S The first of February is a little quick for calving

The hay is getting rolled up and, of course, the machinery is grinding and halting as much as possible. We have pretty new stuff to work with, but it doesn't matter. The baler has had to have a new belt. I don't know how many rake teeth we have been to town to get, and we don't buy one at a time. The raking tractor had a flat on one of the rear tires -- filled with water, of course. Did I ever tell you I hate hay season? Well, I do! Continue Reading »

S We were warned about the direction of our nation

It was a two-page summary of a book, "The Road to Serfdom," that caught my attention more than 20 years ago. Its message was a warning that a nation, even the republic-democracy of the United States, could drift toward becoming a socialist society. Published during World War II, the book by Fredrich von Hayek, an Austrian economist, outlined how such a change could occur and how freedom of individuals is stifled. More recently it was an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that renewed my interest in von Hayek. The editorial, "Ever Deeper in Debt," referred to von Hayek's warning. Continue Reading »

S Play it safe in the sun

Barbecues, pool parties, baseball, gardening -- all of these summer pastimes have one thing in common, and that's spending time in the sun. While the sunshine's warmth feels good on the skin and getting your daily dose of Vitamin D is important, protecting yourself from the sun's harmful rays also is important. Continue Reading »

S Adding natural soil amendments is important

Most of the time garden soil will need to be amended in order to grow a successful crop. The term "amendment" implies improvement. Continue Reading »

S I close my eyes and go back in time

Well, I'm still alive -- a little tattered and torn, but still breathing! No, I didn't have an accident, I just finished a very intense semester in my quest to become a school teacher. Continue Reading »

S They're camping above our doorstep

On the front porch and close to the front door may not be the most desirable place for them to be, and the mess below will definitely require a hose and broom or scrub brush to remove; but the nest was full of little swallows and they do eat flying insects I'd rather not have around. When she saw the nest, my wife asked me to knock it down. But when I told her it was full of babies, she agreed to a reprieve -- at least until the young leave the nest. Continue Reading »

S The lowly potato is a favorite to grow

Consider the potato. Potatoes have been cultivated by humans for thousands of years. Genetic testing indicates that potatoes originated in the area of southern Peru and northeastern Bolivia. Most of the potato varieties that are currently popular around the world originated in Chile. While potatoes are the fourth largest crop grown in America after corn, wheat and rice, they are the largest vegetable crop. China leads the world in potato production, with China and India producing about a third of all potatoes grown. Continue Reading »

S You need to tell your story

This date in history would be my sainted mother's day of birth. She was brought into the world on a ranch during a bright night with the neighbor woman assisting in the birth and was the second child in a family that eventually numbered five children. Her mother was of the blood line of the Swedish folks, and her father was who knows what. He was long and lean and red of hair and had a desire to roam around race horses and poker tables. I was told many tales of poker losses and weeks of missing the man of the house when all the chores and ranch work fell to the mother and kids. Continue Reading »

S ...About Town with Decatur Mayor Bob Tharp

June is highlighted this year as "Pool Month" in Decatur, and the Arkansas Revenue Office is open at city hall. Continue Reading »

S Blessed are the meek

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth...." Matthew 5:5 Continue Reading »

S June: It's time for gardening, fishing, haying

There's a special magic about June in Arkansas. The kids are out of school, the weather has warmed up, life takes on a more leisurely pace. We're able to open the windows and let in the cool evening breezes and we've brought out the summer wardrobe of shorts and sandals. The chorus of spring peepers we heard earlier in the spring has quieted, making way for the hum of the cicada's song. I enjoy sitting on the front porch in the evenings and watching the lazy circles of the fireflies as they rise slowly upward with their tiny taillights blinking. Continue Reading »

S BibleByte seeks to present Bible's truths in byte-sized pieces

I've written about mission statements before and how important they can be to keep one focused on what is truly important in life lest all the other little things which pop up daily keep a person from doing what he truly wishes to do with his days in this world. Though not all share my views, I've told you my mission statement can be summed up in the words of Jesus' Great Commission to disciple the nations for Him by going out, baptizing in the name of the Triune God and teaching them all that Jesus taught and commanded (cf. Matt. 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-47; Mark 16:15-16, etc.). Continue Reading »