Facetious Food Spoken Here

I like fun words like today’s word of the day by dictionary.com. A facetious word it is, prompting me to also look up facetious [fuhsee-shuh s], although already confident on it’s meaning. But seeing that it was included in the definition, I thought I would be extra, extra sure. And yep, facetious means not to be taken seriously, or amusing and humorous.

I imagine the word alone will give away it’s humor, for everyone knows there’s no such thing as a cackleberry tree, right? A noun that means a hen’s egg used for food, cackleberry [kakuh-l-ber-ee] is indeed a word, and a funny one at that. “Two cackleberries over easy, please!”

Spoken as early as the 1900’s in the U.S., whomever coined this slang likely had a dang good sense of humor.


The historical attention deficit

Today’s Word of the Day by dictionary.com has two definitions. One of them is just what the word sounds like, which is woolgathering,  a gathering of the tufts of wool shed by sheep and caught on bushes. This is actually the second definition. The first one is very different and it seemed like the wrong definition for the word until I realized how it came about.

A noun, woolgathering [woo l-gath-er-ing] is, and also means an indulgence in idle fancies and in daydreaming; absentmindedness. Because gathering tufts of wool was thought to be a mindless task and gatherers were caught daydreaming, this definition grew out of the literal sense. Entering the English language in the mid-1500’s, I suppose it could be considered the historical disorder of attention deficit.

I also suppose that a woolgatherer would be a person who collects the woolgatherings left by sheep. What about a person doing the indulging of fancies, would they, or could they, be called a woolgatherer as well? So a person with attention deficit disorder, could they be called an attention deficiter? Just kidding, I know this is not a word. I know that they are simply called someone who does not subtract. 😉

My bout with my beloved boater

When you think of someone living on a boat, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? What do you imagine it to look like? Under what circumstances do you suppose would precipitate a person choosing to live on a boat?

Needless to say, the idea has never appealed to me. Not even on a million dollar yacht, would I choose to live, unless the alternative was homelessness perhaps. Unless my finances were in such serious arrears (which, by the way, is today’s Word of the Day by dictionary.com) that I had no other choice, I could not see myself living on a boat. But that’s just me, or so I thought. I know someone else who says it would be living his dream.

“Wouldn’t you get lonely?” I questioned, although he’s probably the biggest “loner” I ever have met, to which he replied, “No, I’d have you with me!” “Oh really!” I exclaimed and then laughed, “You would really want me to live on a boat with you?” “Of course!” he said, “but I don’t know how you’d do. You couldn’t bring a bunch of stuff, it’s just the bare necessities on a boat.” I felt a twinge of fear at the mere thought of this and then chuckled when I thought, well, I am an all-or-nothing kind of person!

A bit later, I thought about all of the things on my never-ending to-do list. The many things I feel I need to do, the things I want to do, and the things I told others I would do, weighed heavily on my mind. Just think of how many things would be eliminated from my list if we lived on a boat, I mused to myself. Just think of how much time I would have to do all the things I want to do most in this life if we lived on a boat! My excitement surprised me.

Upon seeing today’s Word of the Day, I first thought of when it would have applied to my financial health. Thankful to no longer be in such a situation, my attention turned to the phone calls from friends I need to return, my over-grown garden, and lots of laundry. I was somewhat surprised at how feeling overwhelmed due to arrears  is the same for me, whether the cause is finances, friendships or chores.

Meaning the state of being behind or late, especially in the fulfillment of a duty, promise, obligation, or the like, the word arrears [uh-reerz] is a plural noun and, according to dictionary.com, idioms, when talking about being in arrears. So that feeling, for me, really stems from me not fulfilling an obligation, whatever it is. The solution? Well, picking up the phone is a start. Whether it is to straighten out finances or catch up with a friend, merely making the attempt eases the overwhelming feelings. Or I could just sail away with my husband.


Marian’s Mnemonic Mantra

When you apply sunscreen, do you make sure to rub it into your skin real good? I do, I have always done it this way, and to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever personally suggested to me otherwise. That is, until my friend Marian showed me a better way. The first day of our vacation with friends, we all lathered on the sunscreen – SPF 30, although we now know that our northern friends the first few days should use SPF 50, and we rubbed it in real good. Marian got a little crispy, but just a little. Marian determined that she would be better protected if the sunscreen was not rubbed into her skin, but left on top of her skin, acting as a barrier. And from then on out, every time she applied sunscreen (which was several times a day), she would chant, “Barbecue sauce, not a rub… barbecue sauce, not a rub…” By the end of the week, if I even saw her reach for the sunscreen, I automatically thought, barbecue sauce, not a rub. So that is Marian’s mantra, which could also be called a mnemonic, because it helps me to remember to leave a barrier of sunscreen and not thoroughly rub it in.

Brought to us by dictionary.com, mnemonic is today’s Word of the Day, pronounced ni-mon-ik. Used as a noun, mnemonic is something intended to assist the memory, as a verse or formula; as an adjective, it means assisting or intended to assist the memory. Well Marian, your mantra certainly did assist my memory in changing the way I have applied sunscreen my whole life, and therefore, I am calling it a mnemonic. Or, it could also be Marian’s mnemonic mantra. Yep, that’s it!

Billy Jo and Mimi

There’s just nothing like waking up with Kate Bradley, the Bradley girls and Uncle Joe at the Shady Rest Hotel. Good, wholesome television is such a rarity these days and shows like Petticoat Junction do a good job captivating my attention. On this morning’s show, Kate tries to get one of her daughters to turn her attention to the new handsome, young doctor in town with hopes that she’ll actually become interested in going to medical school. When Floyd asked her how she knew the doctor would be interested, I swear it sounded like she said something along the lines of Billy Jo being a cynosure, which just so happens to be today’s word of the day on dictionary.com.

Yep, cynosure [sin-uh-shoo r] is a noun and it is something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc. So there you have it, in the land of Susie’s Write Solutions, a cynosure can be a person; it can also be something a person is wearing, as in jewelry or clothing, or even makeup, like Mimi in the Drew Carey Show. Hopefully I helped you to learn something new today, and if not, at least you have the name of a good show to go check out.

A-B-C is easy as 1-2-3

I know many abecedarians. I first thought of the little ones I know who just graduated from Kindergarten and those getting ready to go in the fall, seeing that according to Dictionary.com, the first definition of abecedarian, today’s Word of the Day, is “a person who is learning the letters of the alphabet.” How appropriate that it is pronounced ey-bee-see-DAIR-ee-uhn, or a-b-c-darian.

It also means “a beginner in any field of learning,” and I know a few of those who are grown-ups. Two of my friends are learning a new business and another two went back to school for a degree, there’s four off the top of my head. I bet if I thought about it long enough, I could come up with an example for all of my friends.Very broad examples, and perhaps not technically on point, like I guess you could say I am a beginner in the field of blogging every day. I’m also new at driving a small car, and after driving high-up for the past eighteen years in a van, an SUV, and then a truck, a small car certainly feels like learning a new field!

To Meddle is to Nettle

To meddle is to nettle – I think so anyway. That is because it annoys me when people meddle. Getting into other people’s business uninvited is a no-no, for those of you who may not know. So, meddling causes nettling, which is to irritate, annoy or provoke. It is also today’s Word of the Day on Dictionary.com.

Killing Words

Most people have heard of homicide, but what about the word verbicide? My first thought upon seeing this Word of the Day was that just as Homo, as in Homo sapiens, is a human, verb is a word. In other words, just as homicide means killing another person, verbicide is the killing of a word. Sort of.

Oliver Wendell Holmes compared homicide and verbicide in The Atlantic Monthly in 1857, saying that life and language are both sacred. “That is,” he wrote, “violent treatment of a word with fatal results to its legitimate meaning, which is its life – are alike forbidden.” According to the definition by Dictionary.com, the distortion or depreciation of the meaning of such word must be done willfully for it to be considered verbicide. Not like when my husband (soon-to-be then) asked my mom who “Carte Blanche” was when she informed him that she had (her, it) to choose the flowers for our wedding. No, he didn’t commit verbicide that day, he had just never heard of “carte blanche” before. He’s likely to never forget what it means now, over twenty years later it is still one of my favorite wedding stories. Thankfully, he’s a good sport.

I was going to say that the next time you think about deliberately changing the meaning of a word by the way you use it, keep in mind that it’s verbicide and you might decide against it. However, upon second thought of this statement, I wonder about using a pun. Perhaps I’ll look further into the differences tomorrow, if there are any, but until then I’m done!

Adret (a-DREY) is the word today

Having never lived on a mountain, or anywhere close to a mountain, I can not say whether or not I would find it desirable. I can tell you that I found it absolutely horrifying when we drove up a mountain in North Carolina, and it was just as frightening going back down. We were visiting my husband’s cousin a few years ago, a beautiful place, but a little too steep for me and my anxiety. My poor husband.

Here’s a view while driving (picture taken by me, the passenger): NC1

Apparently, when talking mountains, there is a shady side and there is a side that receives direct sunlight. As one might expect, the shadier side is usually rocky and steep while the sunny side is more fertile. This side, the sunny side, is called an adret, pronounced a-DREY, and is Dictionary.com‘s Word of the Day. If I ever had to live on a mountain, I would say, “Okay, just make sure I’m on the adret!”


Vain People or Vane People?

You’re so vain, you probably think this blog is about you… Oops, wait a minute – back up. Sorry, wrong vain. I meant to say – You’re so vane, no one can ever count on you, and of course I am talking to those who change their minds with the wind. Yep, according to Dictionary.com, today’s Word of the Day, vane, refers to people as well as a weather vane and six other items. If you didn’t know that, then you have learned something new today!

Verb – to grope.

My husband has a grabbling problem. Thankfully it is only with me, and also the reason why I’m not going to talk about it. It’s not a bad thing, but being a family channel here, subjects of that nature are off-limits. However, it is the only thing I can think of for the word grabble. And that’s all you get from me about today’s Word of the Day, brought to you by Dictionary.com.

Word up – One way to win a conversation

“Appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one’s intellect or reason,” is the definition of today’s Word of the Day by Dictionary.com… do you know what it is? The second definition of this adjective is “attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument,” and no, the answer is not politician. Besides, that would be a noun. We are looking for the adjective that describes the politician. The word we are looking for today is ad hominem.

John Locke is quoted using this word in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding from 1960. Locke writes, “…a third way is to press a man with consequences drawn from his own principles or concessions. This is already known under the name argumentum ad hominem.” This quote also comes from Dictionary.com and I can only guess what he means about a third way to… what? Appeal to the man’s prejudices and emotions or attack his character? I guess either one would work.

So there you have it. Sometimes focusing on the fluff and not the real stuff is the only way out of a conversation. For example, if your neighbor can’t stop talking about what a great experience going to a NASCAR race is, and won’t stop trying to talk you into going, an ad hominem remark might work. If he doesn’t want you to know how redneck he really is, then saying something such as, “Ya, I could arrange a church field-trip and change the stereotype of NASCAR fans around the world,” just might do the trick.

Without a Paddle?

IMG_1076What’s worse than finding yourself up a creek without a paddle? How about out in the Gulf without one? The Gulf of Mexico, that is. At least in a creek, your odds of drifting to shore somewhere nearby are a whole lot better.

If you have read my blog about our recent vacation to the Florida Keys (assusieseesit.wordpress.com) (currently working on new location), you probably know where I am going with this. But if not, I will fill you in on what makes for a great substitute paddle. First of all though, let me say that I do not recommend replacing the paddle, something I think every boat should carry two of (2 – got that Dave?) at all times, but just in case you find yourself adrift with only one, and your ship-mate is hollering at you to find something to paddle with, anything to help their efforts of using the one on board, and to keep from going in circles, I’m here to tell you that a fin works just fine. I found that it was much more work on my arms than a paddle, but it did the job nonetheless. Of course, this would only be an option if you had snorkeling or scuba gear on-board, and fortunately, we did, since we had been out snorkeling.

Perhaps that’s what my husband was thinking all along in order to preserve our precious room aboard, which is fine – should he be the one leaning over the side of the boat pushing at the tide with a dive fin on his hand – but no, it wasn’t  like that. Did I get mad? Oh you bet I did! But I’m an adult, and have been trying to act like one, so it didn’t take me long to realize that I’m responsible for my own well-being and situations I put myself into. Okay, I lied, it took me a while to realize this. Initially, I felt that he should have taken a little better care of me after 20 years of marriage, but why? Where did this idea come from? What’s wrong with me taking care of me? What if he expected the same? I don’t know, but one thing’s for sure – 2 decades after saying “I do,” I continue to willingly play in the mud with him and then get mad when I get dirty. Now whose fault is that?

The fact of the matter is, I have more fun with him – broke down in the middle of a mud pit or stranded out in the Gulf of Mexico – than it’s worth getting upset about. And it is possible to make the upsetting stuff not so upsetting. I mean, who doesn’t love a good story? And that’s what made my paddling do-able – thinking of the story I was going to make of it, which brought on an entire new blog. And by the way, Dave offered to use the fin, and asked me more than once if I wanted to trade, but don’t you know, I had to be the one suffering in this story, so I told him, “No, I’m FINE.” And the poor guy believed me.

It all turned out fine though, and I would repeat the whole trip in an instant. You can read about it on my new WordPress blog – As Susie Sees It (will let you know). And in the meantime, if you’re going out on a boat, don’t forget the paddles! Both of them!

And as always, thanks for stopping by.

Don’t Know Where To Go, Go See A Show!

“Go see a show,” a fun solution if you ever have the opportunity to do so.  The Kravis Center in downtown West Palm Beach is a gorgeous theater, just going there was a treat.  And although I had never heard of Chick Corea or Bela Fleck before my husband informed me he was going to see them in concert and would love it if I would accompany him, I thoroughly enjoyed the show.


The piano and banjo, that’s all they play, for over two hours.  I was surprised at how fast the time flew.  I was surprised at how good I felt on the way out.  I was surprised on the way home when I realized that I hadn’t thought of anything else, which is a good thing.  Sometimes clearing your mind and not thinking about the weight of your world does wonders.  Going to a show is likely to accomplish just that.

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell will be at the Kravis Center in May, I’d like to go to that.  Steve Martin plays the banjo, in case you didn’t know.  Another thing I didn’t know is that you can see most shows there for only twenty-five bucks.  A Good Deal!  So next time you are looking to do something and don’t know what to do or where to go, find your local theater and go see a show!

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

Do you know a pack-rat?  How about a hoarder?  Is there a difference?  My husband could point out a few that we know but don’t you dare lump him in that category.  No, he is what he calls a frugal builder.

It started when he was 10 and the neighbor gave him some wood he had in his garage to build a tree fort.  A few decades later and now a contractor, my husband Dave rarely passes up an opportunity to bring home the freebies.  Plywood, posts, studs and blocks, both glass and concrete, those are things I can look forward to him getting excited about.

Usually, he has no idea what the item will be used for, he just knows that someday it will come in handy for someone or something.  Like last fall, he made the platform for the Relay for Life float in the Acreage Parade completely out of freebies.  And after the parade, the material got dismantled and put back in the shop for whenever it is needed again.  Probably for the wall of hope needed next month.

What I used to hound him for, bringing each and every thing he could re-use home with him, I am now grateful for.  It’s funny how life turns around.  I’m sure having it in his shop versus our living room makes a big difference too.  And one last thing – if you are a saver of your stuff, that’s fine, just make sure you re-use!


Hang Around Long Enough, You’ll Need A Slim Shim

Today’s tip involves some tactics that may be a little much for the average person to perform, but if you know your way around tools and are handy around the house, then you could probably pull it off.  But unless you have a slightly off-kilter door in need of adjusting, my solution will mean little to you anyway.

So let’s say you have an interior door that is having a problem latching.  The strike-plate, where the doorknob’s insides latch into the hole, is probably a little too high or low, and therefore the latch won’t catch.  If the hole is higher than the latch on the door, the door needs to be raised ever so slightly.  One way to do this is to put a small shim under the door’s hinge.  First, cut a small piece of cardboard (I used a diet coke box) a little smaller than the hinge on the door jam, or the frame of the door.  Unscrew the bottom hinge on the frame (not the door), slip the piece of cardboard under the hinge, and screw it back in.

This may seem silly to some, but before you seek out your screwdriver make sure you comply with any rules your community may have about stuff like this.  I know of an association that could very  well say you need a permit because technically, in a very obscure way, you are hanging a door.  So understand how some may see it as way more than it actually is, but don’t make it more than it is either, if you are thinking about performing this fix.


Green Eggs And Ham, Break The Fast Ma’am

In my whole forty-something years of living, I have never heard, until the other day that is, that breakfast literally means break a fast.  Of all the people I have told this interesting tidbit to, I’m the only one who just recently found this out.

My dad also shared a tidbit with me about breakfast, though I believe the original source was Dr. Oz from the TV show.  He said that you should eat protein within thirty minutes of waking up.  From what I remember, you will be more energetic, crave sugar less (if you do), and it aids in weight loss.  Speaking of Dr. Oz, he will be in town here on Saturday, March 23, at the Gardens Mall, in case you are interested.

So who’s with me on eating some protein after waking in order to break the fast we’ve been in?


Don’t Give It Up, Give It Over

People can be so mean.

Some behave badly in an effort to make themselves feel better, others pass it on because, well, that’s all they know, and there are those who feel they have been wronged and believe someone should pay for it.  And sometimes, that someone is anyone.

Perhaps if you have been mean to others (and are aware of it), you might find it a little easier to be forgiving, because you can put yourselves in the mean person’s shoes. But if you have been hurt so badly that you can not find it in your heart to forgive, then what do you do?  I have heard helpful phrases like, “Let it go,” “Give it to God,” and “Turn it over,” and they are great and everything, but tonight I heard something better.

Beth Moore, in teaching her bible study James on DVD, captivated my attention tonight, as she does every Monday night.  Do you know what it means to yield?  Driving a car, if you come upon a yield sign, you slow down or stop to let the other cars on the road go first.  Well, forgiveness is an act of yielding.  Say what?  That’s what I thought when I first heard this.

Get this – instead of  “letting it go” or “giving it to God,” how about “yielding it up”?  Of course, if you are a master of letting it go, then by all means, keep doing what works.  But for me, yielding is more palatable than letting go.  There is a situation I am having trouble “letting go” of, I mean, I’m not ready or willing to totally release it and have it gone forever (or even just the rest of the day), but I can see myself willing and able to yield it up to God.

James 3:17 (NKJV) says, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”  So it seems it’s not mandatory to give it up, it’s perfectly acceptable to just yield.  Next time you find yourself frustrated with this forgiveness issue, remember Beth Moore’s wise words – “Don’t give it up, give it over!”

It Starts With A Seed

seedsWith March quickly marching toward us, it’s time for us Floridians to start gardening.  Well, some here never stop, but technically now is the time to plant.  The non-Floridians could also start, indoors anyway, and I have a couple of ideas that you may find useful.

Seedlings are easy to start and fun to watch grow.  Here’s a way the whole family can see:  Wet a sponge and put it on a plate, spread your seeds out evenly on the sponge and put the plate in a sunny window.  Keep the sponge damp by frequently adding water.  When the seedlings have a healthy root, pot them up in peat pots to get them ready for the garden.

You can also make a simple “mini-greenhouse” to start your seeds in, using materials you can recycle from the grocery store.  Clear plastic containers that goods come in from the bakery work well, with the hinged top and see-thru plastic.  You can fill it with starter mix if you want, or just use the bottom and close the lid to retain moisture.  Empty egg cartons also work well.

When watering the seedlings, use a teaspoon of baby shampoo mixed with a quart of water.  This will keep the soil surface soft and moist so seedlings can break through easily.  You can also keep your seedlings cozy by storing them on top of your refrigerator, where they will stay warm.  Just don’t forget about them, they need to stay moist too.

So go have fun with some seedlings, and make sure you check back for ideas for when your seedlings become sprouts!

When Life Throws You Lemons

When my daughter called to tell me of her plight at the auto mechanic shop today, I was doing housework and was a sweaty, disheveled mess.  “My car won’t be ready until five, and I have to be at school at three to take an exam.  Do you think you could pick me up and give me a ride, and if not, can you help me with the bus schedule?”  Just the thought of her willingness to take the bus makes me smile.

“No, you’re not taking the bus, I’ll be there in a half an hour,” I said, and hung up the phone.  As I headed for the door, I caught my reflection and in my thoughts gasped, I can’t go out in public looking like this!  I washed my face, brushed my teeth and grabbed a baseball hat out of the closet.  I am so glad I did, because when my daughter suggested we get a bite to eat in the mall’s food court, I didn’t have to feel sorry for her having to be seen with me.  With a pair of big sunglasses to go with the hat, I was incognito.

My sweet daughter apologized for ruining my day and I told her that life happens, and when it does, we just have to go with it.  You can either float along with the current or fight it.  “No big deal,” I told her, when I should have said, “Are you kidding me?  I can’t remember the last time just you and I got out and had lunch together, and that absolutely made my day!”  Because it did.

So remember the hat trick next time life happens to you.  And who knows, you may get lucky too!


If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say…

Sometimes the solution is as easy as keeping your mouth shut.  Whether you are a passenger in a speeding boat or have a hot head in a room full of people, keeping your mouth shut can save you.

I recently heeded this advice, which is good, but I keep wanting to throw my two cents in, which is not good.  No one wants my two cents, not on this matter anyway.  And I don’t blame them, considering I haven’t much nice to say.

So God, with His great sense of humor, reminded me of this and why I need to continue to keep my mouth shut.  Currently in week three of Beth Moore’s study on the book of James, I opened my homework up tonight and found instructions to write Proverbs 17:27.  Proverbs?  I thought.  This is a study of James, why am I looking up Proverbs?  Then I got the punchline.  Proverbs 17:27 says, “The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding.”  Thank you God, I needed that reminder!

To Train A Cat

The newest kitty in our home, affectionately called “Miss Kitty”, likes to climb.  She particularly likes the shelves on our bedroom wall, which is a problem.

To put an end to her shelf-climbing, I put water in a spray bottle and kept it next to my bed.  Every time I saw her checking out the shelves, I sprayed a stream of water across the room at her.  Let me tell you, she does not like it.  Needless to say, she started staying away from the shelves and before I knew it, the spray bottle wound up in the kitchen since I found I really didn’t it in the bedroom any longer.

Well tonight, Miss Kitty walked over to an area I did not want her in and when I reached for the spray bottle by my bed, it was not there.  Miss Kitty did not seem to realize this either, as she flashed me a look then took off from the area.  It was as if she said, I know, I know, I’m outta here.

So using the spray bottle to keep my cats out of my stuff has worked well.  And after a while, a pretend bottle even works!


Share Your Uses!

Who doesn’t have a tin of petroleum jelly in their medicine cabinet?

If there were such a thing as a list of “must haves around the house,” I would think it would be on it.  It has so many uses, and I would have thought it to be with first aid stuff, but at my local grocery store it is only on the baby aisle.  Having no babies, it took me a while to find it.

My inclination of looking for it in first aid probably comes from a doctor telling me that it was just as good to use on my cut as neosporin because I was on an antibiotic.  He said the antibiotic made up for difference between the two.  This was many years ago, but I don’t think either has changed much since then.

I have many more uses for petroleum jelly, but the one I came across today is new to me.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I was told that you can use it to remove imperfections in your wood furniture.  Rub the jelly on water spots and heat marks, coating the area of the imperfection and let it stand overnight.  Wipe clean in the morning.

What are some uses you have for this product?  G Rated please.

How About Some Salt in Your Wash?

While I was folding clothes this afternoon, my husband asked me why I was doing laundry on my birthday.  “It’s Thursday and I need to do laundry,” was all I could think to say.  “Awe, well you shouldn’t have to do laundry on your birthday,” he said.  No that’s okay, you don’t know it yet but I’m not cooking today, I thought.

I will take laundry over cooking any day.  Okay, most days.  Washing my husband’s clothes can be challenging, depending on the type of job he is on.  I have learned some helpful tricks though.

  • Add a couple pinches of salt to your wash water.  Your clothes should keep their vivid colors and wear longer for a lot less than colorsafe bleach.  Bleach is harder on fabric than salt.
  • If your laundry soap is almost gone and you have a couple of loads left to do, make it stretch by adding a 1/4 cup of baking soda.  As a bonus, your clothes will smell fresh and feel soft.
  • And did you know that rinsing your clothes in cold water not only saves energy, but it keeps clothes from excessive wrinkling and makes them easier to iron?  Now you do!

It was a good day to catch up on laundry because it was a good day not to cook.  Happy Birthday to me!


It’s Time For Me To… Take Over

Do you have a particular project that you wouldn’t mind delegating?  Do you have a friend with a tendency to take over projects you start?  Well there you go!  Need I say more?

Well, I will anyway.  My wonderful husband of 20 years this year has that tendency.  My best friend dubbed him “Take Over Dave” a couple of decades ago, and we laughed about it again today as he started clearing an area my friend was clearing.  She moved to another area, and he was over there within 10 minutes.  I searched my brain for something I’d been wanting him to do; I was going to start doing it and just wait for him to come take over.  Unfortunately, I don’t climb ladders, change electrical parts or work on automobiles, so there wasn’t anything on my “his to do list” that I could actually start.

Another unfortunate is, I have found out that it doesn’t work well with dishes or laundry.  It occasionally works with cooking, but it’s a gamble and usually only on Sunday’s.  Is this deceitful?  I don’t think so, but then again, my husband is well aware of what’s going on.  It’s all in fun, and hey – we get something done!


A Walk A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Ever since I can remember, my father has stressed to us kids how important exercise is.  He would quote statistics that showed how exercise lowers the chances of stroke and depression and how it improves overall health.  And he didn’t just say it, he lived it.

Both of my parents were always into sports, while I was growing up it was tennis.  Prior to getting married and having children though, they both played basketball in high school.  My father, Wendell Arnold, touches on this in his book, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, and their first picture together that I know of is from this time period on the basketball court.  From page 38 of Wendell Arnold’s autobiography:

By the end of the year basketball season got into full swing.  We were both very good basketball players.  Our school had girls and boys traveling on the same bus.  As we traveled to the game boys and girls had to sit on opposite sides of the bus, but on the way home we could sit together.  Everyone knew the back seat was ours on the trip home.  Everyone thought we were making out but really we were sleeping, as we were exhausted.  We continued dating the remainder of my senior year and then all through Carolyn’s senior year.


I had received a scholarship from Tishomingo College to play football but I thought it was too far away from Hastings.  I was also considering enrolling in at Oklahoma State University; however, I decided to go to Cameron College in Lawton because Carolyn thought it would be nice if I went to Cameron, as it was closer to home.  She was in her senior year and I could come down on weekends. We went out every weekend.  Life was good.  Carolyn’s dad became increasingly concerned that our relationship was growing much too serious and he monitored her curfew relentlessly.  Carolyn was at the top of her class academically and her parents weren’t about to let their daughter sacrifice her grades for a courtship.

If you haven’t already, please visit wendellarnold.com for more information about Wendell Arnold’s autobiography.  Already receiving rave reviews, you won’t want to miss this intriguing story!

In the meantime, exercise just a little each day to lower your chances of stroke, depression and improve your overall health, even if it’s just walking for 20 minutes.  And I’m not talking collectively, but all at once!

Oops, I’ve Done It Again

How is it possible that in the last 4 hours I went from not caring one bit who wins the super bowl, to getting emotionally involved in this close, close game?

And who didn’t feel just a bit of suspense when the lights went out?

What about that Budweiser commercial with the Clydesdale?  It left me a bit misty-eyed.

Darn Super Bowl, you roped me in as I sat on the sidelines not wanting to get involved.  Considering that happens to me frequently in life in general, perhaps I don’t want to just sit on the sidelines as much as I think I do.

And this might not make sense to you, but I’m reminded of a bumper sticker I saw today for my solution –

If you skeered, say you skeered.

Never Saw This One Coming

Have you ever heard of someone taking their cat to get “fixed” only to find out the cat’s already sterilized?  Well now you have!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about making an appointment with the spay shuttle for a new kitty that adopted us.  Well I have an update.  On the appointed day, I dropped Miss Kitty off at 8:30 AM and was told to return at 3:30 PM for pickup.  Around noon, I received a call from the vet at the shuttle.  She started slowly and even sounded confused as she asked, “Ms. Raffey, um, you brought Miss Kitty in this morning to get spayed?”  “Yes,” I replied.  “Well, hmm, she is already sterilized.”  Not making the connection that sterilized means “fixed,” I stammered, “What?” “She has been sterilized,” the vet repeated.

I was shocked.  “How long have you had her?” Still trying to comprehend this news, I weakly said, “About two months.”  It had actually been a little longer.  The vet said, “Well she’s yours then, we’ll go ahead and put the chip in her, she’s yours.”  I was surprised that this kitty had been sterilized but did not have a chip.  I questioned the vet about this and she confirmed that was the way it was.  And as if this wasn’t strange enough, I was shocked once again when I picked her up.

You see, I had assumed Miss Kitty was just a kitten.  She is small and very playful, just like kittens are.  Her “meow” is soft and whiny, just like a kitten.  She has no fear, and the other animals, even the dog, steer clear of her.  As it turns out, she is full-grown.  Based on her teeth, the vet estimated her to be three and a half years old.  Did I mention she has a bobtail?  Not exactly the same breed as a domestic short hair cat with  a tail.  But she is lovey and playful and just as cute as could be.  And it makes me wonder if someone is missing her.  It makes me wonder why she didn’t have a chip, as it usually comes with the “fixing” these days.  I have a couple of reasons why I don’t like the idea of micro-chipping, but it is a solution to not loosing your pet.

She has a habit of sticking her tongue out, and keeping it there!


Keep On Keepin On

Whether you are dieting, quitting smoking or trying to write in your blog everyday, it is important to start with a plan.

When making that plan, don’t forget to include positive self-talk at least every hour such as, “You got this!  You can do it!”  I have a friend that says, “Fake it till you make it,” or as Kenneth on 30 Rock told Jack when Jack asked him how he could be so happy all the time, “I lie to myself every morning when I get up.”  I started doing that and found that the lie I thought I was telling myself became the truth.  It was actually the truth all along, I just didn’t believe it.

Another ingredient for success is to not let a slip up totally derail you.  For instance, if your goal was to write in your blog everyday and you missed like the twenty-eighth day, don’t let it get you down.  Get right back up on that horse again and keep riding.  Or smoking, say you got a puff from a co-worker at lunch so you thought, what the heck, I might as well go get a pack, no, no, no!  Please don’t.  Learn from your mistake and resolve to do better next time.  Give yourself a next time to do better by staying on that horse.

Funny thing is, that’s not what I was going to write when I started.  I guess someone out there needed to hear this.  Possible me.

Wish Your Tomatoes Red

Fried green tomatoes taste terrific, to me anyway.  But not everyone enjoys the taste or the texture, and there are those who won’t even give them a try.

So what do you do if you have green tomatoes and you wish they were red?  Put them in a brown paper bag such as a lunch sack and check them everyday.  I believe the time it takes to ripen depends on things like humidity and temperature, so just check the bag daily.  They should ripen twice as fast as they would if you were to just put them out on the counter.

Before you know it, your wish for red tomatoes will come true.


Read a suspenseful story about Wendell Arnold’s wishes coming true, or prayers answered, in his autobiography titled FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.  Go to wendellarnold.com for more information!

Just Don’t Say No (the first time anyway)

IMG_1273“Hi, would you like to buy some girl scout cookies?” the little girl proudly asked in a bubbly tone.  “Sure,” I replied, who can say no to a little girl in uniform?

A box of thin mints for the birthday girl I am on my way to see, a box of Tagalongs to satisfy any chocolate cravings I might have in the next few days, and a box of Dulce de Leche just because they’re my favorite.  Yes, girl scout cookie time is upon us.  The girl scouts are trying to raise money and it would be nice if you could help them.

So what cookie is your favorite?  Which box will adorn your kitchen table, the one that makes you a part of the solution?  Yes, to the girl scouts, we can all be a part of their solution.


Blinker Broke, or Just Stubborn?

Is not using the turn signal a national problem, or is it just an issue in south Florida?

Driving home today, there was a good amount of traffic on the four lane road, and when one of the lanes became a right turn only lane, I deducted that there was a vehicle that did not want to remain in that lane.  First of all, the lane turns into an elementary school that had long ago dismissed and the parking lot was empty.  Secondly, the lady driving had a panicked look on her face as her eyes shifted from her side mirror to her windshield repetitively.  “Oh my gosh lady, turn on your turn signal!” I said, feeling a chuckle welling up and thinking, some people, hmm! 

In that moment, I felt that she was being stubborn, not turning on her turn signal to alert the other drivers that she needed out of her lane and into the only other one.  And no one let her in.  She got up to the school and stopped.  Other drivers honked, I assumed because no one knew what the heck this lady was doing.  Or maybe they did, just like I, but had an attitude of we’re not mind readers lady, you don’t tell us what you need, you don’t get our help.

Car after car passed her by while she sat stopped in that turn lane.  I directed my attention back to the windshield and stopped keeping tabs through my rear-view mirror.  So what’s the deal?  Does using the turn signal now signify some kind of status we shouldn’t be associated with?  I don’t get it.  But I do get that if you want to switch lanes, you have a much better chance of someone letting you in if you let them know you need in, and that can be accomplished by using your turn signal.

Papaya Enzymes for Papa’s Health

Doesn’t it bug you when you think you don’t have an answer, then you think of one and wonder why in the world you didn’t think of it right away?  It happened to me today and the question was, “Why does my stomach hurt and what can I do about it?”

I had such stomach distress this afternoon, I didn’t know how I was going to make it to my committee meeting for Relay.  I agonized over it for forty-five minutes before I remembered the bottle of papaya enzymes my dad had given me months ago.  I can’t believe it took me so long to think of it, I had eaten some several times and was just going on and on to someone a couple of weeks ago about how they should try it.


Like the directions indicate, I chewed up four of the tablets, and within 7 minutes I felt fine.  I not only made it to the meeting, but I indulged in eating the delicious hors d’oeuvres our hostess, Valerie, made and put out.  May I never forget about papaya enzymes again.  There’s no need to sit five minutes with stomach discomfort, let alone forty-five!

So if you ever experience symptoms such as these, try chewable papaya enzymes – a great solution for promoting digestive health.  And don’t forget to consult with your doctor if this is something you are not sure about.  And make sure you read the label too, you know, just in case.  In case of what? you ask, I don’t know!  Just don’t come looking for me if it turns out you’re allergic to soy!  Because it contains soy.  It’s on the label.

As Bob Barker Would Say…

Homeless cats have a way of finding our home and some of them decide they’re going to stay.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), not all the cats have long lives with us.  I try not to get too attached, it’s tough loosing an animal you’ve grown to love, but nevertheless, as a responsible pet owner, I feel I have to take care of them.   And that is one of the reasons I am thankful for The Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control.

For only forty bucks, they spay or neuter your cat and give it a rabies shot and a microchip.  Technically, I own three cats that I have no idea what happened to.  Out in the woods, 4 miles from pavement like we are, the stray population is unlike anywhere else around.  It’s really no wonder we get the amount of strays we do.  The wild animal population out here is also unlike surrounding areas, and… well, it’s the circle of life I guess.

At any rate, I do not wish to be a cat lady who has a hundred cats but I don’t really see a sensible alternative.  They would need to open another ward to deal with the amount of strays out here each year.  Besides, I can’t even think of what could happen if they don’t find a home.  I’d rather pay forty bucks.  I try to have an attitude that they are just another animal, and whatever happens to them happens.  It’s going to be hard with this one though.  She is such a sweetie, sort of.  She’s picky and she’s tough.  She is very much respected and she’s just a tiny little thing.  “Miss Kitty” goes in Thursday for her appointment.

I didn’t want to wake her up, better picture tomorrow.


Here’s a link to their website.  For everyone not in Palm Beach County, Florida, try searching for “spay shuttle” in your area.  The way it works here is you call and leave a message (561-233-SPAY), they will call you back and tell you what day to bring your pet in.  Drop off is 8 AM and pickup is 3 PM.  Why spend hundreds at the vet when you don’t need to?  Thursday will be the fourth time the shuttle has been my solution!

As Bob Barker would say, “Don’t forget to spay or neuter your pets!”

Calling all Entrepreneurs

The five sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank are very entertaining just being themselves.  There’s the Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, FUBU guy Damon, my memory fails me on his last name, maybe Johns?  Then there’s Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Money), the real estate lady from Manhattan – Barbara, I can’t think of her last name, and finally on the end sits Robert, can’t think of his last name either.  He’s my favorite, probably because he’s the nice guy.

People come on the show with an invention or an idea and try to talk the sharks into investing in them.  We have seen some really good  ideas, some that are just okay, and a few that made us wonder what planet these people were from.  It is interesting to see the shark’s reactions and sometimes they really surprise me.  I have seen a good idea get tanked and millions of dollars handed over for a dumb idea.  This is just my opinion of course.

Whatever rating the ideas score, the show remains entertaining and we’ve come to feel like we know the sharks.  Marks attitude grew on me, Damon’s smile is too cute, Kevin’s boldness is, well, there’s just something about it, Barbara is helpful and Robert is, like I said, the nice guy.  I would love to get on the show.  If you are an inventor and looking for an investor, you should check out Shark Tank (Click on this link), a great solution for entrepreneurs. My husband and I watch it every Friday night.  Maybe we’ll see you there!


Blame It On The Rain

This solution isn’t for everyone, in fact, if you are watching your diet and do not wish to be tempted, then you may want to skip today’s blog.  Today it’s all about giving in to a craving.


Blame it on the moon, blame it on biology, blame it on the rain, or just accept that this sometimes happens.  Irritable and loafy, I turned to the bag.  I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is and I’ve come to terms with it.  My husband on the other hand, well he wasn’t very happy.

You see, he wanted some too, but when I walked in the room holding the bag tight to my chest, I informed him that I am so sorry, but …





When I saw that these chocolate morsels were all natural (top right corner), I figured that eating a few cupfuls couldn’t be bad for me after all!  I decided I could share a handful.  I also made five dozen cookies and gave a couple away, a couple of cookies that is.

So that’s my solution for days like this.  If you choose to try this at home, please bake responsibly and eat in moderation. 

Side effects may include: nausea, difficulty sleeping and weight gain.  Talk to your doctor at once if depression worsens.

And now that I have Milli Vanilli rolling around in my head with flashbacks of the eighties, it’s time to hit the hay!  Sweet dreams! 

Why Wash, When You Can Wipe!

A handy tip I got from my mother involves Clorox wipes and the bathroom.  Instead of soap and water, use a wipe to clean your hands upon departure of the lavatory.  I thought it was brilliant – no hand towel to collect germs through the uses, no paper towels to waste, no water mess around the sink – just pop the lid open, yank a wipe out, pop the lid shut, wipe your hands, then throw the wipe in the trash.  Yes, brilliant I say, and my mom even kicks it up a notch.


My mother showed me how easy it is to clean surfaces while you’re at it.  “I mean,” she said, “you might as well wipe it across the faucet while you’ve got it in your hand.”  She has a point.  And if you take ten seconds to wipe something every time you’re in there, you can bet that your bathroom will pretty much always be clean.  I’m in the habit and I’m hooked.  And by the way, it only takes five seconds to wipe the seat.

My parents not only have a container of the Clorox wipes in their bathroom (both of them), but you can find a canister in the kitchen, the living room, the laundry room and in their car.  My husband on the other hand, gets frustrated and wants to know why we have one of these in every room.  “Don’t you just love Costco?” I ask.  Then he asks why there’s anything, anything at all, on the kitchen counter tops.  He is more of a minimalist.  More shelves I say, more shelves!

A Little Bit Of Paint – Make It What It Aint!

Feeling the need to re-arrange my shelves due to the latest accumulation of stuff, I went on the hunt for some bookends.  I knew we had some around, and we did.  I was a bit dismayed though at the condition they were in but it didn’t take long for me to think of a solution.  Maybe five seconds.

The next thing you know, I’m recalling where we put the cans of spray paint and as I’m glancing around, I see green, pink and black.  Good enough.  It just so happens that both green and pink match the sponge-painted decor (which is peach but it blends well) and the curtains.  Very cool.

So my solution today is to grab a can of spray paint to turn an unsightly item into an attractive one!


What Would Your Smoke Signals Say?

Children these days have a hard time believing that their parents did not have cell phones when they were their age, or at least when they were teenagers.  Some of those parents, back in the day, found it hard to believe that their parents didn’t have phones in their homes until they were teenagers.  And those parents who grew up without a phone in their home heard stories from their parents about how they communicated.

The ability to communicate has always been a constant need of mankind, Wendell Arnold writes in his autobiography, telling about what a difference having a phone made when he was in an isolated situation.  He continues with how his grandpa told them about talking with smoke signals, and he writes,  We told him that was just a tale but he proceeded to show how it was done.  It was fascinating to see him putting up different rings of smoke.  It was a fastidious art.  The problem as I saw it was someone had to be on the other end of the communication.  Someone had to read those signals.  

Reading this, I wondered what the different rings and things would mean.  What would be the need for someone to communication like this?  A plea for help perhaps, what else would someone have to say to whoever might see it?  And in Oklahoma in the 1920’s, sending up smoke signals to give your location might not be such a wise idea.  Depends who you are I guess, but being an Indian wasn’t the popular thing to be back then.  So how about you?  What would your smoke signals say?

Wendell continues writing, Communication is so important.  When we asked Grandpa if God read his smoke signals, he looked at us with red devil eyes.  I never could connect the dots with that look.  As life’s little pieces were put together I figured that communication with his god through prayer was not part of his repertoire.  Perhaps that was where Dad got his agnostic view of religion.  You are what you are, Grandpa would say.  I wondered later what makes a man desert his family of nine kids and take up with a woman half his age to go gallivanting around the country.

He then tells of a story his aunt related about running into Grandpa’s mistress while she was out shopping one day.  You can read about this humorous encounter in his autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  Telephone orders may be placed by calling (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But the only place you can order a signed copy is wendellarnold.com, where you can pay using your credit card, PayPal or mail us a check.

LOCALS TO LOX ONLY – You may choose the options for COD and local pickup if you would like me to bring you a book.  Thanks!


Trading Faith

I have always tried to see the hand of God in my life.  This applies to the good, the bad and the ugly.  We did not realize it at the time but we gradually traded our faith for tennis racquets, golf clubs and the symphony.  We joined the Methodist Church but we lost sight of the church existing to serve others.  Tennis tournaments were after all, played on weekends.

Has anything similar ever happened to you?  Have you ever gone through a period when things of less importance infringed on things of more importance?  Life gets busy, priorities get outta whack.  In Chapter Twelve of Wendell Arnold’s new autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, Wendell shares hindsight of how tennis tournaments, golf games and the symphony gradually took over their weekends, including Sundays. Before he knew it, Wendell and his family were attending church as frequent as the skips were originally intended.  Instead of skipping church every now and then, church attendance became every now and then.

It can be easy to let priorities slip, to allow other wants to creep in.  Exercising, studying, attending church, the book club or other social gatherings which used to have high importance, can take a back burner to the “busy-ness” of our lives.  In some cases interest is truly lost, in others, certain things have been outgrown, but in many instances we fool ourselves into thinking things can “slide” due to changed perspective.  And life is all about perspective.  The way Dr. Arnold saw it in the 1980’s, playing tennis and golf instead of attending church was no big deal, this was life and life was happening.  But looking back on it, it seems as though he might have chosen differently.  Oh, if only we could make choices based on hindsight!

Wendell also shares a bit of his work in this chapter.  Shortly after he and his family move to Carmel he is sent on a business trip to Chicago and the storyline gets more intriguing.  Does Wendell pick up on the women’s advances?  Does he think of his wife and children in the midst of having dinner with a beautiful woman of high power?  You can find out by getting your signed copy of Wendell Arnold’s book, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, available at wendellarnold.com.  The book is also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  Telephone orders may be placed by calling (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But the only place you can order a signed copy is wendellarnold.com, where you can pay using your credit card, PayPal or mail us a check.  LOCALS TO LOX ONLY – You may choose the options for COD and local pickup if you would like me to bring you a book.  Thanks!


Why Do Scientists Always Have To Prove Something?


This question was posed to Dr. Wendell Arnold by Reverend Curtis, and Wendell shares this conversation in his book, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.  It is an interesting dialog, with the reverend saying it is strange to hear a scientist talk about faith, but then he doesn’t really know many scientists either.

Reverend Curtis asked Wendell, “Why do scientists always have to prove something?  Why can’t scientists just accept certain things through faith?”  Wendell replied that it depends upon a person’s definition of faith.  “If you define faith as a belief in the system of religious beliefs then I would agree that scientists in general have faith,” he said.  The reverend followed with, “But you have to prove it.  Right?”  In my opinion, Wendell hit it out of the ballpark with his answer.  He replied, “If you define faith as a belief in the value or truth of something then you have to prove the probability of that something being probable, which is a mathematical statement of that something happening or not happening.”  Wow.

Wendell goes on to talk about science being the study and theoretical explanations of natural phenomena, and they get into some deep thinking.  By the end of the conversation Wendell asks if the good reverend is really a preacher or if he’s actually a psychologist, to which Reverend Curtis asks if there’s a difference.  Delightful reading on some intriguing topics, this is a book you will have a hard time putting down.

You can order your copy signed by the author at wendellarnold.com.  Also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  Telephone orders may be placed by calling (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But the only place you can order a signed copy is wendellarnold.com, where you can pay by credit card, PayPal, or send us a check or money order.  Check it out!



Marrying as a Minor

Marrying as teenagers and staying together for 50 years is almost unheard of these days.  Wendell and Carolyn Arnold are not just still together after 53 years of marriage, they are still deeply in love with one another and it is evident just being around them.  Their love and devotion to each other is one of a kind.

And did you know that back in 1960 the legal age for males to get married was 21 but the legal age for females was 18?  Perhaps it was figured that girls mature faster than boys and therefore they are more qualified to make such a decision at an earlier age?  At any rate Wendell was not even of legal age, he was 19 and Carolyn 18 when they married.  To get around this “age” thing, they had Wendell’s dad sign for the marriage certificate.

Wendell goes on in the story to tell about when he told Carolyn’s dad they were going to get married.  His friend with whom this dialog was exchanged exclaimed, “Told her dad!” and the the communications he relays are entertaining and sweet.  Like how Wendell’s mom told him when he left for college, ‘See that every day is marked by at least one special act of love.’  It is a great story for all ages.

You can get your signed copy at wendellarnold.com.  Also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  Telephone orders may be placed by calling (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But the only place you can order a signed copy is wendellarnold.com, where you can pay either via PayPal or send us a check.



Dr. Arnold’s Poem – of what in his mind – is God’s Plan According to Man

Dr. Wendell R. Arnold displays his talent for writing poetry as well as writing a suspenseful non-fiction story full of adventures in his autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.  Sprinkled with poems, Wendell’s story is well-rounded and comes from the heart.  The following is just part of a lengthy poem from Wendell’s book:

Surely God looked down on man that he created

He must have thought – what a mess they have made since they have mated

God developed a plan to save mankind

He put it in action over a period of time

He disclosed His plan to the prophets who were Jews

They wrote in scripture the unfolding of the good news…

This particular poem spans three pages, 126 lines in all, and it is fascinating how Wendell tells all about their trip to Israel with details of Jesus’ life with such rhythm. It is one that should go down on the record for Christian education.  You won’t want to miss out on the rest of this fantastic poem along with an intriguing story full of hope and faith.  You can order your signed copy at wendellarnold.com!

Dr. Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, is also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  Telephone orders may be placed by calling (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But the only place you can order a signed copy is wendellarnold.com, where you can pay either via PayPal or send us a check. 


What do you think? Is our destiny predetermined?

Right away, Wendell asks some deep questions in his autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.  He begins the book with a story about when he was faced with a life or death situation.

  • Is our destiny predetermined?
  • Do we have a choice to determine our own destiny within the bounds that are predetermined?
  • If that be the case, where do I stand tonight?

Dr. Arnold poses these questions, and goes on to ponder his predicament.  Thought provoking questions they are, and Wendell Arnold’s experience considering such questions is a thrilling read.  An intriguing story indeed, and you can get your signed copy at wendellarnold.com!

Also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  Telephone orders may be placed by calling (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But the only place you can order a signed copy is wendellarnold.com, where you can either pay via PayPal or mail us a check with a copy of the invoice.  


And if you missed yesterday’s post, make sure you check it out!  Click the link below to read the exciting excerpt!


An exciting excerpt from Dr. Wendell Arnold’s autobiography

Wendell Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, reads more like a novel and will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Stories I have heard all my life still gripped me like I’d never heard them before, and as I read the pages I couldn’t help but envision the events like they were right there happening, like has never happened before.  Here is one of those stories:

We had now been skiing several years and thought we were invincible.  We loved to ski in the trees and see how deep we could sink into the powder.  We would wind our way parallel to the mountain to find nests of trees to go through.  Carolyn was leading the way and came upon a ridge that was very icy.  She leaned over to survey whether or not it could be negotiated on skis.

We were skiing with the old bindings that had leather safety straps.  In subsequent years, the manufacturers came out with safer bindings that would release your ski and still it stayed behind in the snow.  She kept leaning over to make sure we could manage it and she started sliding.  It wasn’t very long before she was out of control falling end over end.  Her skis were banging against her head and body.  She lost her poles, hat and sunglasses.  We stood at the top of the hill and peered down at the vertical icy slope.  We could see Carolyn at the base of the mountain.  She appeared lifeless and she was face down in the snow.  We wanted to reach the base as quickly as possible but we knew the vertical drop was impossible to ski.  We did not want to end up in the condition she was in so we took off our skis and walked down between the trees to reach Carolyn.

“Carolyn,” I yelled.

No answer.  My pulse was racing.  I began to think about the skier who had been killed the week before at this same resort.  He had done some stupid trick and lost control and hit a tree.  We learned later that the ski patrol had marked the area off limits with a rope and signs saying no skiing.  We stupidly had entered the area just below the signs.

As we made our way through the trees, we could see one of her ski poles stuck in the icy mountain.  It looked as if someone had driven a ski into a wall.  I looked at Carolyn and I couldn’t tell if she had any broken bones.  I was very concerned that she might have a broken neck.  I knew that time was of the essence but I also knew we couldn’t be reckless as we continued through the trees.

Her face was turned to the side and I could see that she was not in danger of suffocating.  Thank God, I prayed, but where are the angels that were supposed to be riding on her shoulder?

As we reached Carolyn’s side I asked, “Are you okay?”  She replied just like a tough Oklahoman, “I am okay.  I have a busted lip and feel as if I can hardly walk, but it could be much worse.”

As we went on to the bottom of the mountain we all decided that we would pack it in for this ski trip.  The other two couples were leaving that evening and I felt Carolyn was much more shaken than what she acknowledged.  As we sat in the condo watching TV we both thanked God that the accident had not turned deadly.

Wendell goes on to tell the events of that particular evening and what happens next is a jaw dropping, unbelievable, give you the goosebumps kind of story.  It leaves him convinced that miracles do occur to common people who believe in a superior power or being.

Wendell  and Carolyn experienced much activity throughout the past 52 years and he writes about many amazing, exciting times in his book, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.  In addition, Dr. Arnold tells about his childhood, growing up picking cotton and being from a family of nine kids whose parents were share croppers.  An intriguing story, a must read, and you can order your signed copy at wendellarnold.com!

Also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  Telephone orders may be placed by calling (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But the only place you can order a signed copy is wendellarnold.com!


For those who think that religion and science don’t mix, this is a must read!

A few comments made about science and religion and Dr. Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST:

“The reader becomes a visitor in the lively dialog among family members and colleagues as Dr. Arnold reveals conflicts and resolutions in the world of faith and science.”

“In this book, the autobiographer reveals his unwavering deep faith, while overcoming many challenges as he lived a professional life as a well-respected and successful scientist.”

“Science and religion walk hand in hand in Wendell Arnold’s journey from a farm boy to the holder of a Doctorate in Phytopathology and numerous patents in the environmental field.”

“Faith and Science.  Can one person truly emote to these two different worlds?”

In Wendell Arnold’s book, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, Dr. Arnold skillfully tells his intriguing story of growing up picking cotton and becoming a world-renowned scientist with faith in God.  His story is a must read for those who think that religion, science and environmental improvement don’t mix.

You can order your signed copy at wendellarnold.com.  That’s right, go to wendellarnold.com and order your copy signed by the author himself!  Dr. Arnold’s book is also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  Telephone orders may be placed by calling (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But the only place you can order a signed copy is wendellarnold.com!


Dr. Wendell Arnold tells of his first big decision

In Chapter Two of Wendell Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, Wendell tells of his first big decision.  After being singled out by the teacher in music appreciation class, Wendell thought he would rather stay at home and help on the farm.  He figured his family needed his help more than he needed the second grade anyway.

Wendell tells his story in such a way that puts the reader right there in the living room, watching the dialog between Wendell and his parents as they discuss his news.  And his hilarious experience plowing peanuts, I could feel the frustration he must have felt while I cracked up laughing at the same time.  Beautifully written, Dr. Arnold’s story FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST is a must read for all.

You can get your copy, signed by the author, at wendellarnold.com.  Also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the nook, kindle and google e-book.  To order by telephone, call (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But you can only get your signed copy at wendellarnold.com, where you can either pay by PayPal or send us a check.  All the details are on wendellarnold.com, so check it out!

And share this with your friends!  Thank you, we appreciate your support.

Another Review Is In!

Our newest review is one of my favorite, and the story behind it is pretty cute too.

A friend of Wendell’s purchased his book, read it, and really enjoyed it.  This friend had a friend who was bed-ridden and this guy says to him, “I just read a great book, I’m going to bring it over to you to, it’ll give you something good to do,” to which the bed-ridden man replied, “No thanks, I’m not much of a reader.”  Well the guy brings it to the man anyway and asks him to at least give it a try and read the first chapter.

A week later, the man gets in touch with Wendell and says to him,

That is the best book I’ve ever read.  Not like I’ve read many books, but it was so good it ought to be on a mandatory reading list for everyone!

The story doesn’t end there though.  Perhaps the reason it’s one of my favorites is because I just love what a “small world” it is.  As it turns out, this guy went to the same high school as Wendell but was two grades behind him.  Remembering one another from high school, one would never know as they chatted that over 50 years had passed.

I just love stories like that!  There are also many great stories in Wendell Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, where he tells about growing up picking cotton and becoming a world renowned scientist with faith in God.  You can order your signed copy at wendellarnold.com!  Also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, as well as on the kindle, nook and google e-book.


Have you ordered your signed copy of Wendell Arnold’s intriguing story?

Wendell Arnold’s newly released autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, is a must read for everyone, and especially those who think that religion, science and environmental improvement don’t mix.

Wendell Arnold skillfully tells his story of being from a family of nine kids, growing up picking cotton and becoming a world renowned scientist with faith in God.  This autobiography is very unique, reading more like a suspense novel.  The experience in the cotton patch to dealing with corporate political challenges, environmental issues and legal avenues blended with raising a family paints the picture of a managed life.  The adventures take more twists and turns than a rattlesnake chasing his prey.

You can order your signed copy at wendellarnold.com.  It is also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, as well as on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  But wendellarnold.com is the only place you can order it signed by Wendell himself!




Once upon a time I used to get together with a group of women who met once a week to play a dice game called Bunko.  I never stopped to wonder if this was a regular game people played, or if I was being introduced to a new drinking game that required at least 12 people.  This was many years ago, and let me tell you, a tough crowd.  There were 12 women in our group, we all took turns hosting it at our homes each week and had a schedule to meet for 12 weeks.  I think I made 4 or 5 of them, one of them hosted at my house, and then I had to find a replacement to fill my spot.  It was a little too rowdy for me in ways I just can’t explain.  So imagine my surprise when I learned of Wendell’s Bunko-playing days!

Thankfully, his experience was much different than mine.  In Chapter 7, Graduate School, Wendell relives the night he and Carolyn first played Bunko at the Methodist Church near College Station, Texas.  They were new to the area and the first morning they attended church services, they were invited by a professor at Texas A&M to come back and play Bunko that night.  The discussions and insinuations about mental energy and prayer are so intriguing and wonderfully written, I felt as if I was there taking place in the conversations.

The Professor who invited them to play was fascinated with Wendell and asked him about his physics training.  Wendell replied that he had no college training, and this sets off a whole new chain of events.  It turns out that Wendell is auditing this guys class!  The professor questions why this is so, and instead of telling him about the situation with Dr. Jerk, he portrays what a stand-up man he is and focuses only on his responsibility in the situation.  It pays off very well for him, as he recalls that morning’s sermon, Trust in the Lord, He knows exactly what you need.

You can read more about this and many more exciting events in Wendell Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.  It is available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the nook, kindle and google e-book.  But the only place to get your signed copy is wendellarnold.com!  Go to wendellarnold.com and follow the directions to place an order online and pay through PayPal or send us a check.

However you decide to order, just know that there are many people who are confident that you will enjoy reading Wendell’s story of faith and hope!


A story full of suspense, drama and action

“As agronomy is the care of the soil and Dr. Arnold’s life work, he shares with the reader his care for the soul as he travels through life in this insightful autobiography.  The reader becomes a visitor in the lively dialog among family members and colleagues as Dr. Arnold reveals conflicts and resolutions in the world of faith and science.  His subtle sense of humor adds a light touch to this amazing journey.” – Anne S. Owens, President Samar Publishing, Inc.

As Ms. Owens describes, Wendell’s story reads more like a novel than an autobiography, where the reader becomes a visitor in the lively dialog.  This is a story that is full of suspense, drama and action, where the reader feels as if they are right there watching it happen.  It is truly a page turner, see for yourself and CLICK HERE TO READ CHAPTER ONE if you haven’t already.

It is a must read, and you can get your signed copy at wendellarnold.com!  Also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.

An advance on your first paycheck? REALLY?

How can a person ask for an advance on their first paycheck?  That is precisely the dilemma Wendell Arnold faces on page 50 of his autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.  Wendell starts his first job, fresh out of college, with Lilly in Indianapolis.  Some of you who know Wendell will probably be surprised to learn that he and Carolyn and their two boys lived in Indianapolis in the sixties, before their third child, the adorable baby of the family, was born.

Yeah, their first stint in Indy is something to read about alright!  Wendell gets his first physical, what a riot!  The story takes an emotional turn as life throws a punch, but as the seasons pass and routines fall into place, normalcy returns.  Then, Wendell has the opportunity to become a “Fellow” and the twists and turns take him out of the country.  All this, and more, in the same chapter!  It is a wonderful read, full of action and adventure.

You can order your signed copy of FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST from wendellarnold.com.  It is super easy and secure!  PayPal handles all of the online payments, or you can mail a check to Wendell along with your printed invoice (you will see directions when you order).  In addition to supporting the author, you will be getting your book signed when you order through wendellarnold.com!  Of course you can also order Wendell’s autobiography (that reads like a suspense novel) from xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com as well as on the kindle, the nook, and google ebook.  But the only place you can get it signed is at wendellarnold.com

Even the locals who have asked me for a copy need to go to wendellarnold.com to place an order.   There are options where you do not have to pay for shipping and you can pay for the book when I bring it to you, but every single book that leaves my possession must be documented through that website for inventory and record keeping purposes.  And yes, it will be signed by Wendell and personalized.

We thank you for your support, regardless of where you order it!  We are confident that all persons alike will enjoy reading Wendell’s book, even those who do not enjoy reading.  Seriously, just ask my husband!

An Event-Filled Few Days at the International Christian Retail Show!

As hundreds of people walked into the Exhibit Hall after a very moving ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning, emotions were high, excitement was in the air and 362 exhibitors awaited at the Christian Book Association’s International Christian Retail Show.  Held at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, the CBA’s ICRS is the largest Christian retail show in the world, and we were thrilled to be a part of it with Wendell Arnold’s new book in the show.

Wendell Arnold and his new book, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, at the International Christian Retail Show in Orlando, Florida July 15-18, 2012.

Two and a half days of meeting other authors, publishers and distributors went by so fast, and we are all so very grateful for the ability to attend.  Wendell and his wife Carolyn traveled from Oklahoma and I had the pleasure of my daughter accompanying me.  We made the three hour drive from West Palm Beach, where she is a student at Palm Beach State College.

Although Wendell and Carolyn have a home on Key Biscayne, they usually spend their summers in Oklahoma.  Not that the weather is cooler out west, the most common reason for escaping Florida in the summertime, but Wendell’s farm gets his attention during the “farming weather” months.  A condominium man at heart, he is not.  What he does have in his heart for The Village is his church, St. Christopher’s By The Sea, and all of their wonderful friends there.  You can find out how the couple wound up in Key Biscayne in his autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.

What an interesting story it is, and Wendell’s writing style keeps the reader engaged.  Wendell tells about growing up picking cotton, marrying his high school sweetheart, and excerpts of the next 50 years of their life together with 3 children.  We have heard story after story of how hard it was for people to put the book down once they picked it up!  You can probably see what I mean by just reading Chapter One.  Take a look!  To read Chapter One, click here.  You might want to first finish reading about the ICRS and take a look at all the pictures I am going to post below, so I will remind you at the end of the blog to go read Chapter One.

So, on with pictures from the show!




Goodbye Orlando Convention Center, a great place to hold the Christian Book Association’s International Christian Retail Show!

One of the authors we met at the show, Pastor Ronald Wean, was very delightful to talk with.  He and Wendell struck up lively conversation a few different times and they found they have several things in common.  Pastor Wean is pictured above shaking hands with Wendell in the second picture.  He is the author of HEALING TRAUMATIZED CHURCHES and he has leadership trainings in trauma recognition, trauma recovery and trauma resiliency.  For more information, visit his website at rwean@sbcglobal.net.

To order Wendell Arnold’s new book, his autobiography that reads like a novel, visit his website wendellarnold.com and click on “Wendell’s Market Place” (yes I know it is one word, but not here!) to order signed copies directly from Wendell.

RETAILERS – ORDER FROM XULON PRESS THROUGH JULY 27, 2012 AND RECEIVE 50% OFF, FREE SHIPPING & DELAYED BILLING!!  Orders placed by retailers/distributors are returnable.  Call Jason Fletcher at (866) 381-2665 extension 1163.  Books may also be ordered from Spring Arbor Distributors and/or Ingram Book Company.  The ICRS special deal above through July 27 is only good through Xulon Press.

And I did not forget, click here to read chapter one of Wendell’s autobiography (that reads like a novel!).

Thanks for stopping by!


At first I thought I might be biased, that I loved Wendell Arnold’s book so much because he is my father.  But then I thought, wait a minute – if I were to be biased, it would be in the other direction I think!  You see, if someone would have asked me 2 years ago if I thought my dad could write a best seller, I would have told them no.  But wait!!  Hear me out… well actually you would know why I might be inclined to think that if you read his book.  And the truth is, I never really knew he could write something like a book!

Christmas, 2010, we were at my parent’s house in Key Biscayne having dinner.  After dinner, my dad came up to me, handed me a few pieces of paper and said, “Read this and tell me what you think.”  Captivated, I read 9 typed pages of what seemed to be the beginning of a great story, and when I finished reading, I exclaimed, “What is this?  Where’s the rest?  I want to read what happens next!”  He chuckled that deep, quiet laugh that is classic Wendell, and whispered, “I wrote it.”  “What?!”  I said, hardly believing what I heard.  He humbly replied, “Ya, I’ve been thinking about writing a book,” and I immediately told him I’d be his number one fan and do anything I could to help.

Well it’s hard to compete with my mom for number one fan, a spot she surely deserves anyway, so he named me his number one agent.  For over a year, he mailed me his hand written pages, I typed and mailed them back.  My mom edited the manuscript and did some typing as well, then I ran with it, taking care of the publishing and marketing, and I have to tell you, we make a darn good team!  And what continues to amaze me is the way the book captivated me and made me laugh and cry the tenth time I read it, same as the first.  Now that’s a good book.  So am I biased?  Ya, probably, but I still find myself shocked that my dad is such a great author.

You can get your signed copy at wendellarnold.com!  Also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google eBook.  But wendellarnold.com is the only place you will get it signed by Wendell himself!

Book Signing Event A Success

The book signing event yesterday at St. Christopher’s By The Sea in Key Biscayne, Florida, was a hit!  A steady stream of patrons engaged us the entire morning with many also purchasing books for gifts.




Susie Raffey (me), Fr. Bob Libby, Dr. Wendell Arnold


Yesterday I also posted the article that was in the Key Biscayne Islander News, if you missed it, see the previous post.

You can order your signed copy of Wendell’s autobiography at wendellarnold.com.  We accept payments through PayPal or you can mail us a check with your printed invoice.  Check it out!  wendellarnold.com!


FROM THE COTTON PATCH: testimonial of faith through the eyes of a scientist

Many thanks to Yara Zakharia, Esq., reporter for The Islander News, for the engaging article in the July 5th issue about Dr. Wendell Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.  Enjoy this insightful article, giving a glimpse inside Wendell’s story.  Then go to wendellarnold.com to order your signed copy!

Science and Religion Walk Hand in Hand

“Science and religion walk hand in hand in Wendell Arnold’s journey from a farm boy to the holder of a Doctorate in phytopathology and numerous patents in the environmental field.  In From the Cotton Patch to Ph.D. we encounter a warm and readable story of a man’s life defined by scientific inquiry and his relationship to Jesus Christ.” – Bob Libby, Author and Episcopal Priest

Technical?  Perhaps a few words, but just ask the three very non-technical people here who have read it if it hinders their understanding of the book, or makes the book any less enjoyable to read, and the answer is no.  For you high-tech readers who know what phytopathology is, well you probably wouldn’t even think twice about the technical aspects in the book.  But I did.  Growing up, I never really understood what my dad did for a living, the saying in our house was, “My dad is a doctor, but not the kind that helps people.”  I am certainly mistaken about that, as he has helped thousands!

It makes no difference whether you know some of the big words or not, whether you have a family or not, whether you believe in God or not, or whether reading is “your thing” or not, I guarantee you that this book is a good read and will stir your soul.  Wendell Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, reads more like a suspense novel.  If you haven’t already, check out my post – “A Glimpse of Chapter One.”

Order your signed copy today at wendellarnold.com, a secure site accepting payment via PayPal, or you may place an order and mail a check.  You don’t want to miss this must read book!

Faith and Science

Yesterday I posted chapter one of Wendell’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, and if you missed it, you can read it by either scrolling down or clicking on “previous post” at the end of this post, depending on how you got here.

I just received another message from someone who couldn’t put the book down, she loved it so much!  Thank you Kelly!  And my husband Dave, he read it in three days – you got that right – 3 days!!  Why it amazes me so much is because he is not a “reader”.  Reading books just isn’t his cup of tea, he’s more of a Florida Sportsman guy, and that’s it.  I seriously thought I was going to have to nag him all summer to read it, but all it took was a stormy day with no t.v. reception and out of boredom he picked it up.  He read for hours, then the next day when I turned on the t.v. he said, “I think I’m gonna read,” and I about fell out of my chair!  I turned the t.v. off and he read until 11:00, after I reminded him twice how early he had to get up the next day.

So if you don’t want to miss out on reading one of the best books I believe you will ever read, go to wendellarnold.com and order your signed copy today!

And I will leave you with another wonderful review …

“Faith and Science.  Can one person truly emote to these two different worlds?  In this book, the autobiographer reveals his unwavering deep faith, while overcoming many challenges as he lived a professional life as a well respected and successful scientist.  Read on and discover a true story that is deep in meaning, yet inter spaced with happy family memories and light diversions.  The reader will have much to ponder long after the end of the book.” – Jo Watkins


Take a Look at Chapter One of Wendell’s Autobiography!


Accidental Poisoning

The highway patrol officer brought his cruiser to a wrenching halt in front of the Virginia Beach Hospital.  He opened his door and rushed around to the passenger side.  He opened the door and grabbed my arm.

“Sir,” I said, “please don’t dislodge the angel sitting on my shoulder.”

He looked at me as if I were drunk.  He had been on the radio with my company doctor in Indianapolis, so he knew the situation.

“Officer,” a member of the hospital staff said, “we have him.  He is going to need all the angels he can stack on his shoulders to get through this ordeal.”

As they were wheeling me into the hospital, I remembered many incidences that had occurred throughout my life.  It occurred to me that life is held together by a thin thread.  When that thread is broken, life as we know it no longer exists.

It started as a normal day in 1970 as I drove down the Delmarva Peninsula to southern Delaware.  What a beautiful day the Lord has made, I thought.  I was on my way to collect data on an experiment I had established on a farmer’s potato farm for Lilly Research Laboratories with whom I had taken a job.  This was my first assignment after receiving my doctorate.  My mission was to conduct efficacy under field conditions on experimental compounds made by our organic chemists.  I would lease about an acre from a prominent farmer within her production area to conduct the efficacy test.  This would be analogous to a medical doctor conducting a phase three clinical test to determine the efficacy of a compound for medicinal use.

I called the farmer and told her that I was going to be on her farm, and asked what the latest practice was she had conducted on that field.  She stated that she had not done anything to that field in the past ten days.  She had sprayed the rest of her potatoes with an insecticide, but she had not sprayed the field where I had my experiment.

I parked my car near the experimental site and unpacked my equipment to begin collecting data.  After a short period of time I began to feel nauseated.  I went to the car, pulled out the emergency atropine kit, and read the symptoms of organic phosphate poisoning.  I knew the symptoms, but I wanted to be sure.

“God Almighty help me,” I shouted out loud, “I have been poisoned!”

I drove to my hotel and checked into my room.  I disrobed and stepped into the shower, I thought that I could possibly wash off some of the devastating substance that had absorbed into my skin.  But I had to be sure.  The owner had stated that she had not sprayed that field.

I changed into fresh clothes and began to dial the grower’s phone number.  Why doesn’t she answer the phone? I thought.

Finally, she answered.  “Hello?”

“Hello,” I said, “this is Dr. Arnold.  I must know for sure if you treated that potato field where I have my experiment.”

“I told you that I did not treat that field but I will call my foreman and make sure.  What is your number and I will call you back.”

I gave her the number and again stressed how important it was to know immediately about treating that field with an insecticide.  I hung up the phone and could feel the progression of the organic phosphate poison symptoms that were printed on the emergency kit.

Sitting in that hotel room waiting for her to call felt like an eternity.  I wondered if I was overreacting.  Was I overly concerned about my symptoms?  A doctor diagnosing his own symptoms is dangerous.  I thought about Jesus’ prayers while He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane when He asked God to release Him from the destiny that awaited Him.  He then finished with the words that if it is God’s will then it shall be done.  I thought that if it is written in the stars for Jesus to carry out His mission, dictated by God as written by the prophets, even Jesus’ death, what does that say for us today?

Is our destiny predetermined?  Do we have a choice to determine our own destiny within the bounds that are predetermined?  If that be the case, where do I stand tonight?  If the answer comes from the owner that yes, the field was treated, do I give myself a shot of another poison to counteract the poison to which I was exposed?  I have never given myself a shot.  The atropine was to be injected into muscle tissue.  What if I hit a vein?  With all the training I had been given, this area had never been discussed.  I waited for the phone call.  I thought about the lady who went to Jesus and asked for a miracle.  In the Gospel of Mark, Mark wrote that the Greek Phoenician woman was gentile and asked Jesus to cleanse her daughter of the devil.  Jesus looked at her and said God’s children would be the first to be filled.  He would not take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs (gentiles).  She said the dogs under the table would eat the children’s crumbs.  Jesus told her that her daughter was healed because of her faith.  Jesus had given her a miracle because of her faith.  If I as a gentile (one of Jesus’ dogs) asked for a miracle, would He give me the same consideration?

The phone rang.  I answered timely.  “Hello.”

“Dr. Arnold, I spoke with my foreman,” she paused, “he sprayed the field that I had requested him to spray.  He had some material left over and he treated the field where you have the experiments.  I am so sorry, he didn’t tell me.”

“When did he spray the field?” I asked.

“He sprayed the field with an organic phosphate just after lunch,” she paused.  “Is there a problem?” she asked.

“Yes,” I replied, “I have a major problem.  I have been poisoned!”

I remembered the sermon that was preached the previous Sunday.  The preacher was talking about pressure.  He referred to the letter Paul wrote to the Thessalonians and talked about the persecution of the Christians.  He emphasized how God would take care of you if you just had, and kept, your faith.  I thought, what is pressure?  Yes, the Thessalonians were killed and threatened to be killed by the people who were trying to destroy their faith.  What was the difference between pressure of that time and today’s time?  I knew that this insecticide was extremely deadly and fast acting.  After all, this was the type of gas used to asphyxiate the Jews by the Germans during World War II.  This was a product produced by a German company.

Keep the faith, I reminded myself.  I thought about a statement my brother Eugene liked to say when we were growing up.  He said, “God helps those who help themselves.”  Okay, calm down, I told myself.  I was thinking about my atropine kit.  I could give myself a shot of atropine and that was supposed to counteract the effects of the organic phosphate.  I have never given myself a shot.  I needed to gather more information.  I picked up the phone to call the company doctor in Indianapolis.

Dr. Kirkpatrick answered on the first ring.

“Dr. Kirkpatrick, this is Wendell Arnold in Delaware.”

He interrupted, “Dr. Arnold, this is an emergency number.  What is the problem?”

“Well,” I started,

“Spit it out!” he shouted.

“I have been exposed to an organic phosphate,” I blurted out.  “Do I need to give myself a shot of atropine?”

“How do you know you have organic phosphate poisoning?” he asked.

“I walked into a field that had been treated just before I arrived.  I have all the symptoms,” I stated.  I left out the fact that I had taken off my shirt to get a suntan.  How dumb.

“No, don’t give yourself a shot.  Get in your car and drive to the first pharmacy you see and call me.  Take down the phone number.”

“I have the phone number,” I interrupted.

“Listen, Dr. Arnold.  Do exactly what I tell you,” he said with authority.  “Write down my name and number, and say on your note ‘please call’.  You understand?”

“Okay, but why?” I asked.

“If you pass out before we get this settled,” he said, “I need someone to give me a call.”  That did not relieve my concern.  I knew that he and I were working against time, as I could feel the effects of the poison’s progression.

I took out a piece of paper and wrote I have been accidentally poisoned with an organic phosphate.  If you find this note on me, please call Dr. Kirkpatrick at 317-555-6365.  I wrote the note I was told and pinned it to my shirt pocket and rushed to my car.  I started driving toward downtown.

I stopped at the first pharmacy and rushed to the back of the store where I saw a pharmacy sign.  A man asked what my hurry was, and I replied I needed his help.  I asked him to call Dr. Kirkpatrick immediately.  He picked up the phone and dialed.  I didn’t overhear the conversation, but shortly the pharmacist handed the phone to me.

It was Dr. Kirkpatrick.  “Dr. Arnold, listen very carefully and do exactly as I say.  I am going to give you an atropine tablet to dissolve under your tongue.  When you get this done, call the hospital and get admitted.  You can use the phone or anything you need from the pharmacist.  He understands and will be compensated,” Dr. Kirkpatrick said.

The pharmacist came with the medicine and I stuck the pill under my tongue.  When I turned around he had the local hospital administrator on the phone.

“Can I help you?” came the voice on the other end.

“Yes,” I answered, “I have been exposed to an organic phosphate and I need to be under a doctor’s supervision for the night.”

“I have three points to tell you.  Number one, I have never heard of such a thing,” he stated.  “Number two we don’t have a doctor on hand.  Third, we don’t even have any rooms available.  You would have to sleep in the hall.  I suggest that you go back home or where ever you are staying and sleep it off.”

“Look, you would let a person die before you would even admit a person in your hospital?  Even though you have never heard of organic phosphate poisoning surely you can call a doctor on your staff who has heard of cases!”

“I told you that I will have to put you in the hall and nurses will have to walk around you and look at you as a drunk.  I still suggest that you go to your hotel and sleep it off.  You even sound over the phone like you are drunk.”

I finally realized that it was useless to discuss a crucial medical emergency with someone of that limited knowledge.  I knew it would be risky but taking the Bay Bridge to Virginia Beach was my only option.

I turned to the pharmacist and asked, “How far to the Virginia Beach Hospital?”

He stammered, “About 30 miles I suppose.”

I wasn’t sure, but I thought I saw him shaking.  I wondered at the time if it was that he just witnessed me taking one poison to counteract another poison, but I didn’t have time to discuss such matters.  I knew that I was already pushing the time envelope.  I was on borrowed time.

I left the pharmacist and headed for the Bay Bridge.  I asked the attendant taking tolls if they had an ambulance to take me to the Virginia Beach hospital.

“No,” he stated, “we would have to request one from Virginia Beach.  You can drive there in half the time it would take us to get an ambulance over here.”

I paid my money and continued to the Bay Bridge.  I knew that a portion of the bridge was over the water, and then another portion of the bridge would be a tunnel under the water.  I wondered what would happen if I blacked out while driving.  If I wrecked, how long before help would arrive?  All the answers that I could come up with did not present a desirable outcome.  I should have called Dr. Kirkpatrick back, but I didn’t.  I was on my own.

The first tunnel entrance was just ahead.  I told myself, you don’t want to black out in that tunnel.  The way I was drifting in and out of consciousness told me that I didn’t have much choice about what was going to happen.  I tried to sing to stay awake.

I started into the tunnel and saw a light to my left.  I slammed on the brakes and took the side road that lead to a guardhouse.  I came to a screeching halt and a guard with a drawn gun came up to the car.  I opened the door and told him I was very ill.  I asked if he could get me the highway patrol.

“He’s already coming,” he stated without lowering his gun.

“I need help,” I was able to say.  “I need him to take me to the Virginia Beach Hospital.”

“What?” he shouted.  I pointed to the note I had written.  As he took the note, another car came darting onto the runway with his lights shining on us.  The highway patrolman stepped out of his car and the guard handed him my note.

“Get in my car,” the patrolman told me.  Fortunately the patrolman had the sense to understand the dire situation, which had quickly become a matter of life or death.

“Yes sir,” I stated.  I thought as he sped onto the highway, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened, ask and you shall receive.  I surely had done all three this afternoon.

I must have dozed off in the police car.  I heard Dr. Kirkpatrick coming through the police car’s speaker phone.  “Don’t let him go to sleep,” he said.

The patrolman answered, “He is not responding to my conversation.  I have the speaker phone on so you need to see if you can get a response.  Maybe he will recognize your voice.”

“Dr. Arnold, this is Dr. Kirkpatrick in Indianapolis.  Are you with me?  Dr. Arnold, answer me.”  Dr. Kirkpatrick was yelling.

“Yes, I hear you.  We don’t need a phone with you yelling so loud.”

“Why didn’t you call me before you left the pharmacy?” he shouted.

“Oh.  I talked to you, ah back there.  Dis situation is serious.  I didn’t believe you could be of help in that situation,” I muttered realizing that I wasn’t making any sense even to myself.

“Okay, that’s done,” he said calmly, “here’s the plan.  The officer is going to take you to the Virginia Beach Hospital.  I have made all the arrangements with the hospital staff.  They will have all the procedures ready to take care of you.”

I interrupted, “What do you mean, procedures to take care of me?”

There was a pause as if he was trying to decide what to tell me.  He might have been trying to decide whether or not to alarm me further.

“Well,” he stated, “there is a slight chance that your heart will stop and the doctor will be able to restart the heart beat.  I have been in touch with the company in Germany that makes the product.  We know what to do in this situation.”

“Okay.  God,” I was able to say.  “I am not ready to die.  I have got to call my wife.  What about my boys?  That is your area of expertise Doc.  Can I trust you to do whatever is necessary to save my life?”

“Just stay with me.  If we get you to the hospital while you are still breathing, you will pull through.  We have all the life supports set up.  Your friend at the wheel is hauling butt.  Just stay with us and keep talking to us.”  He sounded relieved, but as silence set in, he appeared to have another concern.

Dr. Kirkpatrick asked the patrolman, “Has he done anything strange?  Is he choking?”

“No,” the officer replied, “he is not choking.  The only strange thing to me is that he has taken the palm of his hand and slapped his forehead a couple of times.”

“Maybe he is trying to stay awake,” Doc replied.  “He knows not to fall asleep.”

“Wendell,” the doc started out, “are you by chance wearing a watch?”

It struck me odd that he started addressing me on a first name basis.  “Yes, I have a watch on,” I muttered, “but why do you need to know that?”

“Well, I have a problem,” he replied, “my watch has stopped and I need to know the time.”

I must not have sounded coherent.  “I can’t see the dial,” I stated.

“Well focus.  Concentrate on looking at the dial,” he said.

“Why do you have to know the time?” I asked.

“I have to eat on a regular basis,” he said.  “According to my stomach it has been a long time since I have eaten.  When was the last time you ate?”

“Will you turn on the light so I can see my watch?” I asked the patrolman.

“No, don’t do that!”  Doc shouted.  “You can look at it the next time you pass a street light.  Let me know, when was the last time you ate?  Was it an hour ago?”

“I don’t know,” I responded.

“Come on.  I need an answer,” he said.

I didn’t respond.  So he shouted, “Dr. Arnold, are you going to answer my question?”  He sounded agitated.

“I can barely hear you,” I answered.  “The sirens are making so much noise.  I see another patrol car in front of us and he has his siren going,” I remember saying as we slid to a halt.

I am here, I told myself as the staff laid me out on the stretcher.  Time to catch a snooze.  What a crock.  Doc will have to figure out his own time to eat.  His words still ringing in my ears, don’t let him fall asleep.  I knew that he was afraid of me going into a coma.  I can’t go to sleep.  What is Carolyn doing?  The warning on the medical cheat sheet stated that going into a coma might be the prelude to death.  I don’t want to die!

This ordeal reminded me of a conversation I had with a chaplain and discussing his duties in the hospitals to which he was assigned.  The chaplain started talking about giving solace and how differently people react.  I asked him how he would handle people who were in a coma.  He stated that he had talked with several people who had been in a coma and nearly all the people who recovered told him that they could hear everything that was said.  They just couldn’t respond.  The main thing was to keep people from going into the coma but I was so very sleepy.  Just close your eyes and take a break, I told myself.  No.  I saw Carolyn’s face – No honey, don’t go to sleep.  Don’t go to sleep.  Don’t leave me.  Don’t.  Don’t.  Don’t.

I was fading fast.  I could hear voices.  One voice said, “Wheel him into the emergency room, if his heart stops we want to be prepared for open heart surgery.”

What have I gotten myself intoWhen I reached that fork in the path of choosing my life’s work what if I had taken a different path?  I began dreaming about my life and that career path starting from adolescence and then I heard my Mother’s voice telling me I had to stay awake.  As the poison started working through my system, I slipped into a dream state recalling my childhood.

So, my friends… like what you read?  Well the story gets incredibly good, and it’s hard to believe it’s not fiction!  This book WILL WOW you, so go get your signed copy now!  Go to wendellarnold.com, click on “Wendell’s Market Place”, then “Buy Now!”

RETAILERS – Order from Xulon Press, Spring Arbor Distributors and/or Ingram Book Company.  To order from Xulon Press, a division of Salem Communications, call Jason Fletcher at (866) 381-2665 extension 1163.  Books ordered by retailers are returnable.    

Inspiring, Heart-Warming and a Window Into Mid-Century American Life

In case you haven’t heard, Wendell Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, is now available at his website, wendellarnold.com.  Once you are at his website, click on “Wendell’s Market Place” on the sidebar, then buy now!

Here is another review of Wendell’s book –

“Wendell Arnold’s story of his Christian walk in life’s journey is inspiring, heart-warming and a window into mid-century American life.  Dr. Arnold’s disarming and self-deprecating account of his experiences in family, youth, marriage, professional life and retirement paint a personal portrait of how to be aware of Christ’s constant presence in our daily lives.  Sit back and enjoy your travels with Wendell, knowing that you will find strength in his example.”  – Ruth D. Foss, Diocesan President, Daughters of the King

I am confident that you will thoroughly enjoy this autobiography, which reads more like a suspense novel.  It leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat at times, yet clearly identifies Christ’s presence in Wendell’s life without being a “religious” book.  Young or old, Christian or not, I bet that you are going to love reading this story, and I’m not a betting gal!

So get your signed copy today at wendellarnold.com!

Dr. Wendell Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, is also available at xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and on the kindle, nook and google e-book.  Telephone orders may be placed by calling (866) 909-BOOK (2665).  But the only place you can order a signed copy is wendellarnold.com!


The Moment You Have Been Waiting For!

Finally, the moment you have all been waiting for is here!  Wendell Arnold’s autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, is available!  There are many ways you can order, but only one where you can get a signed copy.  For all the details, go to wendellarnold.com.

I have received a couple of inquiries from people who saw the book on Amazon.com where it says it was released in May.  I just want to clear that up, for the rest of you who have been asking me weekly, “When’s it going to be out?” and I kept replying, “Soon.”  The book did have its first printing in May, but it immediately went back into production due to an error that occurred during publication.  Because its first printing was complete in May, the records will show that as the date published although it was not available for purchase.  At any rate, go to wendellarnold.com to order your signed copy and get all the details about other ways to order, including eBooks for Kindle and Nook!

The website is up and running, ready to take your orders!  If you encounter any problems ordering, please let me know ASAP!  I can’t wait to hear your comments on the book.  Please feel free to write me if you would like your thoughts about the book shared on the blog, and feel free to leave any comments you would like.  I’m telling you, it’s an awesome book, a great read all around.  I just love to hear people’s reactions, it really is a WOW!  Stay tuned for my share about my husband’s experience reading this book, it’s a good one!

So go to WENDELLARNOLD.COM now!!  What are you waiting for?


Shortly you will be able to see for yourself in my dad’s autobiography, COTTON PATCH TO PH.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, that he is a man who dearly loves his family and friends, as the review below mentions.

“Wendell Arnold’s beautifully written story of his life is so intriguing I couldn’t put it down.  When you read this book, you will discover the author is a man who dearly loves his family and friends.  Furthermore, his completely committed faith in our Lord is a role model for all Christians.” – Doris Hodges

You will discover much more about Wendell while reading his book, a book that reads as if you’re watching the scenes play out in a movie.  Stay tuned for information on ordering in the next few days!


As a child, the only thing I knew about my dad’s occupation was that he was doctor, but not the kind that helps people.  As I grew up, I could tell people he was a plant pathologist, but I had no idea what this meant.  Eventually I started to get a broad idea of what my dad did at work, and that it had something to do with using chemicals to get rid of weeds growing in canals and ponds.  Little did I know, he was actually the guy inventing the chemicals.

My dad takes pride in everything he does, but he is not proud as in arrogant and therefore I understand why I didn’t know some of the interesting stories he tells in his book, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO PH.D.  But then again, what child knows all about their parents every interaction in life?  His trips to the Panama Canal Zone as a world renowned scientist, his negotiations with the colonel utilizing his quick thinking, and his interactions with the EPA are so wonderfully written, I felt like I was there with the scientists giving their presentation to the demanding colonel.  The suspense built as I read on, and for a moment I felt panic, then exuberance as he wittingly escaped the wrath of the colonel’s temper.  And if you think scientists are boring, well let me tell you, this book is anything but boring!  My bet is once you pick it up you won’t be able to put it down.

My father, Wendell R. Arnold, skillfully shares many of his adventures in his book, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO PH.D.  And his adventures involve a lot more than just being a scientist.  Clear your summer reading schedule and get ready for its release in June.  And spread the news!

In Case You Haven’t Heard…

My father, Wendell Arnold, tells his intriguing story of growing up picking cotton and becoming a world renowned scientist with faith in God in his autobiography, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO PH.D.  Though it is an autobiography, he skillfully portrays experiences that read like a suspense novel.  The experience in the cotton patch to dealing with corporate political challenges, environmental issues and legal avenues blended with raising a family paints the picture of a managed life.  He shares his profound experience with God in his life as the adventures take more twists and turns than a rattlesnake chasing his prey.

FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO PH.D. – Scheduled for release June 2012!


Hello world!

I’ll just keep the title because it says exactly how I feel with exuberance – Hello World!!  I guess I’m a little more exuberant since I used two exclamation points.

So this is my post to say hello to the world, and being my first post, that’s about all I have to say at the moment.  That is surely to change, as I have an excellent book to talk about and I love to talk!  I also like to listen, not quite to the love stage with listening yet but I’m working on it.  I welcome any comments or suggestions or even constructive criticism, and look forward to telling you all about the next best selling novel, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO PH.D.