I've been a fan of John Fischer for a long time now. He sings and writes and composes and thinks out loud, all in profound ways. John sends out an email every morning that seems to say the thing I need to hear. Sometimes it tickles, sometimes is pinches. Sometimes it just nudges. If you get the chance, go to www.fischtank.com and sign up for the "Catch of the Day."

This poem was in John's catch today. He's not sure who wrote it, so he doesn't attribute it to anyone in particular. I'll thank him for sharing it.

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights, or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp--
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics, and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake.

"And why's everyone so quiet,
So somber - give me a clue."
"Hush, child,' He said, "they're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing you."


a.m. drive time thinking

Ok, this black Audi has been promising to turn for about five miles now.

Yay! Adam Lambert is still alive on Idol!! If I could sing like that... If I could move like that...

I'm surprised that anybody is surprised to learn their political peeps are accepting cash from the bailout beneficiaries.

Note to self: buy more bananas... and apples... and grapes... and toothpaste... and batteries. Ok, I'd better leave myself a voicemail. What else do I need?

I've gotta get back to my workout tonight, but I'm still so stiff and sore from the last one. I will workout. I WILL workout. I WILL WORKOUT. (to myself)


I'm so embarrassed... Did I just scream that out loud?

hummmmmm..... la la la la...... One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight! Schlemiel, Schlimazel, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated... (in my head)

Why were those crazy girls skipping down the street - in the rain? Why were they singing Yiddish? (out loud)

Michael crawling across the Dunder Mifflin floor was hilarious!

Ok, people are staring. Prolly wondering why I'm laughing. That Michael!

Note to self: see if "The Office" tweets.


Did I take my vitamin?

The gym tonight... YOU can do it. You CAN do it. You can DO IT. (to myself)

They're asking WHAT for Jonas Brothers tickets? (to no one in particular)

Poor North Dakota. God, you know their stuff. Please provide for them. Thanks a bunch.

I shoulda done the bathroom thing before I left the house.

Guess I'll find out if I took my vitamin when I get to work.

It looks like the Dems are at liberty to speed across I-64 now. Two years ago it was the Repubs. The bumper stickers give it away. Guess who's governor now.

Oh man! I meant to call Christian before he got to school this morning.

I need a truck load of mulch.

Wish I had a truck.

Did I bring my gym shoes?

Whoa! What's that smell???

Yeah, gym shoes in the back.

Why won't this window go down?

Note to self: pay electric bill.

Note to self: make dentist appointment. aaaagggghhhhh...

I think I want to see Altar Boyz when I get to the city.

His tags are expired.

Does anybody think the university is going to fire Billy G. 'til the big tourney is over?

Did I feed the dog?

Why is every comment on the newspaper's web site so cynical and angry?

Oh man! This is casual day...

Is Greg's party tonight or tomorrow night?

I wish everyone had this Isaacs music. Wish I could sing and write like that.

She shouldn't be texting and driving.

Gotta cut back on some things. Think I'll let the Singing News and Met Home subs expire.

Lord, help Billie get a job. Thanks a bunch.

No. That doesn't smell like gym shoes...

ring... ring... Uh, should I take his call or not? I'm heading into a dead spot. I'll call him later.

Note to self: call Jeff later.

Note to self: text Jeff to let him know you'll call him later.

Ooh. I've not done MySpace in a long time. Bet my stuff is stacked to the cyber ceiling.

Wish I had some Advil.

Wish Starbucks had a key-fob card thingy.

I really, really wish I had time to stop at that rest area.

Which side of the fence is that cow on?

Wonder if anybody's found a way to make my Twitter updates be Facebook and Myspace updates too? That would be so cool.

Note to self: google the twitter thing.

Did I call Owen back?

Was that my exit?


for real

I'm perfect. Except for the unhealthy habits, I'm perfect. Well, there is the mood thing and my tendency to watch too much TV. But other than that, I'm perfect. Oh, and I've told a little white lie or two, and didn't return the too-much-change the cashier gave me. But for the sake of credibility I'm still perfect. I have yet to pay my pledge to Jerry's kids. If you don't count my oft spiritual laziness or that I've been known to wear a pair of socks for two, maybe three days; ignoring the sudden words when I stumped my toe, and disregarding the three minutes I parked in the handicapped spot, forgetting about the despicable thoughts I enjoyed when I saw THAT person and the delicious ones when that one strolled by... If you'll turn your head please, I'd like to "share" with someone. Still, it's important for you to know that I'm perfect.

Several weeks ago I was singing in Arkansas. Not to be a rebel or anything, I usually don't do the coat and tie thing when I perform these days - unless the occasion calls for it of course. This was an occasion. Black suit (slimming) with a white shirt, black belt, shoes, socks and tie. I spent lots of time and worked very hard to put on my performing perfection, and I looked dapper, not so much as piece of lint. No one would've known there was a flaw had I not confessed. It was well hidden, and could've been a secret for my grave, except I admitted it.

For a lot of years, when I depended on the crowds to feed me and my family, I chose my admissions. People don't buy tickets to funerals, interventions, confessions or pity parties. Besides, this was good news music we were putting out there; happy, sin-stopping stuff. If we're singing the Gospel we have to display it properly. We have to put it on and wear it like a model on a runway - perfect body, perfect fit, perfect walk. Who would believe us if we didn't look the perfect part? Our public won't allow us to sell the solution to sin if they think we're vulnerable to it. We're not qualified to point the way to a good and holy life if we don't at least appear to have attained it, and completely. Honestly though, even doctors get sick.

I may disappoint some folks here, and may even lose a few friends, but I wasn't then, and I'm not now the super spiritual man of God I appeared to be. Not that I didn't and don't love, seek and study Him. I do. But I'll confess to you just as I did to the folks in Arkansas: My hair was styled. My suit was pressed. My tie was straight. My shirt was starched. But inside my shiny leather shoe, where you couldn't see it and a professional would be forced to hide it, was a hole. My sock had a hole in it. Had I taken off my shoe you could've seen it, but the whole look would've been ruined. People don't admire and often disregard the better parts when they can see the flaw. And that's too bad, 'cause we have a lot of not-so-perfect people out there singing and preaching it who, for the sake of success, can't admit it. They dare not take off their shoes. Politicians too.

I'm not all bad, but I'll tell you that my list up top is pretty abbreviated. Sometimes I'm selfish. I drink too much coffee and don't always eat right. I cheat on the treadmill when my trainer isn't looking. This past Sunday I cut off an old guy who was moving way too slow. I ran a red light just yesterday and I ate a grape long after I dropped it. You can ask, but I don't plan to get much more personal than that. Except to say that sometimes I lie when people ask me how old I am.


the original

George was a happy man. I'm not sold on the reincarnation thing, but I've heard so many stories about my grandpa and his antics, and everyone I know who knew him well tells me that I must've taken up his mantle. I do feel an especially close kinship to the one grandparent I never knew. There were times in my younger life when I'd do something ridiculously zany, and really should've gotten at least a good scolding out of it, but Dad or someone who had known Grandpa would say, "That's exactly what Happy would do." My grandpa's nick was Happy. That tells you a lot right there. His tombstone even says it: George "Happy" Bishop 1905-1964.

I had the chance to spend a good part of the day with my parents this past Saturday. I always enjoy being with them, and it's even nicer when I have them all to myself. It's fun when the whole family is around, but talk-time with the folks isn't as personal or deep when lots of voices are chiming in. I get to ask questions when it's just me and them, questions I wouldn't ask if others were in the room. We got out the old photo albums and walked backwards for a while.

My dad grew up poor. I found an old picture of the whole Bishop clan when most of them were young. They were standing in front of an old car, all of them looking angry or disinterested, except Happy of course. They weren't dirty, but they weren't dressed for a party either. There were eight mouths to feed when there was no company in the house, and for a meat-and-potatoes family, that meant lots of starch-only meals. Dad told me of walking past the cafeteria when he was a kid and watching the other kids eat. Catching aromas and glimpses was about all he could afford. I get hungry about thirty minutes after breakfast. I don't know how managed.

Although Grandpa Bishop was a hard worker, the need to help make ends meet made it necessary for Dad to drop out of school. Later though, when he met his love, he decided he was going to make a better home for her. He found he had a chance to do something about his lot in life, so he did it. He went to a technical school and learned a trade. Kenneth and Shirley got married, started a family, and created a loving, stable, responsible environment that fostered singing and playing, enouraged ingenuity and prayer.

I wish I'd been able to meet my Grandpa Bishop. To this day I hear from folks who tell me what a character he was. I'm right proud to have inherited his personality. Dad can be funny too, he's just not very loud about it. One thing he is though is consistent. I have lots of traits that I'd gladly trade for some of his gentleness and spirit. I don't want to take it from him though, too many people rely on him. They have been for sixty-five years now, as of today. Happy b'day Dad!


for pat's sake!

I'm all about a parade. Besides Mom's turkey with stuffing, sweet potato casserole and jam cake, my favorite part of T'day is the parade(s) - the cool floats and big balloons, the singers lip-syncing in front of Macy's and Santa Baby bringing up Christmas at the end. That's a sweet part of life that I look forward to every November.

I don't remember as a kid waking up on St. Patrick's Day anxious about a parade. Maybe I had no clue there was such a thing. Maybe I was ignorant to how significant the day was for some folks. Besides, what did short, green men with red beards - Leprechauns or Martians or something - bring that Santa didn't? Like Jesus, at least the big, jolly man is an American. (uh...) Their little outfits are kinda tart though. Love the shoes!!

There's even a little bit of a fight going on about which city actually put on the first Irish pride parade. New York says they did it. Boston says theirs was not only the first one in the U.S., it was the first one in the world! Somebody in Ireland oughta check that out. Seems like a smack down to me. From what I saw in Lexington tonight I don't think we have a dog in that fight.

I didn't realize how many Irish pubs and hangouts there are in my town until I saw all the pods of people clustered on the sidewalks. Downtown, just across the street from the big courthouses is Molly Brookes Irish Bar. Molly's is one of the city's favs, and getting in tonight would've been a task. Sorta like the day after Christmas at Kmart.

I'm told I have some Irish blood in me from my mom's mom's side. Looking back, I can see it. For some reason though, cultural allegiance was never reinforced in me as a kid. That's prolly because I have such a mutt-mix thing going on, and it could be why I walked past Molly's earlier tonight. A Taste of Thai is just around the corner and that was my mood. I don't think I have an Asian branch on my tree, but I wouldn't be upset (or surprised) to learn I did. I think Kwanzaa is cool too. More questions...

We wanted a seat outside, but it didn't happen. A table in the front window was perfect though for looking at people. I love people watching, and sitting inside meant we weren't being stared at by the people sitting inside who stare at the people who are outside. I don't like being stared at. I'm a hypocrite that way. The weather was gorgeous, so there were lots of characters out and about. Most everyone who passed our way was doing green in some form. Green shirts, green shorts, green hats, green hair, green faces, green beer, green lips (yep), green shoes. I was greenless. I felt ashamed that I'd snubbed the holiday, although not on purpose. My friends and I weren't trying, but it was hard to ignore the occasion.

Then, off in the distance, we heard the sound of all St. Paddy sounds. Did I mention I love a parade? I had no idea our city held a St. Patrick's Day parade. I didn't notice any streets blocked off or super-large crowds gathering on Main Street. That's usually where we hold parades. Our little table in the Lexington branch of the Thailand embassy was in a good spot to take it in. So, as the strains of "My Old Kentucky Home" got gradually louder, I got a little anxious. A surprise parade!! (BTW, evidently there's one note in our state song that bagpipes aren't equipped to make.)

I noticed lots of people from Molly's and some of the other restaurants and bars moving toward the street. About 22 seconds later they all went back. That was it!? About two dozen people in pretty kilts, hats and boots, a few on the pipes, a couple twirling batons and a handful of drums. No wonder I didn't see any TV coverage.

I admire the guys in the band. Although they should be proud of what they do, I'm sure it's not always easy to inject into a conversation, "I play the bagpipes," much less march down Main Street Kentucky in last century's Irish fashion and be the only band/float/horse/firetruck in the parade. There wasn't even a police escort.

Spring rolls done, bill paid, me and my friends strolled on down the street to catch up on the celebration with Irish coffee and deep-dish cookies. A Catholic, European holiday in a South-Midwestern city is a good enough reason to indulge.


a resolution

On March 13, 2009 the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky unanimously passed Senate Resolution 156. It reads as follows:

A RESOLUTION memorializing Angela Sue Cox and adjourning the Senate in her loving memory and honor.

WHEREAS, Angela Sue Cox was a native daughter of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, raised in Hindman in Knott County; and

WHEREAS, Angela Sue Cox knew the value of a good education and was a tenacious student attending Bethel Christian Academy, Alice Lloyd College, and the University of Kentucky; and

WHEREAS, Angela Sue Cox dedicated her career to public service working for United States Congressman Ernie Fletcher handling myriad and diverse concerns on all topics from the thousands of constituents he represented. She took this task very seriously working each concern, simple and complex alike, with precision, earnestness, and dedication; and

WHEREAS, proving herself an able assistant to Congressman Fletcher, Angela Sue Cox continued her services to the citizens of the Commonwealth under the administration of Governor Ernie Fletcher, again addressing concerns of the citizens of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, realizing her value to his administration, Governor Fletcher invested even more responsibility and trust in her efforts and capabilities and appointed Angela Sue Cox the Director of Scheduling for his office -- a position which demanded the utmost organization, diplomacy, intelligence, and commitment; and

WHEREAS, in the position of Director of Scheduling, Angela Sue Cox proved herself worthy of Governor Fletcher's trust, as she worked with the State Police in ensuring the security and well-being of the Governor, and with the National Guard in ensuring that the Governor arrived safely in his many travels within and without the bounds of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, Angela Sue Cox was known for her beautiful, sonorous voice whether she was singing to open one of the many official events she was asked to grace with her voice, or was praising God; and

WHEREAS, Angela Sue Cox not only dedicated her life to public service, she dedicated herself to God and was a faithful attendee of the Bethel Harvest Church in Lexington, Kentucky; and

WHEREAS, Angela Sue Cox was loved and respected by her many friends and family, to whom she was ever constant and generous with her own love, respect, time, and gifts; and

WHEREAS, Angela Sue Cox was the loving and beloved daughter of Jesse Cox and Peggy Cox; the loving and beloved sister of Marcia Stamper and Beth Ann Cox; and the loving and beloved aunt of Curtis Cox and James Darby Stamper; and

WHEREAS, Angela Sue Cox was the loving and beloved stepdaughter of Treba Cox; and

WHEREAS, on March 10, 2009, Angela Sue Cox began her Heavenly sojourn, her kindness, love, and angelic voice a perfect fit for her Heavenly home;


Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

The Senate does hereby express its most profound sense of sorrow and proffers its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Angela Sue Cox on the event of her passing.

The Senate affirms that in her time on this Earth, Angela Sue Cox's good works have benefited the citizens within and without the border of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Senate furthermore affirms that Angela Sue Cox's good humor, kindness, gracious spirit, and generosity will resonate, as did her beautiful voice, in the hearts and minds of her friends, family, and others fortunate to have made her acquaintance, for many years to come.

When the Senate adjourns this day, it does so in loving memory and honor of Angela Sue Cox.


angelic angela

I'd never been in my congressman's office before. I was a little nervous, although I learned about ten seconds inside the door that I had no real reason to be. The young lady at the front desk was pleasant and welcoming. Everyone I encountered was warm. I was being introduced as a new colleague, the timid new guy. Then I met Angela.

"Oh my goodness!" she said. "I know you. I have your music. I love your music. You're Kenny Bishop!" From then until our last conversation much of our talk centered around our mutual love of Gospel music. Whenever she heard a new song or discovered a new artist I'd usually get a call right away. When she became a new fan, she became a fanatic. As much as she crushed on the music and the music maker, her love was more for the Gospel than anything else.

Every constituent of Congressman Ernie Fletcher who was able to secure Angela's help for their concern was fortunate indeed. The calls that come into an elected officials office are often emotional, sometimes angry, and occasionally desperate. People don't tend to call their congressman as a first resort. Angela dealt with every case as though her own mother were on the other end. She took them personally and sacredly. If the resolution wasn't as good as hoped, she often commiserated, sometimes with tears.

Angela was the unofficial-official singer in the Sixth Congressional District office. When an event with the congressman required a voice and a song, she was the go-to girl. That particular district is one of the more historic ones in the nation. When a book was released detailing the history of the "Henry Clay District," Angela had the distinct honor of singing "The National Anthem" at the release ceremony in Mr. Clay's own back yard. I was there that day and smiled for her, even though I was a little envious. She knocked us out with her amazing rendition.

When the congressman became the governor Angela went to the state capitol. She continued to field calls from constituents for a while, a job that requires thick skin and lots of patience. As difficult as that work was, she really stepped into it when she transferred to the main desk in the governor's scheduling and travel office. There are very likely few more high-pressure government positions than that of the governor's chief scheduler. The demands, threats and subterfuge are loud and clear every day. The intense requirement of intricate detail is a constant dynamic that changes by the minute. The governor's safety and efficiency is always the top consideration. When so many others would be wringing hands and pulling hair, Angela was singing. With incredible grace, she smiled and she sang.

Ever since I met her we said we were going to sing together one day. Lots of days came and went before we finally had the opportunity. It was at the Governor's Mansion, and the occasion was Christmas when we stood at the piano and worked our voices together. The texture and the harmony were sweet and complimentary. I don't know if we got the words right, but we made a moment. I don't remember who else was in the room, but I know Angela was. You always knew when Angela was in the room.

Several weeks ago I was at a party when I got the call that Angela's house had caught fire, and thanks to a brave man who learned she was trapped, she was pulled from the smoke and flames. The local news covered the story, and as far as the world knew Angela was a survivor on her way to recovery. Those of us who were closer though learned through constant updates that her injuries were more serious, many of her treatments were not working and the infections were increasingly uncontrollable. Some days brought good news and we smiled. Other times we worried. We prayed hard for Angela's healing and just as hard for her family's strength.

A few weeks ago I had a chance to stop in to see Angela. The hour was late and the attendant was kind, but getting back to her room was not possible. I wanted to see her mother too, but she had left for the day. She'd been staying at her daughter's side for weeks, and certainly needed to rest. Peggy is another beautiful lady who was generous in passing her hearty laugh and gentle spirit on to her daughter.

This past Tuesday we all got the call that we dreaded but began to expect. It had been since before the fire that Angela was able to use her voice. At about a second past 6:15 PM she sang again.


a swell place in africa

Go ahead, ask me about Swaziland. I'm prepared. I know more about the people, the government and the culture of the tiny south African nation than I imagined I would this time last month. Know where it is? Neither did I. Get your map out and find Africa, the continent. Go south to the big country of South Africa, then look for what might be confused as a lake in the northeast edge. There it is, a small, land-locked nation tucked right up against the southwestern tip of Mozambique.

One of the really great things about my job at the state capitol is preparing for and hosting dignitaries and other VIPs when they visit with us. A few weeks ago it was parliamentarians from Croatia. This week we had a blast entertaining and hanging with several big time officials from the Kingdom of Swaziland. I have to tell you, I sorta got attached to them.

Nearly every foreign delegation that visits us here is escorted by a member of the US State Department. This gives us an opportunity to gauge our hosting skills against some of the other states that participate. We want to do things right, and we certainly want our guests to go back to their parts of the world saying Kentucky was one of their favs. We hear often that we do a good job with the southern hospitality.

As old, old, old as it is, Swaziland has only been independent of Great Britain since 1968, and is ruled by a king. He rules it too. He picks the prime minister, many of the members of the parliament and all of the judges in the courts. The rest of the legislature is made up of elected members. One thing that's cool about the Swazi government is the requirement that thirty percent of their delegates be women. Way to go Swazigirl!

Swazi life is pretty much what we'd expect. It's arid and warm there, often hot. Agriculture is mostly for self-subsistence, although the farmers there do export a fair amount of sugar cane to South Africa. Tribal customs and traditions are strong among the mostly native population, and Christianity, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, is the most practiced religion. Islam, Bahaia and Hinduism are present but not as popular.

Like most other African nations, the Swazi people are a mixture of modern society and traditional customs. Although their contemporary might seem a little outdated to us (not bad out of date though since we're already exchanging emails), their documented ancient goes father back than we North Americans can claim. Beyond all of the research and text book stuff, if the men and women I met are par for the course of the other million or so who live in Swaziland, I think it's a swell place to be.


why i'm sleepy

OK, this time thing - standard, daylight, summer (in the British vernacular), Eastern, Pacific, Greenwich... - is out of control. Just like everything else the governments of the world try to manage, the hours of our day have been taken over by "experts" and now the rest of us are confused - and sleepy. Here are my thoughts:

The inventor of Daylight saving time was a guy named William Willet, a builder in the United Kingdom. Yep, not a scientist or an astrologist or a physicist or even a clock-maker. He was a builder, but obviously one with lots of money and more than a few key connections. This one man who wanted more time to play in the sun made it his task to change the rules for all of us. Can you get much more selfish than that? BTW, some folks think DST was Benjamin Franklin's idea. Actually, BJ's solution to making candles last longer was getting up when the sun did and hitting the sack when it got dark. Good ol' American ingenuity.

A good piece of the world has decided that playing with the clock a couple of times each year just isn't necessary. Some folks even say it's unhealthy. Regardless of why, those of us nations who are reluctant to change the tick-tock tradition much more than moving it back or forth a few weeks should give it a little more serious consideration. Let's call it preventive health care. Maybe the insurance companies should hire lobbyists to address the matter.

There are others who claim that abandoning Standard time in the spring is good for the pocketbook. Merchants sell more they say. Ball games and outdoor activities thrive, and we don't use as much electricity. Farmers disagree on the help/hurt of it all, but the police say it cuts back on thieves who work dirty in the dark. That being said, I have friends who take full advantage of the switch back when last call is announced once, rescinded, then again an hour later.

Maybe shifting the clock around is a good thing overall, but for me it's just a bit annoying. I feel cheated the morning after the change, even though I slept through the sequence of events. Which causes me to question why I'm so sleepy. And if one man can mess it up, (BTW, Mr. Willett didn't live to adjust his watch.) maybe I'm the man to fix it.


ken 'n shirl

I'll bet the young Kenneth Bishop and the younger Shirley Richardson had no idea back in 1964 that life would be so excitingly dull and slow in a fast-paced sort of way. I've not asked them what their dreams or aspirations were when they agreed to marry and stick together, but their upbringing made for tempered goals I'm sure. It certainly affected their modest wedding. They got married at the preacher's house. I hear they had to shush the kids more than a few times (those PKs!!), and if there was rice it was probably on the stove.

Dad and Mom have done well for themselves. They live comfortably and in fairly good health. Their kids and grand kids know how to get to their house, and other than an occasional ice storm or church incident, things are working well. I'm proud of my folks. They're models of temperance and honesty. They have what they do because they've worked for it - Dad outside of the home, and Mom holding down the fort.

They'll quietly celebrate their anniversary today. No big deal, no cake or streamers. That's just who they are, and I love 'em for it.


my mother's day

Mom probably won't do much celebrating today. Not because she's unhappy or angry, but just because she doesn't usually make much of a deal out of her birthday. Never has that I recall.

She may think it much-ado-about-nothing, but March 2, 19?? (I don't pick unnecessary fights) is a most special day in my life. If that day wasn't she wouldn't be and neither would I. Neither would Theodor Seuss Geisel, and then there'd be no Grinch or Mount Crumpit or Whoville or Whos!! Then Jim Carrey would be stuck in a career with only mediocre movies on his resume'. Thank God for March 2nd!

Shirley Bishop has been a much better mother than Kenny Bishop has been her son. We talk a lot. The phone is our friend. I wish she did email or at least tried texting, but Mom is simple and she enjoys an uncluttered life. If I were to call her right now she'd probably be making coffee for Dad or washing sheets or watching one of my nieces or nephews. Her family gets her up every morning. She lives for us, and plans her stuff around ours.

When me and the bros are fighting, she plays like Woodrow Wilson and stays out of it. Unlike the old POTUS, she really stays out of it - no matter what. She sympathizes, but takes no position.

Call her names, throw rocks in her direction, dig up her tomatoes or refuse her cooking and she'll likely tolerate it. Mess with one of her kids or grandkids and you've picked a fight with someone who can both catch you and beat you up.

Mom is a beautiful Christian woman inside and out. She likes to laugh, knows she's stubborn and reminds me of my mamaw, who was one of the most entertaining women I ever knew, including Carol Burnett. She's not rich, but Mom is most generous. She holds no degree, but I hear lots of wisdom when she speaks. One thing she is though is a super-fantastic-wonderlicious wizard of the kitchen. I wonder if she made a birthday cake?