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Lesli's This and That

Summer Times

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen
July 2009

When I was a kid, nearly every summer my dad, mom, sister and I would spend a week at Possum Kingdom Lake. Oh, the days spent on the sandy beach and the morning and evenings spent fishing! I can remember taking turns burying each other in the sand with only our heads sticking out. We built sand castles, swam and I think I lost my glasses at least once every time we were there. I remember having to cake on that thick white sunscreen and wear a cap to shade the sun, as if anything was going to get through that white stuff. When I was tired, I would curl up on the floor of the boat underneath the steering column and sleep. Those were the days--best days of my life.

Spending a week on the lake you had to have lake food. Before our trip mom would fry up lots of chicken and, of course, we had to have the junk food, too:  snicker doodle cookies, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, pound cake, trash mix, Cheez-its, etc. But one of my favorite snacks to eat on the lake was peanut butter and crackers. The trick was to set the jar of peanut butter out in the hot sun and let it get real warm and creamy. Then it would just melt in your mouth. Nothing was better than sitting in your lawn chair just off the shore where the waves would gently roll over you as you sat and ate just taking in the day’s sun.

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Books to Inspire

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen
June 2009

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad May is over. I have completed another semester at Angelo State University, my daughter and my husband celebrated their birthdays, and Mother’s Day is history as are graduation and end-of-year school functions. I’m ready for summer.

Since finishing up the semester, I have read two wonderful books and I’m halfway through the third. Each book has given me a little more inspiration, made me really count my blessings each day, and has given me more of a perspective on the term “slow to judge and fast to love.”

Gary, our editor, handed me the book “Twopence to Cross the Mersey,” by Helen Forrester. I came home and began reading. I was captivated by her writing. I truly felt as if I was that little girl in the book. She faced more challenges in one day than I had my entire life. It is a story of a family living during the years of the Great Depression. This book is the story of “riches to rags” describing the heartache these children faced each day and the selfishness of formerly well off parents and their lack of knowledge of how to survive “real life.”

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen
May 2009

This past weekend the big movie, “Hannah Montana,” premiered at the local theater. We were there with the rest of America’s preteen and teenage children and their parents. If you haven’t seen it I’ll try not to ruin it for you. To me it’s a perfect example of society today and how we all need to be restored. It is easy to get caught up in what society is doing and forget who we are and where we came from.  

The movie begins with Miley Cyrus in school and her publicist coming in and telling her Hannah Montana has been asked to present an award in New York. So she leaves school telling her best friend Lily she has a “Hannah emergency.” Off she goes, shopping and doing the whole Hannah Montana thing.

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A Little R&R

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By Lesli Nolen
April 2009

In 2009 I began my third year with Ranch & Rural Living magazine. During this time, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting lots of new and exciting people and visiting some very special places. You have welcomed me into your homes and hearts and I truly appreciate your time and generosity. So, I’ve decided to give a little something back (especially for the women). In the spirit of certain talk show host, I want to share a few of my “favorite things” with you, hoping you will enjoy them too.

Two of my favorite ‘good for the soul’ foods are my infamous sausage balls and monkey bread. No they don’t go together—that I know of—but you are welcome to try it. Both recipes make a lot so you should have enough to indulge on and share with a friend. I love eating these most when my nose is buried in a good book. I just read a great book: “Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash,” by Dixie Cash. My mother-in-law handed it to me when we were visiting over the Christmas holiday. I couldn’t put it down. I read and read, I had to know how it ended, and the time spent was worth it. It’s a funny, Texas, small town, romantic comedy story with a twist of murder.

Another favorite of mine is the lotion my mom bought for me as a stocking stuffer last Christmas. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a very peculiar sense of smell. In other words I have a nose like a hound dog and very sensitive skin. Therefore most of my necessities must be unscented. Knowing this my mom bought me Dionis lotion. It is unscented and made with goats’ milk. She thought the goats’ milk part was funny, seeing where I work—we publish Meat Goat Monthly News. But it really is a good lotion and if any of you like just lotion and no smell I recommend picking up a bottle sometime and trying it out. My mom bought the lotion in Lubbock at Cracker Barrel. When she was there last they said the makers were giving it a new design and it should be back on the shelves in a couple of weeks.

Last but not least of my favorites is stationery, given by my grandmother. That stationery brings the whole world together for me. I sit down and hand write letters to friends and family I’m thinking of. I’m not saying technology isn’t grand, I wouldn’t like to do my job without it, but sometimes a little bit of old fashion is good too. It keeps me grounded and helps make me who I am today.
I hope you have enjoyed reading some of my ‘favorites’ and hoping you will share some of your ‘favorites’ with me. You may send me an old fashioned low-tech letter, a high-tech email message, call me or post your favorites on our web-site. I would like to have a little more for us women readers in Ranch & Rural Living magazine and would like to know what you think, what you like especially after you’ve finished working cattle, feeding goats, kidding or lambing, what is it that you do for a little R and R.

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Act naturally   Holy war   Resident alien   Minor catastrophe   Near miss   Great depression   Canadian army   United nations   Genuine imitation    Death benefits   Airline Food   Good grief   Same difference   Almost exactly   Sensitive man   Government organization   Everything except   Legally drunk   Living dead   “Now, then”   Butt head   New York culture   Sweet sorrow   Taped live   Clearly misunderstood    Temporary tax increase   Plastic glasses   Terribly pleased   Tight slacks   Definite maybe   Pretty ugly   Working vacation   Exact estimate   Honest politician