The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

I remember growing up on the farm. It was a boring time for me. That is until I discovered my escape in reading. I read most anything that had words I could understand, and I especially liked to read funny stories. When I heard the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, the gears of my bored mind began spinning. What fun I could have with that scenario:

What if someone would send me each of the gifts for the Twelve Days of Christmas? Send one every day for twelve days. What would I do with them? Where would I hide them from prying eyes? My dad had no sense of humor. My mother had even less. My two younger brothers would cause a peck of trouble.

I would be thrilled with the pear tree. I love pears. The partridge, not so much. I would plant the tree in the orchard and hide the partridge in the chicken coop with the chickens. The two turtle doves would not have a problem in the chicken coop either They could roost in the rafters out of reach of the pecking hens and the overly friendly roosters. Of course, the pompous three French hens might think they are better than our Rhode Island Reds. They would have to work it out. The chicken coop was far enough from the house that we wouldn't hear the commotion of their hen fights.

When I came home from school on the fifth day, Mother handed me a package the mail man had delivered. Inside were five gold rings. They looked golden, that is. I told Mother they were a promotional gift from the Saturday Evening Post. Amazingly, she believed me.

I was worried about the sixth day's gift. Six geese do not hide as easily as poultry. The only water around was the horse tank that served the cows and our two horses, Molly and Sweetheart. The geese would make a mess of that water. The nearest lake was a mile away. If I could lure the geese down the road to the lake with a trail of shelled corn, who would know? The swans that would arrive the next day could join them. Nothing like companions to make life go a little easier.

Knowing how the song went, I knew I was in trouble now. You can't hide eight maids a milking. They didn't milk all the time. I told Dad that their milking chores was a science project at our high school. He was grateful for the help.

It only worsened the next day. A Greyhound bus pulled up just as we were sitting down for supper. Out jumped nine ladies a-dancing, dressed in coordinated outfits and singing at the top of their lungs. Their harmony was excellent, but how could I explain them to my folks? I didn't even try, just led them out to the barn and introduced them to the eight milk maids. There was ample room in the hayloft. I told Mother their tour bus had broken down and they would only be spending the night.

As I walked back to the house, I hummed the tune, trying to remember the words to the song that was beginning to cause me a heap of trouble. The worst was yet to come. Early the next morning ten Lords a-leaping came prancing down the road. They broad jumped the fence into the orchard and took up positions around the pear tree. At least they were out near the lane and causing no trouble, since they didn't yet know about the ladies in the barn.

The next two gifts would blow the song right out of sight. Mother did wonder about the strange eggs, but I tried to explain it away as having to do with changing their feed mixture. My spending so much time in the barn was a bit more difficult. My two brothers twisted the head, arms and legs off every dolly I ever had. Who wants to play with only a torso? They were not on my gift list. Mother knew that.

I thought the gifts had stopped when no one showed up on the eleventh day. I was wrong. Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming arrived on the dot at midnight marching in lock step down the middle of the road. There was no hiding them. The song was at its end and my doom was sealed.

Mother had had more than she could stand of my strange behavior. I tried to explain that I had no control over receiving these gifts, but she wouldn't listen. Disposing of the twelve gifts would be my problem, she said. That would be another story.

Making up stories like this was fun. Bored out of my mind, I found ways to amuse myself. The teachers thought I was sweet. Yeah, right. I seldom was caught in the pranks I pulled. After all, being an A student I could do no wrong. Merry Christmas to all!



Get Your Morning Mojo at Liquid Lightning

Liquid Lightning

It is a great time to be a coffee drinker in Maynardville. Whether you are waking up early headed to work, finishing up the morning school drop offs, or just plain love to guzzle coffee all day, with one sip you will be sure to add a new stop to your daily route. Liquid Lightning, a local veteran owned and operated coffee shop, has opened their doors and put the go-juice on to brew with a goal of bringing delicious coffee, lots of laughs, and a sense of joy and comfort to the community.

Win for Author Kaye George

Kaye George

Knoxville TN: Local author Kaye George took home a second place win from BOULD (Bizarre, Outrageous, Unfettered, Limitless, Daring) for her short story Dream Girl. The story is published in BOULD Awards Short Story Anthology and is now available on Amazon.

Shirleys Bread

Shirley's Bread

I got a call from Aaron Russell the other day. He was checking to see how I was doing. He hadn't talked with me in a while. During the conversation, he mentions that he likes to bake bread. Not just any bread, but salt-rising bread. He described the process as well as how good the bread tastes. That got me thinking.

Ambulance Selfie

Ambulance Selfie

“Well, you always want an adventure!” Lynda locked the car doors.

It’s an interesting story how we had gotten to that point. Lynda is my best friend and cousin. We played ball together, ran around together, and went to the same middle and high school.

George Washington Cherry Treat

George Washington Cherry Treat

Fresh pie cherries aren't available in February. That's okay. Food City does my canning for me these days. They have one pound cans of red tart cherries on the shelf every day. I call them sour cherries.

Do you really think George cut down a cherry tree? Do you really think he fested up to the deed? Naw. George was known as a ladies man. I wouldn't be surprised if he did tell a lie now and then.

Science versus Faith

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal once said, “The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing… We know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart.”

Pascal was a genius and a genuine polymath who lived in the 17th century. To cover his accomplishments and body of work would require volumes, which have already been written. I want to focus on the concept he so poetically illustrated above – the ever-present battle between the head and the heart. Specifically,

Cherry Creme Fudge

Cherry Creme Fudge

Here is a fudge recipe I made a long time ago, that is, if you call 1981 a long time ago. Fudge recipes have evolved over the years. They are easier to make now. Just cook up some sugar and evaporated milk. Add chocolate and marshmallow cream and you have fudge. But it is not the same as the old fashioned variety. Oldsters will agree with me. (I will share one of those recipes at a later date.).

Failed Back Surgery Is Relatively Common

Failed Back Surgery Is Relatively Common

Failed back surgery (continued low back and leg pain after surgery) is relatively common according to a new report from the Boston University School of Medicine. With each reoperation, success, as defined by pain reduction, becomes less likely and most patients do not improve. However, preliminary studies using a simple procedure to remove scar tissue or adhesions suggests a new treatment could help those with post-surgical, chronic low back pain.

The German Beer Stein

German Beer Stein

I have had a beautiful beer stein since World War II. My brother, Rodney, sent it back from Germany. He was part of a Navy goodwill tour that started at England then went on to Germany. He sent back two beer steins and a Black Forest coo coo clock from there.

When he returned home, Rod took back the coo coo clock and one beer stein. That left me with one beer stein. I have placed that beautiful beer stein in a prominent place in my home as I moved around the country. It is time to give it a permanent home while I am still here to do so.


Interested in Homeschooling?

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 18:00

Join us for our annual Mom's night out. Monday, February 25, at six pm when April Shepherd, from the Smoky Mountain Home Education Association will be speaking at Hardees. April, a proponent of country living and a successful homeschooling Mother, will be speaking on using everyday living to teach fundamentals and life skills. She has titled her talk, "Little House on the Prairie Schooling". Sponsored by the local support group of homeschooling families, more information can be obtained by contacting Connie Dickey @ 865-992-3629

Mens Conference

Friday, March 1, 2019 - 19:00
Alder Springs Missionary Baptist Church

Alder Springs Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting a Men’s Conference on Friday, March 1st at 7:00 P.M. and Saturday, March 2nd at 9:30 A.M.
Evangelists will be Rev. Jerry Vittatoe and Rev. Mike Viles. Pastor, Rev. Jimmy Davidson extends a hearty welcome to all men.

4-H County Baking Contest

Monday, March 18, 2019 - 17:00

After youth have participated in school during February, they will be awarded a blue ribbon to move forward to the county contest. The entries at the county will be due for judging on March 18 then displayed with awards at the Extension Month Open House on March 19 for sampling.


Janice Ann Beeler Fields

Janice Ann Beeler Fields-age 66 of Corbin, Kentucky passed away suddenly Monday morning, February 18, 2019 at her home. She was a loving mother, nana, sister and friend. She will be sadly missed by all. Janice was a member of Nave Hill Baptist Church and was a former co-owner of Fields Apparel in Monticello, Kentucky. She was recently employed at SEKRI, Corbin, Kentucky for 22 years. Preceded in death by parents, James Aubrey and Lillie Beeler, two brothers, Gary and Terry Beeler; nephew, Adam Beeler.

Robert Bradley Douglas

Robert Bradley Douglas, known as Brad Douglas, was born October 12th, 1978. Brad spent his life in the Knoxville area embracing the Tennessee Volunteers, fishing and hiking. Brad's favorite thing to do was to take him and his family exploring. It is with great sadness that the family of Brad Douglas announces his passing at the age of 40. His spirit, enthusiasm and willingness to put other's needs above his own will be missed but not forgotten.

Robert Bruce Kezer

R. Bruce Kezer-age 84 of Knoxville departed this world for heaven on February 15 from his home. His family was at his side. Born in Jersey City, NJ, on September 30, 1934 to Edwin and Ruth (Adams) Kezer, Bruce graduated from the University of Vermont in 1957. He then entered the US Army and served, in peacetime, for three years until being honorably discharged at the rank of Lieutenant. Bruce loved Jesus with all his heart, and worked to live instead of the other way around.

Thomas Michael McLaughlin

Thomas M. McLaughlin age 57 currently of Maynardville TN, formerly of Edison NJ, passed away on February 8th 2019 at UT Hospital following an exhausting battle with cancer. Preceded in death by father, Thomas W, and brother Michael W McLaughlin.

Survived by wife Kathie, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer McLaughlin and Josh Lamb, son TJ, mother Elaine, sister and brother-in-law Lori and Gary Yurchak, grandchildren Chris and Michael, as well as a host of other relatives and friends.

Judson "Juddy" Bailey

Judson “Juddy“ Bailey - age 79 of Washburn, was born on February 27, 1939 and passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 10, 2019. We all called him Pap. He was a member of Nave Hill Baptist Church. He loved his family, hunting, playing cards, dogs and driving around. He spent his last few months putting on his shoes and saying “I believe I will go home”. He is finally “home“, peacefully in the arms of Jesus.

Frances Jane Nichols

Frances Jane Nichols “Janey”, age 61, of Rockford, went to be with the Lord on February 8, 2019, surrounded by her loved ones. She was a beloved mom, sister, and granny. Preceded in death by parents Jack Huggins and Bernice Van Dyke, brother Jackie Huggins, sisters Sarah Munsey, Sandy Huggins, and Darlene Dunaway.

Raymond Scott Brock

Raymond Scott Brock-age 84 of Washburn passed away Friday evening, February 8, 2019 at his home. He was a member of Salem Primitive Baptist Church. Preceded in death by wife, Barbara Brock; parents, Walter and Lois (Atkins) Brock; sister, Ruby Idol; son-in-law, Henry Paul McGinnis.

Peggy Sue Dennison

Peggy Sue (Bailey) Dennison-age 60 of Maynardville passed away Friday morning, February 8, 2019 at her home following a long illness. She was a member of The Church of God at Maynardville.

Survivors: husband, Bobby Ray Dennison; daughters, Mitzi Petty and husband, Chesney;
Trish Houston and Dora Davis; step-children, Jacob Shultz, Jessica Shultz, Jonathon Dennison and Beth De Leon Several grandchildren along with one great-grandchild. Sisters, Vickie Coram and Debbie Bailey. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

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