranted a comment. Touting Black Friday, …which is going to be different this year with the CDC recommending us to refrain from large gatherings… it was a simple mailer bursting with discounts… Before the Friday after Thanksgiving became the traditional day when red...
  • Dark Night of the Soul…
    I absolutely do not wish to compare myself to the great Spanish Mystic,  St John of the Cross. A Carmelite friar and priest (1542-1591). No way me!  But I do every so often refer to my awakenings, in the middle of the night full of despair and dread, as my dark nights of the soul....
  • Hubs’ Field…My Field…
    For me, the epitome of an English garden is one that looks tangly and wild… those lovely little cottage gardens, over-run with wisteria and clambering roses, bursting with colour and alive with bees busying themselves among the blooms. My mother’s was manicured, no unchecked vines or trailing geraniums allowed. Her lawn neatly dotted with coloured...
  • Sophie’s One…
    Our beautiful grand-daughter, Sophie, celebrated her first birthday recently and we had her party in Farmersville at the city park, In true McNeny-style… Picnics R Us! A mess of chips and dip, drinks, bubbly and cake, of course. All the relatives who were in town came and there were lots of presents! In addition to...
  • A Short Trip…
    To get away from the pandemic…or at least how it’s playing out in our neck of the woods, Hubs and I packed two small cases and headed to Colorado. We were going to drive, we didn’t have to get there in a hurry but 2 hrs compared to 12 hours won the day and we...
  • The Promise of Tomorrow…
    As the days turned into weeks, and the weeks months, and the months look as though they’re going to make the year with businesses saying they’re not going to bring employees back into the office until 2021, and theatres announcing their live performances won’t start until June 2021, Hubs and I at Footlights are sinking...
Recent Posts
Why Did Jesus Have to Die…
/ October 8, 2021
We are walking through Hebrews at church and this week’s teaching on chapter 2 brought up a question that had me wrestling for an answer. “…we do ...
God’s Good Morning…
/ September 27, 2021
No-one says “Good Morning” quite like God. Those mornings when the sky is in perfect cloudy-mode forming a filter that flings a ribbon of dawn colour ...
Tiny Bits of Soap…
/ September 21, 2021
Yes, I still use a bar of soap. Liquid soap, in the shower, just doesn’t cut it…I’ve still not moved on to sponges or other soft, scrubby things ...
Dirt Road Flowers, Natives & No Sprinkler Systems…
/ September 21, 2021
A year ago when we had our bridge re-worked on the lane, the charming drive down the hill, overhung with tree branches, hugged by tightly meshed undergrowth and ...
Chilling Horses…
/ September 15, 2021
I never thought of horses lying down. When they’re grazing in a field they’re standing up, heads down munching happily, moving from place to ...
Henny & Boys…
/ September 7, 2021
All creatures great and small grow up too fast. And I’m not only talking about my two grand-daughters. My neighbour’s dogs, whom I give biscuits to as ...