Deanne Has A Blog!

Apr. 11, 2017

I’d like.... another yesterday.

Turn back the hours, make it yesterday.

Go back to when I was your trusted friend,

What would I give to start with you again, beloved friend?

I’d like.... another yesterday.

Turn back the hours, make it yesterday.

I’d walk these roads again with you,

Share wine and bread and share the laughter, too.

I’d like.... another yesterday.

To feel the sun again upon my face,

To listen to the things you say,

This time, believe you really are....The Way.

And now it’s all come down to this,

I’ve betrayed you.....with a kiss.

These silver coins fall through my fingers,

Just like petals from a rose....

Too late to change things.....I suppose,

Too late to change things.....I suppose.

I’d like.....another yesterday......”

Good Friday is coming up in just a few days. Having wondered many times if Judas regretted betraying Jesus, I wrote these lyrics as part of “Hands!” The Musical and my co-writer, David Wheatley, wrote beautiful music for it. He has sung and played it several times for Good Friday services and it is so moving. We don’t really know, do we, what happened with Judas, except that it all went wrong.

Maundy Thursday services are coming up, commemorating Jesus’ breaking of the bread, “This is my body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. And taking the cup he shared it with his disciples and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” We’ll remember, too, that Jesus washed his disciples feet, Peter protesting all the way.

The Good Friday service will end in silence and darkness, but we know Sunday is coming! He is risen! He is risen, indeed! We know our Redeemer liveth! Easter at last! A time of celebration that has absolutely nothing to do with bunnies (chocolate or otherwise), exhaustive hunts for hard-boiled eggs or even honey-baked ham.  It might have something to do with new outfits, but extensive biblical research has not proven that, one way or the other.  "Before Dawn…Sunday" celebrates the fact that Jesus did, indeed, rise from the dead and lives today.  Which is an exciting thought, an amazing concept upon which we base our lives.  And beats the heck out of chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs….unless they were dyed personally by your favorite four year old. 

Before Dawn….. Sunday  

The sky was gray,

The world was hushed,

Before dawn… Sunday.

The women walked

Toward a tomb,

Jars of spices in their hands,

To tend the One,

The One Who died,

Crucified that Friday.

The women walked,

Toward the tomb,

Mary Magdalene and another.

They walked, and worried, wondering,

Who, would roll away the stone.

The sky was gray,

The world was hushed,

Before dawn, Sunday.

They stopped to rest,

Await the day,

Sad eyes filled with tears,

Sorrow for the One who died,

Crucified that Friday.

Another dawn, another day,

What did it matter, anyway?

The One who loved her as she was,

Who changed her life, was gone.

She raised her eyes to see the sky,

Streaks of pink and gold.

And then they saw,

The guards were gone,

The stone was rolled away!

Rolled away!

The grief she’d felt since Friday,

Like the stone, was rolled away!

She grabbed that jar of spices,

And running like a child,

Climbed the hill,

To tend her Lord, early on the Sunday!

They looked inside that borrowed tomb,

Petrified with fright,

An angel sat there on the stone,

Clothed in brilliant white.

“I know the one you seek,” he said,

“Jesus, crucified.

He is not here, he’s risen!

He’s risen, as he said

He’s risen!  He’s risen!

He’s risen, as he said!

Now go!  And tell the others,

He’s risen, as he said!

Look not for the living,

Here among the dead!

He is not here, he’s risen!

He’s risen, as he said!”

We rejoice on Sunday. He truly is risen as he said. We KNOW Our Redeemer liveth!




Mar. 24, 2017

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” Matt. 10:29

This picture shows what our front door usually looks like with this colorful wreath which has been up there forever because it’s sheltered from the rain, wind and sun. I say ‘usually’ because until this past week, nothing has come along to bother it. However, last Monday I noticed a whole bunch of twigs on our doormat and thought, cleverly, “where did all these come from?” So I picked them up and my eye caught on the wreath. There on the inside were a whole bunch more twigs and further inspection revealed that a sparrow or some other tiny bird was building a nest in our wreath. “Oh no, you’re not!” I thought, took all that nest stuff out, tossed it underneath the tree by the front walk and proceeded inside. I know, I sound really mean.

Later that day, went outside, more twigs on the mat, nest rebuilt. Again, removed it, and went to the market. Returned with groceries. Nest rebuilt. Removed. Next day, nest is back and I realize this little bird is going to win so nest removed and wreath taken down. I noticed that all the nest stuff that was under the tree was gone so, hopefully, she found a better spot to build her nest. You’re thinking, my gosh, what a meanie! Well, there’s a reason, friends and neighbors.

A few years ago, another little bird built her nest in a different wreath. We were thrilled! We quit using the front door, walking all the way around from the back every time we wanted to use the front gate...and when I say ‘all the way around’ – trust me on this – it’s quite a ways around! So we’re not using the door, creeping up every now and then to check on the nest and soon there are eggs in there, two of them. We feel like midwives! We caution family and friends not to go on the front porch as the little mother is nervous and flies frantically off when the nest is approached. Time passes, we’re getting a little tired of carrying groceries an additional mile and up the stairs to get them inside, but now there are little peeps coming from the nest and the eggs have hatched. We are thrilled! Our babies are finally here!

This joy and jubilation don’t last long. We come home a couple of days later to find the nest, pieces of baby bird, and a lot of ugly stuff on the doormat. One of the neighbor’s cats has found the nest and.... well, you can imagine the rest. We were devastated! We both cried as we were really invested in this little family’s success, imagining little birds learning to fly out of our wreath, taking test runs around the yard, landing in our trees.

You can understand my strong desire not to go through this again, I’m sure. I still feel mean, but it was the right thing to do. Our front door is a war zone. But this much I know, God cares a lot about sparrows:

"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” Matt. 10:29-31

“The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God.” Ps. 84:3

This poem about God and sparrows was written by Civilla D. Martin in 1905. The next day she mailed it off to Charles Gab­ri­el, who sup­plied the mu­sic. Sing­er Ethel Wa­ters so loved this song that she used its name as the ti­tle for her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy.

“His Eye Is On The Sparrow”

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I’m pretty sure God helped our sparrow find a better spot to lay her eggs, where He could keep an eye on her.


Mar. 18, 2017

We Learned It All The Hard Way, and It's All Subject to Change Without Notice, Philosophy of Life

Here we are, March 18, 2017. In exactly two weeks from today, Saturday, April 1st, my adorable husband, best friend, companion and person who laughs at my humor, will be married fifty years. (50) Yep, it's true. The day we were married, it poured. Buckets. His precious mom and dad, now in heaven for so many years were with us. Dr. Jack MacArthur officiated and, even though I cried through the entire ceremony, I've never been so happy in my life. John wore a blue suit, I wore an off-white Young Edwardian suit, navy pumps and purse and we all had lunch at the Tick Tock Restaurant afterwards. Where rabbit was on the menu. I did not eat that.

In these fifty years, we have successfully raised four amazing children, none of whom live with us, who have given us 13 fabulous grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. We have survived the building of, running of and sale of a radio station in the desert without losing our collective shirts. We have had so much fun, laughed so much, been to beautiful places together, and, as we are now experts at being married, thought we'd share a little of our Life Philosophy. Take what you like and leave the rest.

1.  God is good and loves us in spite of ourselves.

2.  Life is wonderful...and certainly beats the heck out of the alternative.

3.  Keeping your teeth tightly clenched today will probably save you from having to do a big bunch of apologizing tomorrow.

4.  The smell of cinnamon lifts the spirits.

5.  A little onion helps most recipes and, speaking of recipes, never start one that lists as a first ingredient any of the following:  2 cups of heavy cream, any amount of  leftover mashed potatoes, kohlrabi, beets or pig’s feet, pickled or otherwise.

6.  Marriage is a lot of fun, especially if you don't insist on having your way all the time.

7.  Having your own way is a lot of fun.

8.  Children do eventually grow up and they do move out and, when you force them, will come back and remove all their belongs from your basement.

9.  Worrying doesn't change anything except it makes you cranky and gives you wrinkles.

10. E-mail is fabulous, you can keep up with everyone you know, no matter where in the world they are, without having to locate a stamp.

11. A nice cup of tea makes you feel does a nice glass of champagne.

12. One tomato plant in a big pot, in a sunny spot on your front porch will give you enough satisfaction, and tomatoes, to last you all summer and fall.

13. Dieting makes you almost as cranky as worrying and is usually just about as effective.

14. It is not possible to eat one peanut, one tortilla chip, one chocolate chip cookie.  It is possible to eat one carrot, one piece of broccoli or one brussel sprout.  Actually, it’s possible never to eat a brussel sprout...or peas.

15. “Please,” “thank you,” “I'm sorry,” and “you were right” are always very sweet to hear, and a real plus in getting along with others, especially people you happen to be married to.

16. Telling the complete and total truth in all situations makes other people want you to stay home by yourself....Honest!

17. Learning to enjoy football is far more rewarding than complaining about it.

18. Early morning walks, complimenting the Creator on His handiwork, are a great way to start the day.

19. Exercise feels wonderful...when it's over.

20. A good steak once in a while is fabulous, so let our arteries fend for themselves, and pass us that A-1 sauce while we still have our teeth!

21. It is possible to learn to program your DVR, or whatever recording device you’ve got,  and watching “Top Chef” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday is far more enjoyable than trying to watch it at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

22. Praying does wonders for your attitude about any situation, whether it changes the situation or not.

23. If you floss your teeth and rotate your tires they'll both last longer.  Smiling makes your face last longer.

24. If discouraged, disappointed, disgusted or dismayed, go back to #1:   God is good and loves us in spite of ourselves.

And if you've married the right person, a splendid person who appreciates you and likes your cooking, is proud of everything you write; books, Kindle novelettes, blogs, newspaper columns; never gets annoyed or rolls his eyes when you endlessly point out sunrises, sunsets and flowers, and is ready to go out to dinner any time you say, "Let's go out!" and will go to movies you pick without complaining...too much, and will hug you and hold you when you're hurting, without telling you how to fix it, you'll be happy. I know I certainly have been, and am looking forward to the next fifty years!



Mar. 4, 2017

 “Dance like nobody’s watching,

Love like you’ve never been hurt,

Sing like nobody’s listening,

Live like it’s heaven on earth.

Now I ask you, don't these people look like they're having the best time ever? Aren't these the best horrible faces ever? Isn't this Daddy the most patient guy ever? Our Texas daughter, Crissy, sent us pictures of the Daddy Daughter Dance, most of which featured little girls racing 'round so fast the camera could hardly capture them, and a bunch of Dads standing with their hands in their pockets, desultorily discussing sports and waiting for this to end. BUT, Good Sports all, they were there, and these little girls will never forget going to the Daddy Daughter Dances. Crissy, the only one of our girls who went to a high school where dances happened, will never forget being dressed to the nines, usually with a hat, and going with her handsome Dad. Of course, there was the year when he was on a business trip and her big brother, John, took her. He was, and is, devastatingly handsome and her reputation was greatly enhanced as all the little high school girls swooned over her brother.

The Misses Emily and Jessie had a big night out last week.

Wally W. Watkins Elementary School, The pride of Wylie, Texas,

Where the Misses E and J, are the stars of first and third grade,

Was totally redone, redecorated, transformed,

Into a magical place, where memories were made.


The Misses E and J and their Daddy

Were dressed up to the nines,

They both were fluffed and buffed, and he,

Could not have looked more handsome.

The smiles on all their faces,

Were happy and sweet…and then some!


The Misses E & J and their Daddy enjoyed all the refreshments,

Hawaiian punch and cookies,

Chocolate chip and Oreos,

Have another two or three,

“No, no thank you, girls, that’s quite enough for me!”


Miss Emily spent the evening racing ‘round with friends,

While Miss Jessie and her Daddy talked and laughed till almost eight.

No, they didn’t dance a single dance,

Not a foxtrot or a waltz.

But they finally got into the photo booth,

Which you can see was quite a blast!


The Misses E and J and their Daddy, made memories last week.

They looked so lovely and he looked just grand,

Nothing they did was thought out or planned,

An evening together, dressed up, that’s all,

But the Misses Emily and Jessie, and their Daddy, who is their Prince,

Loved every single minute at the Wally W. Watkins Elementary ball.

"Memories...the sweetest things we carry through life."


Feb. 18, 2017

“Let me die with my eyebrows on!”

“Between Your Status and Your Quo”

Fay Angus (1975)

As it has been a year now since Fay Angus left us to take up residence in heaven, I thought I would put this particular piece up again in her honor and for her children, Katrelya, and Ian and his family. Fay's memorial celebration was on an absolutely exquisite day and friends and neighbors gathered in Memorial Park. Katrelya danced, stories were told, hearts were shared, and there was much laughter. And there was tea. And cookies and Fay would have loved it.

I’m not sure she did (have her eyebrows on) as it was late at night when she was stricken. Now that she’s in heaven with her beloved Lord, my dear friend and fellow author, Fay Angus, doesn’t have to worry about that anymore.

Sometimes an amazing person enters your life and you don’t realize it then but it becomes crystal clear later. That was Fay Angus. John and I were married on April 1, 1967. His three little children, Leah, Patti and John, came to live with us after school ended in June and we moved into the house up the long driveway behind Fay’s house in July. I was 25 years old and had no clue about what to do with children or how to be married. Fay invited me into her red kitchen almost immediately and gave me the first of several hundred cups of tea that I drank with her over our lifetime of friendship.

When I say, “tea,” that does not mean a teabag in an ugly mug of hot water. No, indeed! Fay made “tea” the way it’s supposed to be made, with a warmed pot, water in a kettle brought to a boil, but not poured boiling on the tea leaves, and the whole thing covered with a tea cozy and time to steep. While the tea was steeping, I could quit crying, could pull myself together, could realize whatever was the matter was not the end of the world, and by the time Fay poured tea into a beautiful cup with a saucer and put a few cookies on the table, my heart had quit pounding.

Fay made tea for so many people, always just like that. She would say, “let’s have a cup of tea, dear,” and she would sit down with me or whoever had appeared at her door, and listen as though she had nothing else in the world to do.

When our dog, Trinka, had puppies, Fay took one and named him Zippy. When Crissy was born, Fay was at my side within minutes to pray with us and dedicate this new little girl to the Lord. Thanks to Fay, I learned about Dr. Ettinghausen, who specialized in home births, which is how Crissy arrived on the planet.

Fay was an amazing woman, born in Brisbane, Australia to parents who were both born in China. She grew up in Shanghai, lost her older brother, Maurice, to appendicitis when she was nine and she and her mother were interred in a Japanese concentration camp in Yangchow for two and a half long difficult years during WWII.

As I look at her books, each autographed to me...

Deanne...Hope this tickles your sense of humor – thank God you know how to laugh! Blessings and love, Fay. (Between Your Status and Your Quo - 1975)

Deanne...An encouragement and dazzle in my life. Rejoicing in your friendship. Love, Fay.

(How To Do Everything Right and Live To Regret It – 1983)

Deanne...Super special in my life...Love ya, Fay.

(The Catalyst - 1979)

Beloved Friend – Deanne – Blessings and much love, Fay.

(The White Pagoda – 1978)

Deanne...Who rejoices my heart and...always...delights my life – forever friend...

Fay Angus (Mortal coils and Other Splendid Stuff – 1995)

There may be others I missed, I know she had been working for some time on a book about her father, Ernest William Woodward, who was quite a dashing figure during WWII, but I don’t know if it was ever finished.

Fay worked tirelessly in Sierra Madre’s Canyon area in the 60’s and 70’s finding and rescuing teens who were in drug or alcohol trouble, runaways, kids who needed help and we had a thrift shop organized by Fay here in town for many years to raise money to support her refuge house.

She was a terrific and much sought-after speaker and did countless retreats and engagements all over the world, but there was always time for tea and a talk. She helped me grow up, she explained children to me, she gave me the best recipe ever for chicken and rice which I have made 10,000 times. She encouraged me in my writing and was proud of every word I ever wrote. She was funny! She was a force in our community, she campaigned tirelessly against hard core pornography. She was Jesus to so many and now they are together.

Occasionally, we would meet in front of the broccoli at Albertson’s and find a half hour had ticked off as we laughed and caught up. I miss that, Fay, and I miss you terribly. We walk past your house most days, John and I, and I find myself looking up at your front door, hoping you will come out to retrieve your newspaper and we can have just one more hug. What a gift you were to so many, including me.