Baby Corn – Fields…

Here is a picture of me, a crazy tourist in Ohio, standing in front of a huge field of corn… Hey, I’m from Texas, we’ve been in drought for years.

IMAG0755

IMAG0757

Anyways, on the way back to the family’s house I got to thinking…. We get some pretty big ears of corn from fields like this, that is WHY the fields are so large….

So… Would the corn fields that baby corn come from be smaller?

And is it a specific variety of corn or just the tops of regular corn cut off when it is still young?

I looked it up for all of you out there wondering the same as me.

Apparently, there are two methods of producing baby corn or candle corn; the first being a seed variety that produces only baby corn, who knew? Or the second method, regular sweet corn is grown and the second ear from the top is harvested for baby corn, but it has to be hand-picked as soon as the corn silks emerge, because it matures so quick.

I’m guessing we generally go with the seed option because I can’t imagine watching corn grow so you can harvest the babies and leave the others to grow completely. Something about that just seems wrong, but who am I to question agriculture? I can’t even grow a tomato plant…. Apparently you need to water it. Go figure. Baby-Corn_01

 

Categories: craziness | 2 Comments

Dogs – God’s Gift and Teaching Tool

John 3:16 – God gave his only son…

That scripture has always meant so much to so many. But the other day, I had an epiphany about it and now, it means even more to me.

Recently, I gave my son, my dog Smurphy. He went back to Jesus – and it helped me realize God gave his only son to teach us. When we lose a pet, who’s life span is shorter, much shorter than our own, it is to show us His way.

He gave us dogs to be reminders of Jesus, the son he gave. Dogs love you unconditionally, just like Jesus. But it is so much more than that. To them, we are their world. In a way, they care for us like God cares for us because their entire existence revolves around us and our happiness. God wants to see us learn and grow.

When we lose a pet, it hurts us, just like it hurt Him. But it strengthens us, teaches us. That is what He was trying to do. At least, that was my epiphany.

 

Categories: Enlightenment, Inspiration | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Portraits of Bygone Days – An Ode to America

In a recent trip to see my grandfather I came across an old booklet on his shelf.  “Portraits of Bygone Days” by Bessie J. Hemp of Frederick, Maryland self-published in a simple handmade booklet in 1973.  Within it were poems she had written and desired to share with friends and family and I came across a poem I felt needed to be shared with a few more people. So while this isn’t my poetry it is OUR poetry – as Americans – and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. I also thought it was a great choice for the 4th of July!

Portraits of Bygone DaysAn Ode to America

I’m not the boisterous, braggart, type
Nor do I like to shout
But loud I’ll sing the praises
Of America there’s no doubt.

Our country’s bathed with heroes’ blood
They rallied to the call.
And when the final test was made
They willingly gave all.

Of fame and fortune I have none
I do not boast of power.
But in our country’s darkest days
I’ll be there every hour.

The stars and stripes; red, white and blue
On battlefields are flown
And to God in all His wisdom
Not a single soul’s unknown.

So hoist the flag and sing a song
Your patriotic lay.
Please, God, send lasting peace on Earth
And hasten soon the day.

Our country’s strong, our country’s great
And we are on our guard.
The History pages tell the tale
Of why it’s battle-scarred.

I hope everyone enjoyed this poem as much as I did, and if anyone out there knows Bessie, let her know her poetry is still being appreciated to this day!  Isn’t that what all of us self-published authors dream about?

Categories: Author, Books, Enlightenment, Inspiration, Poetry, Reading, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Smurphy’s Last Video

In Memory of SMURPHY

My Beloved Son

In Memory of Smurphy

In Memory of Smurphy June 10, 2014

Smurphy was a red-haired golden retriever that was left, abandoned by the mail boxes in our neighborhood. When we found him, it took a lot of coaxing to get him to come to us, and quite a while to earn his trust. He soon became MY dog, and I found he would do literally anything for me. He would walk the dam for CROP Walk (raising money to end hunger).  He’d dress up in costumes and help hand out candy to children for Halloween.  He even had his own website where we posted videos, games and music of Smurphy; for the entertainment of children. In fact, whenever someone sent Smurphy a message from the website, I’d give him a cookie. Sometimes he’d get a dozen cookies a day and the smile on his face every time I told him he got a message was priceless.

For quite a while though, Smurphy hadn’t been feeling well. The vets were at a loss and I chose quality of life for my baby. I fed him 3 meals a day, spoon fed, and in the end I carried him upstairs to bed. When heaven called I was with him, holding him, and although my heart was breaking I took comfort in knowing he’d soon feel better and be with my mom and Jesus.

The following video and song was created for Smurphy’s website, his last video.  I wrote the lyrics and sung the song. I hope you will appreciate it as much as he appreciated all of his fans. He was my star. He will be missed. God Bless.

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Car Wash for Dogs

The other day, while in Ohio visiting family, a conversation came up about a car wash in the neighborhood with a dog wash.

As a writer and permanent child – can you imagine the visual that popped into my mind?

IMAG1552 (Large)

When I was young, I fondly remember a full-service car wash, on Post Oak in Houston, that was always fun to visit. As you stood inside, at the window, you could view your car, and everyone else’s as they were washed. I remember watching in awe as the cars would be pulled along the track, conveyor-style, through a long tunnel and go through a half a dozen or so stations along the way. The first station was the pre-rinse, just getting the car wet, then the soap, then the spinning brush thing for the top, then the spinning brushes for the side. After that there was a rinse, then a spray wax, then the big air dryer.

carwashconveyor (Large)

Children don’t get to see that these days. Yes you get to sit inside the car in small gas station car washes, but it is just the one machine that does the entire job. It’s still cool, but I will always remember the various stations of the wash cycle and just being captivated by the entire process.

I mention this, because this is precisely what popped into my head when I heard of the car and pet wash.

I literally envisioned, various pet owners standing at the window watching as their dogs of all breeds, sizes and colors, were being pulled along the track going through the various stations of the pet wash.bth_bloodhound_shaking_of_a_lc

I saw a muddy Labrador in the first section getting the pre-rinse, ears dangling down as water dripped down his nose, the wet mud flowing towards a grate.

Just in front of him was a white poodle getting sprayed with white foamy suds that you just couldn’t decipher if you were seeing the soap suds or her fur.

In front of her was grey Great Dane, enjoying himself thoroughly as the spinning brushes rolled down his back and tail. I could even see the spray of water flicking off the end of his tail because he was wagging it.

And then finally at the lead a retriever, shaking the excess water off as the air dryer started up on the front dog which just happened to be a Shar Pei with his wrinkles flopping in the wind exposing a great big smile.

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I know it was ridiculous.

Like that would be a real thing… but how cool would that have been? Can you see it? Can you envision it with me?

I just had to share.

 

Categories: craziness | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Troll Patrol – Stopping Bullies, Before They Start

Rosa Raccoon telling Hamilton Troll about Rudy Rat

Rosa Raccoon telling Hamilton Troll about Rudy Rat

PAWS for Friendship

Canyon Lake, TX – Award-winning author, Kathleen J. Shields, releases her latest Hamilton Troll book with the objective of stopping bullies, before they start. In collaboration with local elementary school teachers, Shields’ has created the Troll Patrol with the goal of promoting “PAWS for Friendship”.

The mission of “PAWS for Friendship” – which stands for Pause, Approach, Welcome & Smile – is to teach young children social skills; how to make friends, and teach the ‘mean kids’ how to be friendly.

“Bullies tend to focus on loners, children without friends. My aim is to teach children how to make friends, so there will be fewer children available for the bully. But the plan is two-fold. The potential bully, the ‘mean’ kid, needs to learn there is no fun in being mean, that it is more fun to play with others. If you teach children how to make friends, how to talk to each other; true social skills, they can band together, be stronger in numbers and feel better about themselves. It also encourages the ‘mean’ kid to join in, thus teaching him or her how to be nice and the many rewards of friendship.”

In the book “Hamilton Troll meets Rudy Rat” you hear about the mean things Rudy does. The children are all upset about this and they go to Hamilton for help. He quickly discovers that Rudy is alone and scared and doesn’t know how to make friends. When Hamilton encourages the children to stand together for friendship, to Welcome Rudy to join their games and to Smile at him, Rudy begins to feel accepted. He is able to hang out with the other kids and have fun, making friends rather than enemies. Rudy Rat will then learn to grow up having friends, being social and not become a bully.

“While I respect every organization out there working hard to promote the education of bullying and initiating campaigns to stop it, I believe the education needs to be taken a step further and started sooner. I feel a great need for social skills to be taught and at an early age.”

Hamilton Troll’s Troll Patrol has only just begun. The goals set forth are lofty, just like the goals and expectations we have for our children. Let’s all learn together how to make friends so we won’t be alone any more.

Learn more at www.HamiltonTroll.com/TrollPatrol

Hamilton Troll's Troll Patrol

Hamilton Troll’s Troll Patrol

 

Categories: Author, Books, Bullying, Children's Books, Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advice from the Ocean – A Poem

The other day I came across this picture and I just had to share it – yet I decided to add in my own two cents as well… and since poetry seems to flow through me like air…

ocean

Be Shore of Yourself

When standing on the edge between water and sand,

Go ahead and jump, you know where you’ll land.

 

Come Out of Your Shell

Don’t ever be shy, God made you, YOU.

So step out of your home, and do what you do!

 

Take Time to Coast

Give it some time, life is quite long.

You’ll get it done, ‘cause God’s never wrong.

 

Avoid Pier Pressure

And when you aren’t alone and others cause doubt,

God knows you are worth it. You’re great, flat out!

 

Sea Life’s Beauty

‘Cause life may have trials, but there are beauties for sure,

It’s worth every obstacle, even through a detour.

 

Don’t Get Tide Down

Keep your options open. Keep a look out for doors.

God has his plans, and he knows what’s in store.

 

Make Waves!

Be yourself and stand out. Don’t follow the crowd.

It’s what HE wants. It’ll make him proud.

Have a great day!!! -

Categories: Author, Inspiration, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heaven or Hell Paper Folding Project

The other day, while at a tradeshow, I met a couple who taught me something that was way too neat. I had to share it with all of you and I DO hope you try it out as well.  They took a sheet of paper. a single letter size sheet and created a story from it that I will always remember. When you see it come together, you will smile and be wowed.

Matthew 7:13-14

13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

HELL = Matthew 7:13

Heaven (or the CROSS) = Matthew 7:14

cross paper matthew 7

I created this letter size PDF with the folding instructions below. Do print it out and try it. You will enjoy it. PS, If you can fold a paper airplane, you can do this.

pdf Click here to open, save and print the folding instructions for Matthew 7:13-14

Categories: Art, Enlightenment, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Blessed Memorial Day

Of all of the reasons,

    of all of the people,

        of all of the pictures,

             and all of the messages…

Memorial Day is about this…

          No caption,

              no sentence,

                  no title,

                      can say it more appropriately

                          than the feeling you feel in your heart,

                              when you see this:

memorial day

REMEMBER – on Memorial Day

- as Always -

Our Prayers are with You!

Categories: Inspiration, Thank you | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Start your own Troll Patrol

Troll Patrol

Hamilton Troll & Friends start the first Troll Patrol group to raise awareness of bullying.

What is the Troll Patrol?

Hamilton Troll realizes in our next book “Hamilton Troll meets Rudy Rat” (available July 4th) that there are some children out there that are ‘mean’ to others….

You see Rudy Rat wasn’t a very nice rat to the other children.  He didn’t know how to make friends so he took their toys and laughed at them not realizing it was hurting their feelings.

When Rosa Raccoon and the kids told Hamilton about Rudy, Hamilton decided to have a talk with him, but when Rudy ran away scared, Hamilton realized what the problem was.

Hamilton Troll explained to the children that Rudy just needed a friend. He needed to be accepted and allowed to play with them. They decided they needed to put their PAWS together for Friendship and this is what they came up with:

PAWS for Friendship

Hamilton Troll's PAWS for Friendship

Hamilton Troll’s PAWS for Friendship

Pause what you are doing.
Look around. If you see someone who looks sad, scared or is sitting by themselves…

Approach them.
Walk up to them. Say hello. Ask the questions. Tell them about yourself.

Welcome them to join you.
Invite them to your table or group of friends. Introduce them and help them feel welcome.

Smile.
Keep smiling, it makes you look friendly and helps them feel happy.

 

 FRIENDSHIP – Become a Friend.

Be nice to others. Invite them to play with you. Care about their feelings.

Take the PLEDGE:

I promise to think about my words and actions, feel what others feel and be a friend whenever I can.

Why don’t you start your own Troll Patrol???

Learn more at: http://www.HamiltonTroll.com/TrollPatrol

Categories: Author, Books, Bullying, Children's Books, Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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