Shop our New Items

Visit this link for Texas outlet malls, outlet & factory stores by region

HomeSurvival Handbook

See Pictures of Tornado Shelter Installation

Resolutions & “No Name” Soup

Yikes!! I’m having a hard time getting myself back into a routine after the holidays. Sitting here trying to think of something interesting to talk about – and all that comes to mind is that I want to go lay down on the couch, read a book while eating a bowl of Eggnog ice cream . . . or something else that isn’t good for me like a piece of  Pumpkin Pecan  Cheesecake….or maybe a couple of pieces of  Baklava. You all know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s just hard to get started back up.

At any rate, have to say the time off was enjoyable. Spent Christmas with family and New Year’s with friends – can’t get much better. For myself, the new year causes me to look back a little – see what was accomplished, what wasn’t accomplished but most of all – to look at all the things we have to be thankful for – like health and home.


I know there are those that like to make new year’s resolutions, but I find it just as satisfying to follow a certain few guidelines during the year. My top three (3) are the following:

  1. If something doesn’t happen like I want or in the time frame I expect – let it go… more often than not it will work out better in the long run anyway.
  2. Keep my mouth shut and understand that I don’t have to respond to everything said to me (this one is tough- I’ve always got an opinion) …. but sometimes the less said the better.
  3. Finally, treat people with respect and consideration – especially those you love…. because you don’t know what tomorrow holds and you never know who’s watching.

I say this because one day when shopping at the grocery – probably 25 years ago – I saw a remarkable couple.

The man was elderly, well dressed but in a wheel chair. … he must have been in his late 70’s or early 80’s (doesn’t seem so old now) – he was having difficulty navigating his chair through the aisles and couldn’t read the labels very well. His also elderly wife was with him and for grocery shopping she was elegantly dressed – nice suit, high heels, hair nicely styled, etc. Aside from the fact that they were both very well dressed, I couldn’t help but notice how she treated him … with love and patience – even though you just knew most of her day must be dedicated to taking care of his needs which couldn’t have been easy.

They were ahead of me for quite a while and never once did she become impatient, complain or get upset at him about anything.  She was the most patient person I’ve ever seen.   If he wanted to see something, she handed it to him; if he couldn’t read it – she read it to him. You could just see her devotion as well as the mutual respect they had for each other.  For me, this was one of life’s “defining” moments and something I’ve never forgotten . . .

Can You Help?

Too often we become wrapped up in our own wants, desires and maybe forget how our actions affect those around us or maybe what others are going through. With that I’d like to ask all of you to offer a prayer for my cousin’s grandson who suffered a brain aneurysm in December and is scheduled to have brain surgery this month.

Most of those in the family already know about Kaleb’s condition, but if you don’t and would like to keep up with his progress you can visit his website at

And if any of you have any dollars laying around – I know the family could really use them and they would be much appreciated.


I hear we’re in for some super cold weather this coming weekend (no snow as far as I know) – so David’s out making sure the faucets are all covered, the generator is full of gas and running and the heat light is on in the well house  –  the pipes froze last year and it was a HUGE mess.

No Name Soup

I’m planning on cooking up a pot of soup – probably Friday – and have it on hand. Soup is easy to heat up if we loose power.

This is a quick to fix “no-name” soup  using:

  • 1 can of vegetarian vegetable
  • 1 can water
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 1/2 can black-eyed peas
  • 1/2 onion (sauteed)
  • 1 cup macaroni
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1/4 medium head cabbage (chopped and pre-cooked in microwave-drain water)
  • 1 link of cooked sausage in bite-sized bits (BBQ smoked or Eckrich are best)

Directions:   Saute onion in a little olive oil till soft, add soup, water, broth – cover and bring to a low boil.   Then add in macaroni and cook till almost tender.  Add in black-eyed peas, tomatoes, partially cooked cabbage, and cooked sausage – cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve or store. This soup gets better each day – but ours never lasts more than 2 days.

 Totally Amazing

If you haven’t heard or read about it, a discovery of caverns in Viet Nam has been made. Some of the caverns are so large as to be able to accommodate a 747 airplane – and one report said a New York city block could fit.

The National Geographic has some totally amazing and beautiful pictures online – one might think they’ve been transported to another world. You can see the slide show from this link….Largest Cave

And…..really glad to have you all back!  We’re going to have a great year!

Comments are closed.