My Man and I — We Can’t Hear Them Now

Hello folks, let’s chat… My man and I have access to something like a gazillion television channels. We watch five, at the most. If our TV isn’t on the news or a sporting event, and we aren’t watching Duck Dynasty, chances are it’s on the Outdoor Channel or Food Network. This is because we prefer to take out our trash instead of being entertained by it.

And because the shows that are left confuse us. I don’t mean to go all Mayberry on you, but we miss the slower paced shows. Take last night, for instance. My hard-working farmer pulled under the carport about the same time I made it in from my live radio show. I had some of our favorite take-out with me (Hello Catfish Charlie’s!) and it was almost time for one of the few shows we actually try to follow.

“Hey sweetheart,” I said. “Our show is about to come on. You know, the one where we never know what they’re saying because they whisper and we don’t know what’s going on because they switch scenes before we can focus. Yeah, that one.”

In case you didn’t recognize the description, I’m talking about 24 and the counter-terrorist super spy Jack Bauer. Jack is a bad guy’s worst nightmare but Phil and I suspect that he may have been undercover a mite too long because the guy never talks above a whisper. At least, neither of us can hear him over the background noise. But that’s okay. Phil and I are pretty much used to not being in the know. We were late getting aboard the 24 bandwagon the first time it aired. By late, I mean we discovered it the same season they cancelled it.


By the way, I realize there’s an outside chance that some of y’all still may not be fans of this show, and if so, you may have no idea what I’ve been talking about this whole time. That’s okay, too. Any day now I’m expecting a big old Acme safe to drop out of the sky straight onto Jack’s head and it’ll all be over.

Or not.

Hugs, Shellie

Get the Latest from Shellie! Sign up for the ATS Newsletter

Come on Down, Hump Day Camel (We’ve Got Bigger Fish to Fry)

Hello folks, let’s chat… The poor Hump Day Camel. Hot one minute. Hot potato the next.

blankgoogle 45972-Hump-Day-CamelI’m referring of course, to Mr. Camel being banned from posing in photographs on a certain college campus because he could be, I’m quoting now, “offensive to Middle Eastern cultures.” I wish I were kidding. Sounds to me like somebody was bound and determined to be offended about something. I’m only bringing it up now because I was traveling when the story broke and because of a related story I found that just screams irony.

I read that one hundred and fifty new words have been added to the Webster dictionary and, as usual, I find the list confusing. For instance, they’ve officially recognized the word “catfish”. I don’t mean to sound like a know-it-all, but my folks and I have been recognizing catfish for a long time. As a matter of fact, my man and I recently installed a catfish feeder on our dock to welcome all comers.

I know about catfish. I know how to hold them so they won’t cut you with their fins, I know the sound of their voice, and I know how to batter and fry them regardless of how much they try and talk you out of it. What I did not know until these new words were recognized, is that there are people who define a catfish as “someone who creates a false identity online, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”¬

And therein lies the irony. Of all people, we southerners are the most closely identified with catfish but you’ve heard nary a word of protest from us over the word being used in a derogatory manner, have you? Of course not.

We aren’t going to riot because you’ve vilified our catfish. We’re not going to hold sit-ins or sit-outs. We’re just going to sit down to another mess of fillets and hushpuppies and laugh at this kind of nonsense. Dear Hump Day Camel, come on down. We’ll take pictures with you and hope they go viral. All together now, “Cheese!”

Hugs, Shellie

Get the Latest from Shellie! Sign up for the ATS Newsletter

Are You a Self-Scrubber?

Mama has had a self-cleaning oven for umpteen years, that’s southern speak for a whole lot of years, and she has only recently discovered that her appliance had the aforementioned capabilities. Mama is delighted. On one hand, this is confusing because Mama’s oven has never gone that long between one of her rigorous cleanings. On the other hand, Mama is a certified neat nick who never stops aiming for another level of clean. I so wish that trait had been genetic.


My oven could use a good scrubbing right about now and it’s a self-cleaning machine, too. Unfortunately, I’m bad about forgetting to program it until it’s time to cook again and the remains of dinners gone by are staring me in the face. You’d think the thing could show a little initiative and launch the system by itself when it senses spilled spaghetti sauce. Now, that would be progress. As it is, the self-cleaning function fails to live up to my expectations. Always has.

I remember how sorely disappointed I was the first time I used it. The timer went off and I found, to my dismay, that yours truly was still going to have to wipe leftover soot and ash off the sides and bottom. I realize this sounds silly but I’d actually been under the impression that my help wouldn’t be required at all.

Let me tell you something sillier, and immeasurably more disappointing. There was a time when I tried to approach God in prayer with a self-cleaning attitude. I’d try to clean myself, scrub myself, and examine myself for anything that could hinder our fellowship. I always failed. I never could rid myself of all the soot and ashes and neither can you, friend. Our hearts will deceive us, our memories will fail us.

It isn’t our prayer, our fasting, our Bible study or our confession that makes us fit for His fellowship. It is only Jesus who makes us worthy. Start there with a celebration of the finished work of Christ and discover a whole new experience in prayer.

Hugs, Shellie

Get the Latest from Shellie! Sign up for the ATS Newsletter