Counting Cows Devotional Thought

When I was a girl growing up in south Alabama, my dad practiced counting cows.

Yep, he had about 75 head–that’s cattle farm terminology for 75 cows and calves– that he counted whenever he drove the tractor down the field road, over the railroad tracks, and through the gate.

Then he would start counting cows.

counting cows devotional thought: Black Angus cow and barn

Black Angus cow.

See, if he was missing one, that could mean that a cow had taken off somewhere to have a baby, or a coyote could have taken one, or any of a dozen other reasons.

Point is, you can bet Dad would be searching for the lost bovine if one went missing!

The Bible has a similar story that Jesus tells in Lk. 15:4 (KJV).

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”

Jesus says that if a shepherd loses one sheep, he would leave the 99 in search of that one.

That’s how important you are to Jesus! He wants every last one of His children to be saved!

“…Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”(I Timothy 2:4 KJV)

Isn’t it nice that God wants all of us safe in His fold?

counting cows devotional thought: Labrador retriever protecting calf

This calf was deserted by his mom, and our dog took over its care.


The Ripple Effect — Women Honoring Women

The ripple effect stone

Last night I got to witness the ripple effect in practice at the WEDC Foundation’s 16th annual Women Honoring Women fundraiser in Huntsville.

The title of the event, put on each year in the Von Braun Civic Center by the WEDC Foundation, was “When Perseverance Meets Passion.”

So many ladies out there have the passion to do something wonderful but can’t because of family or financial obligations or lack of adequate education. The WEDC Foundation, a leg of the Women’s Economic Development Council, provides funding for education, professional networking, mentoring, and development programs to help the women achieve their goals.

Alka Bhargav, President of WEDC Foundation Board of Directors, was first to speak, along with Paula Cushman and Jenny Hite.

6 amazing women from our community were honored for their contribution to our town: Dr. Jennie Robinson of the Huntsville City Council; Major General (Retired), U.S. Army; Christine Wicks, who established the first Keller William franchise in Huntsville; Dr. Stelia Nash-Stevenson, a published professional for NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center who holds a U.S. patent; Butch Damson, a community volunteer and philanthropist; and Dr. Elizabeth A. Worthey, a Faculty Investigator at the HudsonAlpha Institute and world-renowned scientist.

Floral arrangement from last night.

One of our local news anchors, Demetria McClenton of WAAY31 served as the emcee.

For more photos, you can go to WAAYtv’s site.

Following the 6 honorees, Beth Brooks, Executive Director of the WEDC Foundation, gave a brief address. I was so honored when Ms. Brooks invited me to the WHW event after I did a piece about the event for her in the Madison Living publication. Thank you so much, Ms. Brooks!

Kimberly Oden gave a heart-felt talk about how the WEDC Foundation enabled her to attend Athens State University. With the help of her mentor, Valerie Davis, Kimberly is on her way to receiving a bachelor’s degree in education. Because of the support of people such as the 6 honorees and the mentors of those seeking help through the WEDC Foundation, our community will benefit from Kimberly’s perseverance and passion when she becomes a teacher.

That is the ripple effect!

We were told that the first WHW event had about 60 attendees. Last night, there were around 800 attendees!!! We all got to take home a piece of Pizzelle’s chocolate (Yummmmmmm!!!) and a little black stone as a memento.

On the back of the black stone, written in gold letters, was one word: Ripple

Chocolate from Pizzell’s


The Million Dollar Band — Marching Band of the University of Alabama

The University of Alabama Million Dollar Band Alumni Weekend.

Shots leading to University of Alabama campus.

Top right: University Boulevard near Moody Music Building.
Bottom right: The Quad, featuring Denny Chimes.

At the last minute, Princess Buttercup, one of her pals, Lefty, and I acquired tickets to go watch the University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band!


I meant to say that we got tickets to go watch the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide beat the University of Colorado Rams.

Clarinet players in the Million Dollar Band.

Princess Buttercup talks shop with some MDB clarinet players. Aren’t these young ladies gorgeous!

Aunt Joyce, my mom’s baby sister, received 4 free tickets from a friend who was unable to attend the game. Thanks so much, Aunt Joyce and Uncle M!!!

As much as I am crazy about Alabama football, I love the Million Dollar Band even more.

Million Dollar Band at Elephant Stomp

The Elephant Stomp…a new tradition, at least since I attended UA.

Million Dollar Band in Bryant-Denny Stadium

MDB on field. We had to play on astro-turf, which burned through to our shoes on hot Alabama game days.

I played flute/piccolo for the Million Dollar Band for 3 seasons/post-seasons during the Kathryn Scott Mann years and loved it. It was an incredible commitment of time and energy, but totally worth it!

From the moment their white shoes touch the turf, you can sense the passion and pride that comes from deep within their guts. Literally. The scientific term is called diaphragm, a muscle within the thoracic cavity that functions in respiration.

When they push air up from that membrane-like muscle and into their horns (or strike against a percussion instrument), you’ll hear one of the most dynamic musical sounds known to human kind.

The Million Dollar Band’s music is lyrical as well as driving.

And that’s just speaking of the music by itself.

Their marching formation is tight. That is, their lines are straight and it’s like watching a living being morph into different lines and shapes.

Bryant-Denny Stadium and Million Dollar Band playing Tusk.

How awesome is the MDB elephant formation?

In a word or two, they are loud and proud!

I’m so thankful that I have a chance to be a part of it, and the alumni are a part of the Million Dollar Band. We have been called a “Band of Brothers,” who move through four (some more, some less!) years of university life and hand off the baton to the next generation of musicians.

Crimson Tide fan and Colorado State fans.

Me, hangin’ out with the opposition, the Colorado State Rams. Thanks for coming, and hope you guys had a great time at UA!!!


Rural Tennessee Farms and Roads

Rural Tennessee is one of the prettiest areas in the south and reminds me of Papa M’s farm, which lies about an hour south of the Tennessee/Alabama state line. It has a completely different feel than where I grew up in south Alabama. The color of the hay fields looks different, the sky and trees look different. Even the farmhouses and barns are different.

(Did we even have farmhouses in south Alabama?) Whereas I grew up closer to the coast, north Alabama and south Tennessee have an Appalachian feel with rocky creeks rather than the sandy banks of home.

Photo of Tenneessee 2-story farm house as seen from road

Tennessee Farmhouse

So, when I took a little roadtrip to Ardmore, Tennessee a couple of Saturdays ago, I snapped some photos that reminded me of summers at Grandma and Papa M’s north Alabama farm.

Country roads in rural Tennessee

Old, country Tennessee road.

I enjoy driving on the old country roads in rural Tennessee. As you can see by the yellow warning sign, this road is one of those that wind up the sides of mountain foothills. You can pass hay fields one minute, and then find yourself driving under a tunnel of trees the next minute.

Tennessee farm hay field

Tennessee hay field.

It seems as though most farmers elect to use the big rolls of hay rather than the rectangle bales like my dad used to produce. Even Dad was using the big round bales later on for our cows and horses. They were great fun to play on, which was allowed as long as we were careful and didn’t mess up the bale too much. On our farm, we could climb the bales and run along the rows of them. At Thanksgiving, we hid among the bales and played epic hide-and-go-seek games with our cousins.

Papa M’s barn is a little bigger than this but is the same style and color.

rural Tennessee barn, stylized with Photoshop

Stylized barn, Photoshop Elements.