Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holidays Back Home

It’s holidays back home,
Where time somehow stands still,
It’s holidays back home,
Where I go back to what is real.

When we get there Mom will say "You've gained a little weight."
But, bless my soul she’ll pile her cooking high upon my plate.

Dad will ask the umpteenth time, “When ya’ll gonna have kids?”
By the time the sun goes down, he’s snoring behind closed lids.

On the roads you’re sure to see gun racks on every truck,
The daily news is filled with color pics of “first-kill bucks.”

Cotton bales are piled up high and catfish fill the ponds,
Our family spends the afternoon picking up pecans.

Screen doors slam and cowbells ring as day turns into dusk,
Mom hollers for some help -- peas to shell and corn to husk.

After supper we take a walk and slap mosquitoes from our arms.
We watch the lights go out down the road at neighbors’ farms.

No matter where life takes me, no matter the heights I climb,
Back home is where I go when I need a quieter time.

It’s holidays back home
Where time somehow stands still,
It’s holidays back home
Where I go back to what is real.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Messy Bessie

Rick came home to find that Bessie had gotten into the trash he accidentally left at the front door. I never saw any of it in real life since Rick had every bit cleaned up by the time I came home.

Bessie seems to be saying, "Who, me? This is the first I've seen of it."

Sunday, October 02, 2011


My belly's full,
My house is warm;
I am very rich.

My job's secure,
My friends are near.
I am very rich.

My husband holds
My heart and hand.
I am very rich.

My family loves
And cares for me.
I am very rich.

My God forgives
My sins and past.
I am very rich.

I don't deserve
The life I have.
Yet, I am very rich.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Let's Just Read!

Why not read a book
(And talk about it, too),
And eliminate the need
For "read-and-then-go-do."

"Read, and then go write."
"Read, then take a quiz."
"Read, and make a diaroma."
. . . Let's just read! Gee whiz.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Garden Treats

Rick and our friend Steve planted a small garden for the second year in a row. Rick and I used to not eat many vegetables, especially green ones, but somewhere along the way to middle-age, our taste buds changed. Now we look forward to treats from the garden!

Pictured in this post are some of the spoils: cabbage, cucumbers, squash, green beans, and peppers. We made fresh cabbage slaw, a squash-cabbage casserole (original recipe below), and sliced cucumbers with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. Yum!

Cabbage and Squash Casserole

1 head of cabbage, washed and shredded
2 large yellow squash, peeled and sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped (or sliced depending on preference)
2 TBS Olive oil
½ stick butter, sliced into small pieces
1 cup of water
Salt, black pepper, and red pepper to taste
Breadcrumbs or Tortilla crumbs

Boil the cabbage in salted water for 20 minutes, then drain. While cabbage is boiling, grease large casserole dish with spray Pam and lay pieces of butter all around. Sauté onions in olive oil until almost caramelized. Place cooked cabbage, sliced squash, and sautéed onions on top of the butter. Add 1 cup of water, salt, and pepper. Stir mixture and spread evenly in casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

©Kathy Mansfield

Friday, June 17, 2011

Home Study Visit #4

Yesterday we had our 4th Home Study visit in our journey to adopting Elianna from China. Jamie was very kind and spent nearly two hours with us going over information, asking us questions, and answering our questions. Home study visits always make me nervous. I want the house to look neat and tidy. I want Bessie to be on her best behavior. I want the neighbors to act normal. I want the air conditioner to work. I want Rick not to say the wrong thing while attempting to be humorous (ask me sometime about his "concubine" comment with the home study office). All of the above happened last night, so that's good.

What I wasn't expecting was:
- being asked to press the button on the smoke detector to see if it beeped in order to show that it had good batteries in it (it did)
- Jamie opening the "first aid" drawer in one of our bathrooms to verify that first aid items were stored there (there were)

We still have to submit the completed home study report, along with our letters requesting extensions on our immigration paperwork and fingerprint renewals, before the first week of July. Tight turn-around since we will be out of state all next week. But, Jamie is taking good care of us, so I know we'll meet our deadline. It's simply nerve-wracking, though, until the paperwork actually arrives at the federal offices and we get our confirmations.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Live Long and Prosper!

Rick and I attended the Star Trek exhibit at the Louisville Science Center this weekend, and discovered there are people WAY more geeky than we are.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Five Years and Counting

Five years ago I felt a call
To go beyond the sea
To reach a little girl
Who was chosen just for me.

The paperwork began;
I felt certain in my call,
But soon the wheels of progress
Slowed down to just a crawl.

Why would God say, ”Go”
And then make the wait so long?
Is it Godly-discipline
For all that I’ve done wrong?

How can I have patience?
Will I persevere?
When will God deliver
What once was very clear?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mrs. Mansfield Goes to Frankfort!

KY State Capital Annex
February 22, 2011

Experiencing my first bill review at the Kentucky House of Representatives. I'm listening to discussion of bills up for consideration that relate to education. One of the bills concerns textbooks, so I'm here in case the legislators have questions about that particular bill. I'm sitting with Robin Chandler, a KDE Policy Advisor, Kevin Brown, KDE Legal Counsel and Associate Commissioner, and Rick, supportive husband extraordinaire (who is spending his time at the meeting reading his Kindle).

Listening to students share their bullying experiences in Kentucky schools -- all related to sexual orientation. A bill amendment is proposed to include consequences for bullying on school grounds even when school is not in session and at school-sponsored events.
This is only the second bill, and it has had lots of discussion. May not get to the textbook bill today.

Interesting to see legislators explain their votes before casting them. Also interesting to know that some might change their vote during full session.

I think the legislative process is the way to get your voice heard. The legislators have a lot of power, and I like the fact that even though some of the bills on the agenda won't be covered today (including my bill), the legislators have discussed at length and debated and played "devil's advocate" on the issue under consideration.

I'm glad to see current and former educators serving on the House Education Committee. They are able to provide valuable insight to the conversations.

Ten minutes left! Will the textbook bill make it to discussion before the 2:00 end time? Oh, the pressure!

We're on!

Well! The bill passed the committee even though I recommended that it not! I'm SO disappointed! And I think my nervousness showed. My colleagues and Rick said I did just fine, though.

One more new adventure afforded me by the Kentucky Department of Education!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Somehow I just have to think that justice was served when a man attending/promoting cockfights died from a wound he received from one of the birds that was armed with a blade.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My New Dr. Seuss Chucks!

I have LOTS of Chucks, but these are my first Dr. Seuss ones. Got them for Christmas.

Countdown to Elianna!