Children Food My Family My Home Weather/Nature

Why Rice Krispies Go Snap, Crackle, Pop!

(Edit November 11, 2006. It appears that part of this article has disappeared into the nethers. Sorry about that. )
Suggestions that explain this noisy cereal.

Well, why not? I have five visiting youngins’ today, one wanted oatmeal, but dry cereal won out. I pulled out the boxes, and, with great consideration, these breakfast cereal affectionados made their gourmet choices. Alas, not a box of Rice Krispies on the place, although there were other crunchy morsels upon which they chomped.

Lunch will be better. Still a nip in the air, but it’s bright and sunny, besides, lots of community jackets, caps, mittens and boots reside year round here at Granny’s. When the youngsters come, they, with particular discernment, pick what they need. Works great. In addition, we have planned ourselves a picnic. Just inside the woods at the end of our street will be our dining spot. We’re hauling everything in by wooden wagon, its sides outfitted with red sideboards.

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My Home Weather/Nature

Gripped by the Fist of Winter

It was raining a bit when Jerry and I tucked ourselves in our downy den last night. He drifted off first, making gentle sleep noises. For awhile, I lay quite still, listening to the wind as it blew from the lake, bustled through the lanes and roads, then slapped up the hill where sets our house.

Around 3:00, we both awoke to the sound of pelting rain and punching wind. I knew Jerry was awake, for I heard him mutter his displeasure as he buried deep into the covers. He's sick of winter.

At 5:30 when I arose, I pulled the front blinds, and stared into thick fog…and across the way, white roofs. Looking more closely, I saw our lawn was again white, with a thin layer of totally unpredicted snow. The thermometer hanging outside the kitchen window read 31 degrees.

He has a robust fist, this man called winter '06. He arrived late, but has pulled up an easy chair, poured himself a drink, and thrown off his shoes. He likes it here.

Christianity/Religion My Home Uncategorized


(I visited a very fine site last night called inteuri, and her post Burdens on My Mind at Night reminded me of the day I went with my sister-in-law to visit her husband.)

Her hair is straighter than when it was black, as though life's straining pull has drained the curl. It has left instead long strands of winter white, which she had combed straight and smoothed into a roll in the back. A muted silver clasp held it all. Her body is trim and her step was brisk as she led us into the building. Her seventy-five year old face is creased with few lines; only around her mouth are crisscrosses of fine wrinkles.

The terror showed in her eyes.

He was mumbling when we entered. She smiled, bent over his chair, and spoke. "We have company." He turned vacant eyes our way, and thus began our two-hour visit.

She scurried about, clucking over him, tucking his clothes here and there. She brought a warm cloth to wash his hands–large, elegant ones. She washed him as though he were a baby; he obediently lifted his hands as she ministered to him. From time to time, she went into the bathroom, continuing to carry on the conversation as she brought lotion and towel, and rubbed him dry.

She stepped back to look at him, smiling as she spoke. "Now you look good."

He continued his mumbled conversation, speaking at a wall, or to the floor, occasionally lifting his smeared eyes to look into her bright ones.

We walked down the hall, our decent two hours over. We pressed the button and the code 1611* that would open the door. The Alzheimer unit was behind us.

At home, we spoke at length with her–of the strain, the fatigue, money problems, her own health, and the sense of it all. Finally, she broke into tears. "He is my husband, and I love him. We have been married 48 years, you know."


Children Christianity/Religion My Home

The Being of Lost

To go downtown, was a Saturday evening ritual for our family during my childhood years. The downtown part of Springfield, Mo. was called The Square. The main stores dominated there, along with other businesses that suffered being relegated to side streets that spoked into the distance. In the middle of the square grew a circle called The Pie. It was the focal point of the shopping area: At Christmas time, a towering tree was erected, and throughout the year other activities were highlighted there.

Three of the main stores were "dime stores"–Newberry, Kresges (not sure if that's spelled correctly), and Woolworth. I don't think we ever spent much money on our Saturday night trips, but I recall those times as being exciting adventures. I loved the crowds we jostled through, the beaming streets lights and their reflections on the store windows as we gazed at the fine wares, and especially the times when we pressed our faces against the glass candy bins and selected a treat. From high above us, the clerk handed over the sweets, and while we three children peered into the glorious depths of the white sack, then reached in with our eager hands, Daddy dug into his pockets for the change to finish up the deal.

Once I said something to my mother, looked up to her, and was horrified to see it was someone else to whom I spoke, and beside whom I stood. Frantically, I looked around, recognizing no one. Somehow, I had become separated from my family. Immediately, I began crying. A man knelt beside me and spoke kindly to me, and the next thing I remember, I was sitting atop the candy counter. I must have settled down from my crying rather quickly, for I could see all over the store, and I remember kind of liking it up there. My parents shortly found me and pulled me from my perch atop the candy counter.

Yesterday, Thane's mother, Aisha, came for him, and as she struggled to find her way to our home up here in the mountains, she became lost–majorly lost. After finally making it to the 30, she passed the 138 exit and wound up in Redlands.

"Go East on 30?" she quizzed me on the phone.

"No, go West now, for you missed the turn."

"Okay, I'll turn around now."

Next call. "I'm in Running Springs and I don't see 138."

"Running Springs? How did you get to Running Springs? You're way past our house."

"Well, in Redlands, I think I took the 330, not the 30."

I handed the phone to my husband. He talked with Aisha a while, pulled on a jacket, and gathered up his keys. "I'm going to get her."

Maybe the lost business runs in our family, I don't know. Sometime ago, my daughter, Rebecca, left from San Bernardino to meet her friend Holly at Legoland, about an hour's drive away–due South. She wound up–this is unexaggerated truth–across the border in Tijuana…across the border! Now get the picture. The return line from Tijuana to the US is often hours long. Holly waits at Legoland, an hour's drive north. Rebecca is at the US/Mexico checkpoint frantically talking to the agents. Her son, Nathaniel, is crying because he senses something is very wrong.

"I have to go back now," Rebecca pled. "I have an important meeting that I can't miss." (hmmm, I said, when she told me that.)

That lost daughter of mine convinced those Tijuana agents to swing open a large gate and let her turn around and head back across the border. (Come to think of it, President Bush needs to take her on to resolve these border issues. :))

It's frustrating and scary to be lost. When Jerry met sweet, beautiful Aisha yesterday, she said, "I think I'm sick." Though it has been decades, I clearly remember the desolation I felt when I reached for my mother and looked into someone else's face.

Worse yet, is if we lose ourselves as regards our philosophy, our morals, our goals and visions. Rather, let us pull up our guard, focus our minds…and stay found.

Tags: lost, found, morals, goals, visions, philosophy, Springfield+Mo., Woolworth, Newberry, Kresges.

Children My Home Photography Uncategorized

Pensive Thane Buxton

  originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

A computer-age child, he told me a bit earlier: "I'm going to the post office with Pappy to get the email."

Children Holidays My Home Photography Uncategorized

Thane Reilly Buxton

originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.


Children My Home Uncategorized

Blogging and Great-Grandchildren

Short post this will be. I'll be back later–I think–with real writing, but at this moment, I have in my possession a 2 1/2 year old great-grandchild. Quite interesting as I try to get in a word or two here. 🙂 Wish me well.

My Home

The Made Bed

When I went into our bedroom this morning to dress and to tidy up there, I found that Jerry had made the bed. Such a sweet surprise, for he, with all his tremendous qualities, is not into housework, although he does vacuum the carpets frequently and recently has begun helping clear the table after meals.

This sweetness caused a change in my immediate plans for the day. The Plan had included the changing of sheets. Call me silly, but I couldn't bring myself to put aside his efforts. Won't hurt to leave the linen washing to another day.

My Home

The Easy Life

For much of my adult life, I have bustled around–married young, had youngsters early, and, from the beginning, lived out the role of minister's wife. Hardly makes for the lounging around, reading novels and eating bon-bons type of existence. Not to complain. I've had an unusually happy life, that I would set against anyone's. Blessed am I.

In recent years, writing books, speaking frequently, and extensive traveling have kept me tuned to the hectic, sometimes frantic, pace of many Americans. Weeks just past, saw me scrambling to finish Link to Excellence, which I did, with small fanfare, eight days ago.

I self-publish, the manuscript is in the hands of Matt, and I now wait for the camera ready product to be delivered to my screen, when I will have my final (scary) chance at edit. This week–this waiting week–has been one of calm, and free of pressure. I have blogged, attempted a bit of work on my website, emailed people, thoroughly cleaned and re-decorated the dining room, learned a couple of new computer skills, dinked around with my new Nikon, admired the inclement weather that continues to bless us, baked, performed ordinary cleaning and cooking chores, gazed at blazes in our fireplace…and so…

Nice, this relaxed way of living.

My Home

Of Dogs and Men

As Jerry and I walked our two morning laps, we began discussing whether dogs and other animals think. Of course, they don't "think" as do we, all will agree. But do they think at all? Probably not, and what may seem to be thinking, is likely mere animal instinct.

Example: If Sarah, Ken and Nancy's very sweet dog, ever learns to stay out of their Vinca, it will not be because she understands that when she romps down their bank she is ruining two things; its looks, and its erosion control qualities. When she learns–if she learns–she will not run in the Vinca because she finally associates such action with strong, unfriendly words and with sharp tugs on her leash.

A child on the other hand thinks. At first he stays out of the Vinca because adult says so. He, too, like Sarah, doesn't like the loud words or the swat on his tush. As his thinking ability develops, he stays from the Vinca because Mama has so ordered, and he can anticipate her displeasure, he sees that romping in the Vinca spoils it, and besides the bank is steep and dangerous.

Another child thinks: "I want to play in that Vinca. I know I'm ruining it, I know Mama will yell, I know it may be dangerous, but I want to play on this bank." And down he goes.

The intellect, a great gift from the Master.