Animals dogs Family affection Goodness of man Home Shirley Buxton Photography Travel Weather/Nature

The Dogs of Forrest, and A Cat

imageIsabel is her name, she weighs 75 pounds and her proud owners, Junior and Sandy, report she has recently lost 10 pounds, which puts her at a normal weight for an English Bulldog of her frame. I laughed at her repeatedly as I visited my brother, for she is downright funny. She takes three or four plodding steps, then plops down hard wherever she is, which may be right at your feet. Her head is monstrous.image

She reminds me of both a pig–look at those legs, regular hams–and a rhinoceros. Would you believe, though, she gets up quite a head of steam when she decides to chase one of the beautiful chickens. Izzy sleeps in Sandy’s room, although one morning when I arose before the others I found her on the fine leather couch in the living room. She languidly opened one eye, then closed it and resumed her snoring. When Sandy found her there, she promptly scolded Isabel and shooed her off the couch.

Once Sandy dropped off Isabel at an obedience school. When she returned to pick her up after the first day of training, the coach in a friendly way said, “You know what. Some dogs are made to just be companions. We’ll refund your money.” Seems she just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) learn the most basic of commands! Sandy put a leash on her, and Izzy waddled to the car.


Pugsley is a Shih Tzu, a little ole man, nearly blind, either 12 or 13 years old. He is tended by Sandy, a little touchy and wouldn’t let me pick him up. He sleeps in a crate in the office area. Sometimes when a treat is promised, he performs a little trick.

imageimageimageYou’re met Sally before. A beautiful, sweet boxer, she thinks Pugsley is her pup. One evening as we all sat in the living room, Isabel did something mean to Pugsley. Next thing we knew a dog fight was roaring with Sally atop Isabel holding her down and biting her ears. Junior and Sandy broke up the fight; Sandy held Isabel down hard to the floor a bit for punishment. A little later Sally went to Isabel and sweetly licked her ears.image

One cold winter night, Junior heard something mewling outside the house. He opened the door, and in the howling weather found a tiny, drenched, black kitten. Kitty is now a beautiful, sleek cat who lives in the Forrest home, mostly in Junior’s area. Name is Gato which is cat in Spanish. Not sure whether Gato is a boy or a girl. Forgot to ask. Sally thinks Gato also is her baby. Sally sleeps in the bed with Junior. Gato sleeps somewhere in the area.

Every morning Junior holds “Doggy Day Care” where he feeds the animals and washes their faces. One afternoon while we were there, he cooked up a batch of hamburger meat for their lunch. He grinned at us when he admitted the deed.

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Trip to Pennsylvania–Part I

On Monday Jerry and I traversed a couple of jetways, flew through placid, beautiful air, and a few hours later landed in Pittsburg (snapped this shot from the car) imagewhere my brother, Junior, picked us up, helped us with our luggage, then drove us to his beautiful home which sets on 80 acres. Since his retirement, he “pretends” to be a farmer. Beautiful roosters scat about the property, one rooster lives in the enclosure where the hens do their business. Their chickens only recently began laying, and with great flourish we visited the egg plant and gathered the eggs.


Sandy lives with her dad in the house that consists of 4500 square feet, 5 bathrooms, two kitchens….I think the chickens are hers.


The bees are Junior’s pride and we spent an hour or so tending them. They are amazing.

imageimageI donned protective gear to “help.” My brother wears none, and has never been stung. Sandy went to the barn and came back with an apparatus with small bellows that produces smoke that for some reason calms the bees. Junior pulled out the trays, and even though it is not time to harvest the honey, already were drenched with honey. We poked our fingers in and licked off the delicious sweetness.

o                                                               imageIn the distance are the Laurel Highland Mountains.

Close by in another direction are the Alleghenies.

imageDeer by the hundreds graze around here. Last night after dinner–around 10:00–we drove around in Junior’s truck to spy on them. He had a spotlight which he would shine across the fields. We saw several.

Lots to tell, but at this moment I must get dressed for we are leaving for Smicksburg which has a large Amish population.

More tomorrow.

Animals dogs family celebrations Food Home Humor Shih Tzus Shirley Buxton Photography

A Party for Winston


Yesterday was my birthday, and I am now two years old. Mistress is conflicted between wondering if I have edged into my terrible twos, or if I’ve entered my teen years and am now a fourteen-year-old.


Before they came home from church yesterday, my people stopped at a 99 cent store to buy things for my party. No suitable hats, so Mistress decided a birthday cup would work, and so it did. From the gift ribbon and paper area upstairs, she brought down this beautiful blue ribbon, punched holes in the cup, and tied a bow under my chin.

Purple pom-poms was the background for my party and my plate was beautiful as you can see.

.imageRefreshments consisted of a small scoop of ice cream, and a cookie nibble. I wasn’t allowed much of the cookie for it had chocolate in it, and they tell me I should not eat chocolate. I did try to snatch up the glittery purple stuff, but Mistress pulled the slim strands from my mouth, laughing, saying they would not be good for me.

As I dipped into my refreshment plate, my hat slipped. Mistress removed it, so I could lap up my birthday treat without unnecessary hindrances.image

I thought you’d like to know about my birthday . . .and in case you didn’t know and didn’t send me good wishes yesterday, you may do so now. And, uhm . .presents. Well, I’m told it is not nice to ask for any. . .so just listen to your heart, I guess.

Good-bye from Winston–Sir Winston of Crestline, that is.

Flowers/Gardening Food Friends Goodness of man Home Life Photography Travel Weather/Nature

A Visit on the Bank of Greer’s Ferry Lake

Lots of life questions hound me, so that I am unsure of many things. Of this one subject, however, I am positive; my life has been unusually blessed by an outstanding, talented family, and by many friends who possess sterling qualities. Two such are the Rev. Jesse Emerson and his charming wife, LaDoyne. A couple of weeks ago, we were privileged to spend part of two days with them at their lovely home whose acreage leads down to the waters of Greer’s Ferry Lake in Clinton, Arkansas.

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Although Brother Emerson does preach from time to time, they no longer are in active ministry and feel blessed to have found this home where they can spend their retirement years.This giant cup holding a magnificent plant speaks to the theme of their lives–I could tell.

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20150321-untitled (46 of 67)Beautiful voices yet, with perfect harmony. At the end of the meal they sang a sweet song–something about where has our youth gone? We grinned and clapped.

20150320-untitled (17 of 67)She was pulling these from the oven when we arrived.

20150321-untitled (55 of 67)Under this magnificent tree, two white lounge chairs await the languid summer days when the Emersons sit and bask in the cool breeze off the lake. Their family often come to visit and to play in the water.

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20150320-untitled (34 of 67)We talked of sun rooms, and storms that ripped out windows, and looked at treasured old books. We spoke of our enduring friendship and recalled the long ago days of their preaching at our church when we pastored. We spoke of motor homes and recalled they lived in one for years as they crisscrossed the United States doing the work of an evangelist. We spoke of health issues and families and friends; of aging and of progress and of regression. Upstairs they have fitted out three rooms they refer to as the Prophet’s Chambers. Consisting of a tiny living room that looks to the lake, a minuscule kitchen, and a comfy bedroom, they open this area from time to time to missionaries and other ministers who need a place to stay for awhile, to catch their breath, to regain their equilibrium.

And then it was time to go, and we left with hugs, and smiles, and promises . . .to keep.

I cherish those days, and guard carefully my friendship with such dear and precious people. How truly blessed I am.


And what of you? I would love to hear of your friendships–whether we have mutual ones, or you have others to tell us about.

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The Catch of Friendship

As we parked our car, Nita came from the opened front door of their home, walked down the steps, and then welcomed Jerry and me, as she did also the Stevensons who had pulled up behind our car. We had been invited to dinner with our friends at the Johnny Hodges place!Image

We talked and talked, and of course someone was bound to mention that through the years our conversations had changed drastically, and we all smirked and nodded our heads as we agreed we no longer talk of Pablum, toddler doings or of teenage mischief, rather of blood pressure readings, sugar levels, slugs of Pepto-Bismol, and of walking canes.

“I call my cane a sympathy getter,” Jerry said.

“Mine steadies me,” Berl said.

“I don’t want one,” Johnny said.

“But you need one,” Nita said as she looked lovingly at her sweet, frail husband.

untitled (5 of 26)In the kitchen, she fried fish and shrimp. At the table Johnny prayed and we ate and ate, and after we rested awhile from our labors, we moved to the back patio area, and ate pie and drank coffee. We talked seriously of our love for God and for truth and of regression and of progress.

untitled (16 of 26)We three beauties posed. Jerry snapped the lens.

untitled (23 of 26) . . . and the men were little boys again . . . and roared.

Catch it if you can . . . the spirit of enduring friendship. Hold it if you’re able . . . the smooth feel of enduring friendship, the solidity, the heft. Hear it if you can . . . the music of enduring friendship, the moans of shared past griefs, the silvery tinkle of corporate accomplishments, the echoing words of message and song. See it if you can . . .the tombstones, the hospital records . . . and cry . . . and hold a hand and wipe a tear . . . and know how special, how rare, how blessed you are.

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Dinner with Friends

On Tuesday, I scurried about, prepped, set the food to cooking early, and then delved into the fun part as I set the table with the finest china and silver I own. Company was coming! A missionary couple neither Jerry or I had met would be joining our dear friends the Garretts for a meal in our home here in Crestline. The night before I had prepared the Texas Bites Jerry would grill as appetizers, and had rolled the pie crusts. Now I filled them; one chocolate, one lemon.

ImageThe Garretts had taken the Schreckhises on a little tour of Crestline, all the way around tiny Lake Gregory before they pulled into our driveway, walked up the front steps and through the open door said, “We’re here.”

Missionaries to Honduras, Brother and Sister Schreckhise are here in the States to raise money for their continued support for their vital work in that country. Baby Samuel, five months old, was the star of the evening. He eyed the food on mama’s plate, and I believe from one of her fingers, he sucked off a smidgen of gravy.


ImageSuch a joy to not only entertain long-time friends, but to make new ones.


ImageWe three women and Zac gathered about the piano upstairs and sang old hymns of the church, and I heard that Lori Schreckhise had a beautiful voice, and we sang longer, and sometimes we cried because God is so beautiful, and His people are so dear, and we are so blessed.

untitled (42 of 48). . . and Holly brought flowers . . .

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Buxton Ninjas

Not long before lunch, a group attacked our motor home. They did not knock, just rushed in, and at first glance, I thought we had been invaded by terrorists, but when I voiced my concerns aloud to Jerry, one of them responded. “No Granny, we’re not terrorists; we’re ninja’s.” We do good things they had told me, but I did note each of them carried long wide swords. Come to think of it, earlier I believe I had seen these same ones dashing about the bushes here on Steve’s property.

Ninja Drake opened the screen and said to Pappy, “I’m very thirsty, and I see lemonade in your kitchen.”

I poured five small plastic glasses full; four with ice, one without. Ninja Seth lapped up the spilled lemonade like a puppy.

The eyes of Ninja Thane glitter.

Sweet little great-grandchildren of mine. They’re in the air now heading back to Carson City. “Are you ready to go home, Drake?” I asked this morning.

“No, Granny,” he solemnly responded.

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“Why don’t we eat on the front deck?” Jerry said as I prepared lunch a few hours ago.

“Fine with me,” I said as I reached for a large tray on which to place our food and drink.

We’ve been home here in Crestline for a week and it has been delightful summery weather. We’ve had doors and windows open, I’ve padded barefoot on the decks where I had laid rugs and where I had placed furniture that in the winter time I move inside. I plopped down three elegant pillows on the front-deck swing, and from time to time I sit there and gaze at the swaying trees. Always there are birds. At times they call,  the abundant little chickadees saying chick a dee, chick a dee.Tulips were blooming in the back yard when we arrived last Monday, and I picked one and placed it on the sill in the kitchen, where I admired its ragged shape and deep color. Daffodils by the thousands are blooming here in the San Bernardino Mountains and once on my way back from grocery shopping this week, I stopped longside a mountain roadway and snapped these images, admiring the tender light playing over and through the yellow and white forms.

As Jerry and I ate our lunch, we noticed clouds spilling over the southern rim of the rising mountains and then I felt a chill in the air. We napped, and when I awoke it was definitely cold and I noted the wind to have picked up and that now we were completely fogged in. I dashed about bringing in the rugs and pillows and closing windows and doors. At the kitchen window I checked the thermometer. Three hours after Jerry and I had eaten turkey sandwiches in balmy weather, the temperature had dropped 22 points and now read 48 degrees. Amazing.

“A fire,” Jerry said. “I’m building a fire.” And so he did.

Change. This dramatic alteration in our weather brought me to a place in my mind I often go, for in recent years Jerry and I have had to make severe changes in our lives, and I frequently consider them. These changes owe in part to our ages and again to varied other circumstances. Some of our changes have been difficult; others have been pleasant and easy. Change is inevitable. Comes to all. Let us be prepared for those startling, uneasy moments so that with grace we will accept the unavoidable.

This past week, in ghastly ways, two of my friends have had severe change come to them. In both cases the change involved the death of dear family members; one, the loss of a cherished 16 month-old grandbaby, the other, the sudden unexpected death of an adult son. I am not close friends to either of these godly women, yet I grieve for each of them and have prayed sincerely for God’s comfort to envelop them.

Edit Tuesday, April 24: And a few hours ago another of my friends lost her 30 year old daughter…but listen as this godly woman writes of this dreadful change in her life:

Isaiah 55:8

For my thoughts are not your
thoughts,neither are your
ways my ways,saith the LORD.

He has plans for accomplishing his PURPOSES which are different from ours and he secures our own welfare by schemes that cross our own.We must HEAR the VOICE of God in our thoughts.We have to go GOD’S WAY and not our own way.
When I think of the GOODNESS of GOD my soul cry’s out HALLELUJAH!!Thank God for saving me!

I want to thank everyone for their prayers for my daughter Vanessa Willet….Vanessa went home to be with the LORD. She was a miracle in our life she wasn’t suppose to live but God had MERCY and at 3 moths old she had open heart surgery…She had congesitional heart failure and by God’s MERCY she lived until 30 yrs old.Gilbert & I will miss her deeply and she will always be in our hearts and thoughts..Our greatest JOY is that she made things right with GOD….My heart smiles to know she made it..

Praise the LORD!
♥ Gilbert & Katy Buelna

Food Holidays Home My Home


How that both photographs and memories enable us to relive events has often been discussed, and since I’m in agreement with the premise, I take lots of pictures, and, I often engage myself in memories–both of recent happenings and of those from long ago. We’re blessed with a relatively large house, and we have rather given one of the rooms to memories. In that room are stored thousands of pictures, both bound neatly in albums and filed into boxes, ranging from those designed for pictures, to ordinary shoe boxes. In the closet of the room is a slide projector and hundreds of slides. The picture room also stores and displays mementos from our travels. My old cameras are there. It’s a great room, gets to be a mess easily, (especially during the holidays) for all the family know they are welcome to rummage around in there, and sometimes the “rummager” is less skilled at returning things to their spots as he is at taking them out. 🙂 The room has an ordinary blue and grey sofa, (complete with cushions that tend to slide off if one is sleeping on it) plenty of lamps, and when our house is full of grandkids and great-grandkids it also becomes a bedroom, utilizing said sad couch, and with blankets, sleeping bags, and little people covering every suitable inch of the floor.

Images in that room run the gamut from baby pictures of our latest great-grandchild to austere images of Jerry’s grandparents and of mine. Memories galore. Jerry and I; young and handsome, our babies, our churches, our friends, our trips…  Priceless. These images and objects enable the replay of the occasion; a reflection of the day’s mood, color, scent, sound, and emotion, so that in actuality I live again that day.

The wonderful winter holidays approach, and this morning I’ve thought extensively about Anticipation, and how that such a sense adds another element, another layer of enjoyment to any occasion. I’m rollicking in Anticipation of Thanksgiving. A couple of my granddaughters called today telling me how they will be here with us, and how they are looking forward to it, and how my great-grandchildren are wanting to be here. I’m loving it. I’m thinking of the bed situation, and asked Jerry a few minutes ago if in the next few weeks, he could take a look at our two inflatable mattresses that we have to use when a bunch of us are together. The last time Chris and Christina slept on one of them, by morning, they were flat on the hard floor. I believe some of the little ones had been using it for a trampoline. 😦

I’m smelling savory turkey and dressing. I’m catching whiffs of spicy pumpkin pie as it nears a finish in the oven. I’m hearing youngsters yelping outside, and roars of laughter as we engage in our favorite board game, Balderdash. (One year we laughed so loudly, Ken and Nancy heard us from across the street!) I’m hearing the chop of onion, the whir of the mixer, the gurgle of a fresh pot of coffee and the clink of crystal. I’m seeing the house in an upheaval. I’m thinking table cloths and china and mashed potatoes.

And so–certainly for me–this Thanksgiving has begun. I’m thinking I will experience it at least four ways: I will continue with my anticipation of that bountiful day, I will experience it fully when the day  comes, later I will stare at pictures we snap, and in my mind, many days and years from now, I will again explore its depth, using the blessed memory God has so graciously given us.

But for now, I have only the Anticipation. Know something? It’s cool.


8:00 pm Tuesday edit

I’m not the only one in anticipation of the big day. My 13-year-old grandson Nathaniel was just up here visiting us and told me he has cut a huge stack of papers to use in playing Balderdash! That’s my kind of grandboy. 🙂

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Black-eyes and the New Year

Late this afternoon we dropped by Mike and Mel’s house where her family had gathered to exchange Christmas presents. It was the usual, happy family scene with food everywhere, men slouched on couches, women in the kitchen and kids pounding about everywhere.

“Had any black-eyed peas?” Mel asked as I sat at their bar.


“Well, the day cannot end without you two having some black-eyed peas.”  They had feasted on them the day before, and from the refrigerator now she pulled the leftovers, and into a plastic container she scooped some, snapped on the lid and handed it to me. An hour or so ago, I heated the peas, divided them into two small bowls, and Jerry and I ate the prescribed New Year’s Day black-eyed peas. I’ve heard of this before, of course, but it’s not a tradition our family has kept, and I’m not clear on the significance, although, I’m quick to say I didn’t need to understand why I was doing it to enjoy the little morsels this evening. They were delicious.

Guess I’ll Google the subject later, but for now any of you who want to school me, I’m open to hearing from you about the black-eyed peas and the New Year.  One more thing: Is there something about eating these peas under the table? Anything like that? I thought Mike said in passing that yesterday he snapped pictures of someone under the table eating peas. (Mel’s sweet family are likely to kill me when they read this, and I probably have that under the table part totally wrong. I’m asking forgiveness at this moment if I’m utterly confused. 🙂  )

Anyway, happy New Year. Be good people…and eat your peas! Not just sure why, but you must do this before you go to bed.