Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Things that get “mulled” over.

An Update On Brad

From experience and talking with families of cancer patients I knew, and Layla and I had discussed, the inevitable ups and downs to be encountered with Brad’s cancer challenge. In my life, I thought I had experienced the ultimate in highs and lows, but the past 5 days with Brad’s contracting pneumonia along with a lung infection and pleurisy dropped me to the bottom.

The doctors were very concerned, one, because of the severity of his condition, and, two, because his special trial chemo program at M.D.Anderson was scheduled to begin yesterday and they believed that speed was most important in attacking his cancer! Besides these concerns, Brad’s fever had been over 100 for 10 days, he was continuously coughing, and couldn’t take a deep breath.

His condition was bad, but in the face of this adversity his faith, strength and courage remained unshaken! Our family, our Churches, friends and even folks that had never met Brad continued their fervent, believer’s prayers, and yesterday afternoon I saw our Lord at work!

Brad looked good, his fever was gone, he was up and walking around and best, his doctors said they could beat the infection in 7 to 10 days instead of the original estimate of 2 + weeks, and chemo treatments could begin immediately after that.

Brad told me that he was certainly blessed by our Lord and that his struggle is his testimony for the Lord’s work!

Praise the Lord!

Everyone keep praying for Brad.

The Misplaced Yearling – 2

I was going out hunting yesterday afternoon when I noticed our “pet” Deer was still inside our yard. We have a fence around our old and new houses that separates us from the main ranch, but the main gate to our ranch and houses is open and our Deer hasn’t figured that she can walk right out and get back with her “Deer family”.

The picture shows our “pet” and one of her smaller siblings. The smaller Deer is in the sudan grass field across the fence and momma Deer was back in the tree line to the right of the field. Also, shown is the black pot with oats and the blue pot with water.

I guess she will be here for the long haul!

A Day Off – The Misplaced Yearling

Missing 2 days of work and hunting this week being with my son Brad at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, I wasn’t going to do a post today, but something “neat” happened and I couldn’t resist taking some pictures and the post just “flowed”.


Skipping hunting this morning to get an early start on some plowing, I headed out to the shed where the tractor was parked and noticed 2 yearling Deer trying to get to their Mom who was on the other side of the fence that runs around our yard. They were hesitant to jump and nervously prancing back in forth. I left them thinking they would finally “courage up” and go over the fence.

When I came back from plowing I swapped the plow for a lifting implement and comingback into the yard, there was still one yearling on my side of the fence. Grabbing the camera, I snuck up on the yearling, hid behind a big mesquite tree and started clicking.


Just then some friends, Ted and Janet, drove up and the Deer, watching them closely, started moving toward me.


More clicks and zooming in for a close picture, the camera noises attracted the Deer’s attention.


Closing up the camera, I turned and walked into the house with our friends and came out about 30 minutes later, and lo and behold, the yearling was laying down in the shade of one of our oak trees and sneaking up behind Ted’s car I was able to get a picture of the yearling, resting.

I eased over to a storage building and put some oats into a pot, found another pot, filled it with water and placed both in some shade behind one of our pump houses.


We may have a pet Deer now. Quien sabe?


There was no hunting for me on Monday, November 5, because early that day I had met my oldest son, Brad, in Lampasas, to accompany him to visit his oncologist at the Lackland AFB hospital in San Antonio. A bright spot in our day was when we got a call at 8:00 AM from my youngest Son, Randy, at the ranch, that he has just scored on a nice Deer, a 11 pointer.
As we headed south, my thoughts returned to the day, November 11, 2006, when I rattled up a nice buck for Brad. He had the first shot that day since he had not shot a deer in almost three years. One of those years being spent in Iraq and the other eighteen months being taken up with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to remove a Stage 4 tumor from his right tonsil.

Brad and his 30.06, Springfield, M1903 and the nice buck he shot last year.

His neck and throat had been cancer free for the past twenty-four months! Praise the Lord! But, he found out late last month that his cancer had metastasized into his lungs. This was quite a shock to him, our family and his Doctors who had told us that less than 5% of throat cancers ever spread to the lungs.

Currently Brad is getting along very good, in fact, we hunted together all day this past Saturday, which was opening day. He has appointments at M.D Anderson Clinic, in Houston, today and his treatment will begin.

My number one priority during his treatment will be to Brad. I will try to keep posting stories but may miss a post or 2 and I will try to visit as many other blogs as I can, but he comes first!

Brad’s faith in our Lord is extremely strong. On Monday he told me, “Dad, this is exciting! I will see one of 2 miracles. One miracle, being the Lord healing me and the other would be me being in Heaven and seeing our Lord!” Brad can’t be beaten with this attitude!

Please pray for Brad!

New Blog Links

I have added two great new links to my list and both are not really outdoorsy, but I have enjoyed stopping by each.

The first blog is Stop The Ride, by Stephanie Appleton, that is mostly money saving ideas, recipes and useful tips. Stephanie has posted several of her articles on my past Blog Carnivals, and all of her writing is most enjoyable!

The second blog is Life & Faith In Caneyhead, by Barbara. It is full of what I call, “Good ‘ole east Texas common sense” and it is also a great witness to our Lord! I am happy to have this one on my list!

Stop by and check them both out.

Uncle Tom And Aunt Betty

During my life I have met many people, and recently, after a several hour visit with a WW II American flyer that was shot down and spent 18 months in a German prison camp, I started thinking back to some of the people that really stand out in my memory.

I have met a former President of The United States, a past Secretary of State, numerous other politicians, a Medal Of Honor winner, a Jewish man who was held in Dachau by the Germans who had his prisoner number tattooed on his right forearm, a victim of the Batan Death March who was a Japanese POW for three years and not met, but watched, numerous German Afrika Corps Troopers behind the wire at an American POW camp in Temple, Texas.

When I was four years old going on five, my Dad made sure that I spent a lot of time with his family on their farm outside of Marlin, Falls County, Texas. At that time, prior to WW II, rural farmers and ranchers in Texas did not have electricity, propane or butane. The Rural Electrification Agency didn’t arrive in Falls County until after the war.

Looking back I remember helping my Dad, draw water from the hand dug well and haul it the 200 yards to the house and chop fire wood for Grandma Bryan’s cook stove. If the pieces were too big Grandma would send us both back out to re-split the wood. “John H. and Jon, you know that those pieces are too big. Get yourselves back outside and do it right”, she would order! But, the cobblers, fresh bread and rolls couldn’t be duplicated now. She was a magician with her wood stove!

I remember filling the lanterns with coal oil. I remember the outside toilet, a two holer and the Sears catalog, and checking for Black Widows before you sat down. When you finished you had to drop a hand shovel full of lime through the hole on to the “pile”. A thankless job was cleaning out the outhouse!

What really sticks out now in my memory was meeting two very remarkable people. Uncle Tom and Aunt Betty, Tom and Betty Norwood, who owned a farm across Rock Dam road from my Grandma Bryan. Both had graduated from college, both were retired teachers. Uncle Tom was in his 90’s, tall, straight as a ramrod, silver hair and still farming. His watermelon patch is another story for later. Aunt Betty, short and smiling,a master quilt maker and helped my Grandma around her house. When I was visiting, Aunt Betty immediately took me over. She made sure I had plenty of cookies and lemonade, guarded over me like a mother Hen and made me feel that I was “special”.

Tom Norwood was a former slave! Betty Norwood was a child of former slaves! They were great people and had risen from nothing to property owners and respected members of the community. Some of my most cherished memories are of those two special people!

Tagged By A “Meme”

I got tagged by a Meme that looks like it started in Mississippi, went to Canada and now finds itself in central Texas. I was told to tag 8 other bloggers and we are supposed to adhere to the following rules.

Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts. Players should tag eight other people and notify them that they have been tagged. If you can’t tag 8 do as many as you can.

I can provide 8 things about me. Before I get into them, I know many will find it hard to believe that someone from Texas, has difficulty bragging, or talking about, himself. I do!

  1. I am a Christian and a Southern Baptist!
  2. I love my Wife! I love my Children and my Grand Children. They are the reason that I started writing down all of my outdoor adventures.
  3. I am a Texan. I am a fifth generation Texan. I love my state! My kids are sixth generation Texans. I have been all over the world and people, anywhere, always seem to know about Texas.
  4. I am very conservative. I am not very politically correct. I think it is a sign of weakness. I enjoy listening to Rush Limbaugh.
  5. I have played baseball and softball all of my life and currently play Senior Softball. My team has won two national championships and I am in the Texas Senior Softball Hall of Fame and the Softball Players Association Hall of Fame.
  6. I love hunting, fishing, shooting and writing about these passions.
  7. I am a member of the Sons Of Confederate Veterans. All 4 of my Great Grandfathers fought for the South during the War of Northern Agression. I see no problem with the Confederate Battle Flag. In fact, the first song I ever learned was “Bonnie Blue Flag”, the Southern anthem. My family traces its roots back to the 1600’s in the U.S. and we have served our country in all of its wars, including the Revolutionary War.
  8. My ranch is in Mills County, Texas, just outside of Goldthwaite, almost “smack dab” in the middle of our fine state. It could be “Any Small Town, USA” and is a great place to live and raise kids. This Sunday, in honor of Memorial Day, the Churches in town are sponsoring a picnic in the City Park and most of the town will be there.

Now, my secrets are out, I should tag some folks, but almost all I share links with have been taken, so I shall just “Pass”.

Cornbread and Cream Gravy

My wife is kinda shy. She was afraid I would post this story on my blog, but I assured her that I wouldn’t.

But as I sat here tonight, I thought why not? She is really an excellent cook and that Sunday dinner was past good!

Sometimes something real simple turns out to be something great or a real memorable event. I had one occur to me on Sunday, April 22, 2007. The following is a tribute to some real good cooking!

Our son, Brad, had come over to our ranch on Saturday to help me with some chores and get some practice in for a 3 gun target shoot he was participating in the following Saturday. Layla and I thought he would spend the night, as he does many times, and that we would all go out to eat after Church on Sunday, so, for supper, from the freezer, she took out some Venison round steak and black eye peas I had put up the past summer. Supper would be great.

But, Brad told us he would have to decline spending the night since he needed to be at his Church on Sunday morning, so we all decided to go eat at Peabody’s Restaurant in Goldthwaite. After a very good meal Brad headed back to Copperas Cove and as Layla and I drove home, she said, “I’ll fix the peas and Venison tomorrow after we get back from Church. I think I’ll fix some cornbread too.”

After Church, as she was fixing dinner, I was thinking that cornbread and gravy doesn’t sound too good. Now greens and cornbread or a glass of milk with cornbread crumbled up in it would be real tasty, but gravy? She mentioned that she had heard once, long ago, of her relatives talking about cornbread and gravy and I told of hearing about cornbread and tomato gravy, but not cream gravy.

We Blessed the food and helped ourselves. After spooning out a nice portion of black eyes and getting several pieces of fried Venison, I sliced a medium piece of cornbread in half, covered it liberally with a portion of cream gravy and added plenty of black pepper and was about to be surprised. It seems that cornbread and cream gravy were meant for each other and fit in perfectly with the peas and Venison.

After seconds, I excused myself and told Layla what a good choice she made with the cornbread and gravy, how good it was and how I enjoyed myself, but wouldn’t some Peach cobbler just top it all off? She replied, “Count to ten when thinking about desert.”

Dieting and staying in playing shape just became harder. And just think, one more month and we will have fresh, home grown, peaches for our cobbler (to top off our cornbread and gravy).