Paying Attention To Your Lawn

As the world outside finally begins to turn green after a long winter, it’s time once again to pay attention to your lawn. Spring is a sensitive time for your yard – the soil is spongy, the plants are tender, and the weather is unpredictable. Your lawn will thank you for being gentle this time of year, but it will also thank you for addressing a few important spring tasks.

Here’s how to go about taking care of your lawn in the spring.

Types of Grass

Spring lawn care depends on the type of grass you are growing:

•Cool-season grasses include fescue, bluegrass, and rye. They have two growth spurts – a moderate one in the spring, and a big one in the fall. They go dormant and can struggle in hot summer months, so the focus of spring care is strengthening the plants for summer.
•Warm-season grasses – such as Zoysia, St. Augustine, centipede, and Bermuda – thrive in the heat and go dormant during winter. They begin growing after the last spring frost and really get going by midsummer.

Understanding the type of grass you have and its peak growing season will help you address lawn care tasks at the correct time.

Clean Up – Gently!

Avoid heavy yard work in the spring until the soil dries out – foot traffic and hard raking can compact or disturb soggy soil and damage tender, new grass shoots. Once the soil is good and dry, give your lawn a good spring cleaning to encourage grass growth and discourage pests and diseases. Remove leaves and fallen debris, and gently rake to fluff up and separate the grass shoots.

In areas with heavy snowfall, leftover snow piles can smother the grass underneath and foster mold growth. As the weather warms, spread snow piles out with a shovel to encourage melting.

Controlling Weeds

Spring is the best time to prevent weeds by using pre-emergent weed control, which work by preventing weed seeds from germinating. Your first application of a pre-emergent herbicide should occur just as the forsythia bushes finish blooming in spring – that should stop crabgrass and other weeds before they have a chance to grow.

Both cool-season and warm-season lawns benefit from weed prevention in the spring. Pre-emergent herbicides work for about three months, so plan on a second application during the summer.

Seeding and Planting

In the spring, gardeners have to choose between weed control and lawn seeding. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent grass seed from sprouting too, so you can’t do both – the herbicide will be active for up to 12 weeks, which means you’ll miss the spring planting season.

If your focus this spring is on filling in bare spots or establishing a new lawn, time your activities according to the type of grass:

•Cool-season grasses can be planted as soon as the air temperatures get into the 60s and soil temperatures are in the 50s. Plant as soon as temperatures allow to give the seedlings a chance to get established before hot weather hits. Fall is a better time to plant cool-season grasses, so use spring planting for patching bare spots, and be prepared to keep your lawn well-watered during the summer.
•Warm-season grasses can be planted when air temperatures are in the 70s, soil temperatures are in the 60s, and all danger of frost has passed. Late spring is the best time to plant warm-season grasses.


The type of grass you have also influences when and how you should fertilize your lawn:

•Cool-season grasses: Resist the urge to heavily fertilize your lawn in the spring. Spring feeding encourages rapid tender growth that will struggle to survive the heat of summer, particularly in drought-prone areas. If your lawn is in bad shape, fertilize lightly in spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Save the heavier feedings for fall, when cool-season grasses are at their peak growing season.
•Warm-season grasses: Fertilize in late spring as soon as the lawn “greens up” and begins actively growing. This is usually in April or May, after the last frost.

Soil Problems

Spring is a great time to conduct a soil test to find out if your soil needs any amendments. You can apply lime to acidic soil (pH below 6) anytime during the growing season, as long as the grass isn’t wilted or covered with frost. Early spring can be a great time to apply lime if you’ll be planting new grass that year.

Don’t apply lime within 3 weeks of fertilizing, as the ingredients can react and become less effective. Follow the recommendations of your soil test kit and your purchased amendments for proper dosage.

Other Spring Lawn Tasks

Aeration: is best done during your lawn’s peak growing season. For warm-season grasses, this means early to mid-summer. For cool-season grasses, aeration is best saved for fall but can be repeated in spring if the soil is extremely compacted. Wait until your lawn has been mowed 2-3 times in the season, so you’ll be sure it is growing fast enough to recover from the aeration.

Dethatching: also best done during peak growing season, right before aerating.

Mowing: Begin mowing as soon as your lawn needs it – grass blades do best when you cut no more than a third of the blade’s length at a time.

Watering: Once your grass starts growing, you’ll need to make sure your lawn gets at least 1� of water per week. Until then, you can water less frequently but remember that cold air is very drying to plants and lawns.

Insect control: Spring is a good time to address problems with fire ants. Many other insects, such as grubs and mole crickets, may also cause damage to your lawn in spring but are more effectively controlled later in the summer.

Lawn Equipment: Sharpen the blade and tune up your lawn mower, as well as other lawn equipment, to make summer mowing a breeze!

info from 


Blog or Stories Inspirational

The joy of being a dog owner

I have been blessed with fur-babies, each one bring a unique character that enamours them into my heart. She had a special pup named  Brigett who lived a long  life with family.

Angle was our very first dog. She was a chocolot labrador retriever full blooded… She was very gentle with the children and lived with us for 13 years before being consumed with cancer. Ralph Lorne was a fully grown bird dog. He had health issues and lived with us for nine years before he died. He was a gentle giant of a dog, so loving, so caring of me.

Our next dog was a blonde labrador retriever named K’lona. She was hit in the head by winds from a tornado and the kennel wanted to put her down, but we intervened and she was a very special dog indeed. K’lona could sense seizures before they happened and would alert me to the oncoming seizure. She laid in bed comforting my husband while he was on chemo treatment for nine months. She would go into the ot tub with my husband and keep him company. She passed from old age.

Montana was a chocolate labradore retriever who lived with us as an adult with a son named Caleb; a black labradore retreiver. They were found on a lonely stretch in the country, having been dropped by their previous owner. Montana was afraid of cowboy boots and baseball caps on men for a very long time, ’til we desensatized her. Montana was very laid back while here pup was rambuncious. Caleb would play with our Llama’s cria as they grew up. Montana passed from old age and Caleb died of a broken heart.

Porthos was a transition dog a Beagle. This poor dog was displaced with us in a hotel for five weeks being kept in a crate while I was gone meeting contractors. He would not acclimate to our home so we had to find another loving environment with an elderly lady who had time on her hands to care and walk him daily.

Macie a chocolate labrador retriever is our current furbaby. She is 14 years old, we got her five years ago. She is such a sweet heart, stays by my side constantly, she has spirit enough to take unauthorized neighborhood walks- the neighbors will bring her home since she is mostly blind and hard of hearing and has arthritis. We will let her live her natural life out with us.

Bot a black labradore retriever graced our life for about two years. He was so hyper active. I kept scratches on my arms, and stomach where he would pin me down in his zealousness to be loved. We had rescued him from the ASPCA, he was emanciated- his ribs and pelvic were skin over bones. He was so grateful to be rescued- we restored his good health. He left our family four months ago to live with a family in the country. I miss him terribly, but know that he is happy and being loved on with his new family. Every once in a while I will cry from missing him my only solace is that he is happy.

Summer is the latest addition to our family she is a hybred  dog 1/2 Beagle and 1/2 Bassett Hound called a Bagle. She is Zackary’s dog but, we babysit her during the week while Zackary is at school. She is all puppy, very mischeivous and barks allot at Macie. She demands attention from Macie but Macie doesn’t give in to her demands. It is all a process of learning. She enjoys playing fetch with me and stays by my side during her non-Zack time.

Kat Challis (C)2018, April 30,


Inspirational poetry

The Power of Woman

The Power of Woman

From out of her mother’s womb

This sweet little girl does come

To capture the hearts of many


Exploring with her feet

She kicks wildly at her crib

And feels the bed shake


Hanging on mommy and daddy

Not just anyone will she go to

Just try and she will cry


Teddy bear so cuddly; a welcome night friend

Tea sets filled with rock to serve her imaginary friends

Big girl preschool, lots of playing while learning too


Shopping for sleeping bags and cool jammies

Sleepover’s we’ll plan with the greatest of ease

But come nightfall, she’ll want to go home, please


Little white tights, Mary Jane leather shoes,

Hair neatly braided, lunch safely tucked

In a carefully chosen backpack


On the first day of Kindergarten, she’ll say

“Please Mommy, let Daddy take me.”

A single tear rolls down my cheek after she leaves


The years speed by too quickly

Many third-grade romances

And broken hearts in Jr. High


Dad, I found the perfect Mustang

It needs a little work, but its so-oo cool!

Mom will you teach me how to drive


Graduation robed, and motors tossed in the air

The future is full of promises and dreams

A white flowing dress and love in her eyes

She says’ forever, “I do!”


From out of her mother’s womb

This sweet little girl does come

To capture the hearts of many


Kat Challis ©2010 The Dreamer’s Soul – Circle of Love



An Angel’s Visit

There once was a man, aged by dereliction.

He came to our trailer door pleading for something to eat.

He asked if he could use the water hose.

So, I gave him a towel, washcloth, and soap.

While he began to clean his too thin body

I began to cook.

I remembered to treat him as an honored guest and put on our best.

Pan fried steak sizzled while the biscuits baked and the vegetables cooked.

From my best plate, he ate and said it was the best meal he ever had.

I was just thirteen years old, but I was certain that God had sent an angel

to our door that very day.

Kat Challis 06/17/2007


Other publications

Publications: Literary pen names: Kat Challis, Kathy Ann Challis, and Kathryn Aubrey.
1. “The Dreamer’s Soul,” Kathryn Aubrey, Vol.1, Kathryn Aubrey Publishing. 2003, ISBN# 0-9747822-0-3. It is a book of poetry and short stories about people as teachers, heroes, and friends.

2. “Teenager’s,” American Poetry Anthology, Vol. X, No.2, Robert Nelson Publishing 1990 ISBN: 0-88147-100-3. Pg.231.

3. “Poetry,” Poetic Voices of America, Fall 1990, Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum, Inc.
1990 ISBN: 0-923242-08-2, p.162.
4. Class Planting Seed for Businesses, Amy David, The Daily Oklahoman II- Oklahoma City Times, Community, Nov. 8,1996, p.1.
5. Int’l Library of Poetry
• Famous Poets Award of Recognition for 1995
• Editor’s Choice Award – June 2001
• Poet of Merit Award – 2000-2003
• Merit Silver Award Bowl –2002
• Merit Bronze Metal 2001
• Honorable Mention – several 1996-2003

6. Tarrant County Texas Poetry Association memberships 2005

7. Blog:

a. Two halves of a soul – a novel about young love lasting 40 years


What it is like in Heaven

Heaven is an incredible place of pure joy. I was a small child when I went to heaven for a little while.  I remember being in the hospital so very many times as a small child with Bronchial Asthma attacks.  This one event stands out in my memory of going to heaven and recognizing it was heaven immediately although I was too young to glimmer the difference between heaven and earth and hell.

It was daylight and there were small animals all around and people talking. I was playing with white long-eared bunnies and was so happy. As a child, all animals were off limits to me because of the Asthma. But this time I was able to play and laugh and not be sick.  I heard someone tell me that I had to go back that it was not my time yet. I remember seeing myself with people (doctor/nurses) all around me as I lay on a bed like a table and later woke up inside an oxygen tent.

My mom was told that they almost lost me, that my life had stopped for a moment but they were able to revive me.  I’ve always had this memory of being in utter indescribable joy.  As an adult, I have tried to fill in the significance of the memory and rationalize it but I can’t. It just boils down to faith either you believe or you don’t. I know in my mind and heart that there is another realm to be alive in and it is only when our subconsciousness departs from our soul that we are truly set free and it is good.



Tie a knot and hold on

God is Good, All the Time- God is Good! We are being bombarded on all sides with an emotional boomerang thrown in for good measure.    It’s difficult at times to remember that saying and have a core belief that it is the absolute truth. I am seeking employment as it will solve a lot of our issues; certainly financial concerns with medical and prescription insurance and 401K benefits.

Our 5-ton air conditioner stopped working over the weekend. It has a hole in its two coils and the compressor is scrap. It is going to cost $7,900.00 to replace it.  The HOA does not allow window air conditioners- even if we thought we could go that way for a short term.  We have two box fans and one revolving fan to augment our ceiling fans.  The hot/cold weather is hard on Robert with his weakened immune system.

You’ve heard the old saying, “grab a rope, tie a knot, and hang on for the ride because it’s gonna be bumpy for a long time”. That is what we are doing. Satan is sending circumstances to shake our faith and make it wavier if only for a minute. We are plugging the holes in our sinking ship.

When you have hardships you 1st make a list and set the priorities according to needs. It just seems like there are emergencies all the time occurring.  We need a good cruise director to get us through the crisis. Friends are good at listening to the things that we don’t have a gag order about. It’s the gag order that adds to the stress- because the information keeps rattling away in your brain.  But I’d rather know and live with a gag order than not know and wonder what is happening in my families lives.

I’m going to make a list of all the obstacles we have overcome since Feb 6th. I am tieing my knot and hanging on for dear life.’







The Wavering of FAITH

I had a weakness of faith this afternoon. It didn’t last long but the temptation to believe that GOD is limited in insurmountable odds against us.  You see, I was struck by the devasting news that placed money before the quality of health.  After, calling several times this week, I finally got the hospital to call me back with the amount of money required to admit Robert into the hospital for surgery later this morning.  They told me at 4:20 p.m. yesterday, that I needed $18,368.00 down payment on a $25K+ debt to be incurred.

I called Elder Bruce at Eagleview Church and he prayed for me and Robert; for wisdom, strong faith in times of peril, and to allow GOD to do his job in us. So much is running through my mind even as I type. The only solution is to go to the Emergency Room and see if they will admit Robert into the hospital so he can have “emergency” surgery today. There are no guarantees that he will be admitted. They may give him nitroglycerine for his pain and send him home.

Then, I will have to try and reach out to news stations for assistance. Even if they admit him when it is all over with I am going to reach out to the television reporter about the insurance coverage we were supposed to be purchasing. It is not morally right to tell us that we are buying coverage for hospitalization and sickness, then switch it to another plan without telling us- which is what occurred.  It was a limited medical plan in that prescriptions were not covered and we were limited to five doctor visits per month. The doctor co-pay was to be $25-$30.00 each sick visit and our doctors accepted the MultiPlan insurance program. I was also promised a 70% to 40% discount on hospitalizations in the network.  We were also allowed one ambulance coverage and two emergency room visits. Anesthesia, in an outpatient surgery, were covered.

The reality of what we actually bought hit at 4:20 p.m.  The hospital is paid $750.00 for one day of service. The anesthesia is paid $187.50 for one service.  The surgical procedure is paid $750.00 one visit (but the hospital would not deduct that from the bill until services are rendered).  The total estimated bill is $25,263.68 and the hospital wants an $18,386.00 deposit at the time of admittance to the hospital. And the doctor bill of $1,500.00 was not covered at all.  I was in a tailspin- we don’t have that kind of money period. The savings I do have will only get us 6 months living expenses with all of Kassidey paycheck being applied. And that is not including additional medical or any other major expense that may occur.  The hospital was firm but friendly. They do not have a benevolence program for charges to be incurred or deposits required.  They did say their benevolence program allows for 1/2 the balance be paid and then 3 monthly installments afterward to be paid. I don’t blame the hospital for wanting to be paid upfront. I just wish they would have a heart and put us on a payment plan that I could live with.





When life throws you a curve ball

So much has occurred in the last month. My husband Robert was forced into taking an early retirement from work due to his serious and life-threatening health issues.  The quote, “Pride goeth before the fall,”  resonates it’s lone warnings.  But, I have hope that everything will be alright- that GOD is on our side, and he is faithful.

It’s a thought process. We were making a lot of money then, now we are not making any. What do we do?

1. Tell your story

Host a go-fund-me page or plea to the neighborhood

2. Determine the essentials of survival

We don’t need the TV but we do need electricity- evaluate the basics survival requirements, then add on the luxuries if any money is left over.

3. Ask for assistance and accept it graciously

Community charities are a place to start as a one-time safety net.

4. Thank those who have a generous heart

If they are making time to give to you, then make time to sincerely thank them from your heart.

5. Make a plan of action

To eliminate debt to cash ratio variances

Cash in 401K, closeout savings account, get rid of an automobile with the higher payment,  host yard sales (sell extra stuff laying around the house not needed),

6. Trust in GOD!

He has given you the presence of wisdom from others in your life. Belief is one of the hardest things we make ourselves do- yet it is the simplest feat to just let go and have faith that God is in control.




How to combat anxiety & worry in 5 easy steps

Inner peace is a conscious choice that we each make upon waking. When you are caught up in the mind field of irrational thinking or feeling stress out try these five techniques to restore your equilibrium.

  1. Breathe deeply and exhale slowly several times when anxiety or worry occurs
  2. say a prayer of thanksgiving, even if it is for somebody else
  3. break down the parts of the anxious thoughts and feelings.
  4. using media resources or common sense to analyze each strong repetitive thought and feeling
  5. deliberately interrupt or short circuit the irrational thought process and replace it with a more even scaled rational.

When one is stressed with anxiety or worry their breathing changes, sometimes they shallow breathe or mouth breathe instead of taking nice deep cleansing breaths.

When one is stressed prayer to the Creator GOD works- it allows you to focus for a moment on someone else’s problem or explain your problem in greater detail. Once the parts are broken down then you can start managing each step.

When one is stressed common sense is usually short sighted. Since you have broken your issue into parts of a whole; ask yourself is there history to support the thought process; is it true or false? Is their authority behind your idea, if not, let it go!

When you interrupt a negative thought and replace it with a positive one then you deflate the the intensity of the drama.


Inner-Peace is a choice

Peace is a conscious choice that we all make every time we wake up and start our day.

What does it mean to have peace? The dictionary defines peace as freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. I define peace as the ability to not be anxious, worry, or overly concerned with events, places. and time.

Anxiety is a thief of inner-peace. It inhibits ones nature to relax and enjoy the moments.

I used to have anxiety issues about the whole dynamic process of going to the grocery store. The steps of getting dressed, getting my purse and keys; driving to the store; selecting groceries; delivery and put away groceries. The anxiety was heightened by insecurities that I was making a conscious choice to leave my home (sanctuary) and enter a possible road calamity; then not be able to reach my grocery item on the tall shelves or not even be able to locate the item sought. Then I would have to re-enter the driving arena once again and hope there is no accident. Once home brings the groceries was a challenge because of plastic bag failure to hold all the groceries weight. Or what if someone takes the opportunity to steal my groceries while I am inside.

Needless anxiety promotes illness of the body and the mind. With the above scenario I would be almost paralyzed by fear, then feel foolish for having been overly anxious, to begin with,


Worry a close cousin on Anxiety robs one of rational thought and creates hyperbola scenarios to occur.

If it can go wrong- it most certainly will is the thought of worry. When my husband would be over an hour late and not call me with an explanation my worry feature would go into overdrive. I would immediately have envisioned him in a fatal car accident on the way home. I could see me at his funeral mourning my loss. And then see me destitute without any means to support myself.

Excessive worry condemns the thinker to a pre-sequenced chain of events that they have very little control over.


Overly concerned called Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour takes the attention of what is and what ought to be to a new depth.

Obsessive Behaviour is an uncontrollable urge to repeat the process of a thought or action to a finite conclusion. It is not based on rational thinking entirely, its feelings about an idea and how it makes one feel. The feelings actually justify the obsessive-compulsive behavior in the mind of the one with OCB/OCD.

Health Team, Haley, offers this scenario: A passion for cleanliness-

Washing the hands after leaving the bathroom or before eating are sensible hygiene precautions that everyone should take but what happens if OCD takes control? It can drive a person to wash their hands repeatedly to satisfy the demon in their mind that tells them maybe they have still not got rid of all those threatening germs. This OCD passion for cleanliness can take many different forms, For example, as well as hand washing it may drive this person to wash cutlery and dishes or clean the floor repeatedly. They usually realize there is no rationale for repeating these actions but convince themselves “just to be on the safe side…”

One can lose their inner-peace over about anything. The steps it takes to accomplish a goal as in anxiety or overcome worrisome emotionally charged scenarios or be obsessive with anxiety and worry.





Expectations – Set the bar a little higher and feel the victory

When my girls were growing up, I set high expectation standards for them. I expected and was rewarded with straight A’s all through school and onto college degrees with honors.  I expected the same for my husband and myself during our academic endeavors.

When Rose was two she wasn’t talking. She made sounds which I interpreted her needs. On a visit from my mom. I grew alarmed and began making the doctor circuits. I was told she had Autistic Tendencies, was, mildly retarded, needed behavior correction, or she was socially shy and would grow out of it. I was an over-wrought parent,  overprotective parent, had hysteria,  or was seeking attention through my child. It wasn’t until Rose turned four years old that a doctor finally said the magic words, ‘your child is “hearing impaired and language delayed,” as indicated by the results of failing all the hearing exams through the last two years.

Rose had Acute and Chronic Otitis Media (inner ear infection). It hindered her ability to hear. To describe the ability he said to turn on a vacuum cleaner and yell- and only be able to hear a muffled sound. That was what my baby girl was experiencing every day 24/7.

We heard of a new pilot program for children who were deaf or hearing impaired and had no way of communicating.  I quit my job as a Realtor Property Manager in order to get into the school district that was offering the program.  Rose entered in Kindergarten making one-word sentences, “maaa” and “daaa” it was a blessing that she had the prefix correct. It meant that she was hearing somewhat.

We started a regimen of exercises with a photo book of mom and dad, sister, and items with the names phonetically & correctly spelled underneath. I was showed sign language to use when pointing and saying the words to her. I learned to touch my face at my mouth and make eye contact with Rose when talking so she could read my lips. I created a workbook of common words with pictures and labeled things at home. She was learning how to read and say the alphabet. I programmed a computer in Basic and saved the data to a cassette player so Rose could go through speech class by herself.

Rose was still in Red when the program ended that school year because they lost their budget. Insufficient progress overall. But they worked a miracle in our lives- they gave language to my little girl. So we found a mobile home and move into a new district. Rose enters Transitional First grade. Her hearing was improving with fewer infections and new medications when she would get an infection.

My first IEP Individualized Educational Plan. I was like a zombie as the teachers spoke over me about Roses condition and treatment plan. I outlined what we had been through and what the pilot program had offered to us. Rose was highly intelligent on her academic scores and intelligence tests; she was just having difficulty expressing herself.  Meanwhile, her baby sister is 18 months old when school finishes. She doesn’t have any hearing issues and her speech is impeccable due to Rose’s home instruction. We decide to relocate to Bethany, Oklahoma. Rose enters first grade. Her hearing gradually got better and speech therapy at a county extensions office begins in earnest along with psychiatric counseling to make sure her frustration level was monitored.

I became a Missionettes Daisy leader and a Camp Fire Girls of America Leader. I also attended SNU college full time and filled in on Sunday mornings as a teacher.  I continued working with Rose on speech. She was a good kid. She never complained about her lot in life- she worked hard at communicating. Finally, at age 8 yr’s she was healed! No more ear infections. She could hear clear as a bell with no damage what so ever. Her Estraitsion tubes had been under-developed at birth and she had a submucous cleft palate in the third quadrant. Those combined kept the fluids from running down and exiting the body as it should and turned into infections.

We move to Yukon, Ok when Rose enters the fourth grade. Fast forward to the end of 6th grade. The school decides that Rose is about as good as she’ll ever be in speech, so they dismiss the IEP, against my wishes.  Rose talks extremely fast but concise- it’s like she is making up for lost time.  Her sister is four years younger and in second grade at this time.

Expectations; Kassidey & Rose are extremely intelligent, Kassidey is labeled Gifted and Rose is labeled Talented in school. The big difference between being gifted and talented is that talented people have to work their butts off to keep their excellence in grades. There was a friend for a season named  Mittie. Mitte was jealous at my girls “A”  status. Her kids brought home “C & D.s”. I could never get her to understand that if my children we capable of “C” level work then I would push them to be a solid “C” level and question what I could do differently to help them make the “D’s” into “C’s” and I would be just as proud of them as if they were “A” students. The parents have to set the bar just a little higher for their children to recognize opportunities for success and feel the victory.

Kassidey was in 9th grade when she discovered that not all children went to college after high school. It was the expectation in our household that one would achieve a Bachelor’s Degree. It was a shock to her and I remember in passing her mentioning it. It was difficult to explain that some people do not have the talent to do academics. That there were trades schools that would offer them a career choice.  It didn’t mean that everyone else was stupid because they didn’t go to college, but they just needed a better fit than what college had to offer them. Both my girls went on to earn a Master’s Degree for themselves. I could never be more proud of their achievements.






Proactive Prophecy

Robert is the hardest worker that I have ever known. He was always studying for certifications (30+) that would help him move up the ladder or make lateral changes in his employment. He keeps his certificates up to date. He earned an Associates in Computer Science and Bachelor degree in Engineering, all while working 12 hour shifts at work for over ten years span during schooling. And many long days and nights over the 40-year span. He is the Central Region (Corporate) Facility Service Manager for Americold, he has 36 plants that he oversees. He stays on the go daily.
I was fortunate, Robert supported my efforts to go to a private university; Southern Nazarene, and attend for four years so that I could earn a Bachelor in Elementary Education and become a Teacher. Looking back at my employment record, I can see the gaps when I was too ill to work. Areas where I filled in as babysitter for Kassidey for five years. And times where I turned left when I should’ve turned right. Although I still have my license until 2020. I am woefully outdated. I need to volunteer for a year. And see if I can re-establish myself. I am seriously considering Master’s level college studies.
My girls earned their Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Education. They both have a solid career in front of themselves; they work hard and produce positive results with their Special Education students. Rose’s husband also has a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering.
My mentor and spiritual mom Dr. Edythe Leupp of Portland Oregon has been encouraging me to write this book for decades. She believes that young love, can mean everlasting love. She and Tom were married as teenagers also, albeit older than Robert and me. They had five children and numerous grand and great grandchildren many with advanced academic degrees.
Her biggest influence upon me was unconditional love. No matter what the story was or the excuse she loved me totally. Only Jesus had loved me totally and he died for my sins and entrance into salvations heaven.
Perhaps because she didn’t raise me she could love me totally. Sometimes the enormity of having three children can be a bit much for parents to deal with. The cooking and cleaning and discipling gets wrapped up so that it outweighs the fun times of just bonding and being together as a family. I can certainly understand it- I don’t happen to agree with it, but I understand parents who do.
Childhood can seem like it takes forever, so many milestones to meet and mark off time with, it’s been five years that Kass and the boys moved in with Robert and me. Time has flat flown by with the boys being 6 & 8 yr.’s old respectively. I wouldn’t trade a moment of it away. Roses’ Bella is almost two years old and thriving as a happy little girl with her parents and older half-siblings.
No matter how convoluted or congested things get and you think the drama queen or king is in the house permanently – unconditional love conquers all. Then in a blink of an eye it’s over, the children have grown up and gone their own ways.
Tell your children and grandchildren often that you love them, that they are a good person, that you like them, and you enjoy being with them. They hear enough negative talk at school and in the media so your sunny disposition will be the rainbow at the end of their storm.
I can’t stress the importance of getting an education. It doesn’t matter if it is a trade school or college; anything posts high school counts. My 16 years old niece said she is getting married when she turns 17. The age barrier is not my concern, lack of education and employability is. Her fiancé’ is ignorant as they come. He makes light of their housing, food, and other necessities. A HS drop out, unemployed, he says he’s a good hunter and they can eat wild game, and use the hides for clothes and shelter as they live off the land. Even, my brother a serious sportsman would not be so cavalier about such a thing. The fiancé sincerely has the Alaskan survival show in his brain where a family survives by working together out of nothing and bartering. The hardships are of no consequence to him in his romantic notions. I can’t believe my sister is going to permit this union to occur. I am praying for common sense to jump into their pea sized brains before she gets pregnant.
It’s all about character. What is it that makes one stand out from the crowd. What ideology to you scribe to? What are your work ethics, moral values, and ability to reason? Do you have common sense? I could get on board with a Survivalist Mentality if I didn’t know my niece so well. She has two cells phones going 24/7, she owns 4 and changes them out while the others charge up. She talks to friends, watches entertainment videos, and listens to music. She does not work at housekeeping, cooking, or any domestic chores like sewing, knitting, or crochet. Gardening and yard work are also out. She does what she wants when she wants and has an attitude if you try to correct her behavior or thought processes. My husband says it’s the “Me generation,” whereas, kids distance themselves from authority, disrespect our nation and its symbols, yet expects to get free food, shelter, and medical care. They don’t want an education and could care less about holding a meaningful job with any longevity.
She does buy, or accept donated pregnant dogs and sells the pups for a profit. She doesn’t have any license to do this. She uses the money she gets to pay for the upkeep of future puppy sales and her cell phones. At least she is halfway smart in that area. She is a beautiful young woman, with so much potential that is slipping through the cracks. I hope for her that she stays on the education path and graduates high school. I hope that her dreams of being a veterinarian technician work out when she turns 17. I hope for allot of good things to come her way- but she must put forth effort and time and want to succeed in life.
My axiom in life has been, “If you can think of a goal, believe in the goal with your heart, and mind, then, you can achieve the goal.” It’s call proactive prophecy; see, believe, achieve. Parents should model this behavior for their children or grandchildren.



Inspirational poetry

My Friend

My dear and faithful friend I have been waiting for you to come along…

I have loved and been loved before, but he love was not strong to weather the storms. I have trusted and been disappointed. Because loyalty was to high a price to command.

I have cried the doubts and worries away. Hoping for the magical moment that would rekindle the flame of love that once was so bright, it filled my very essence.

I lived, I loved, and I died a little each time my love was abandoned, and I was left alone, adrift in this world once again.

Then you came along…

You had lived, loved, and died a little each time your love was abandoned. Set adrift you grew cautious and wary of loves cruel grip.

Then I came along…

When people cruelly say our love won’t last. I can look into their eyes and know in my heart that they are wrong.

I have been waiting for you all my life. It just took awhile for me to get ready, to recognize that you and I are meant to be. We are each other’s soul mate, best friend, lover, and companion for the rest of our lives together. Our love is the true love that we had been waiting all our life to come along.

Kat Challis, 25 April 2002



A little effort can mean allot

Tonight, a very nice lady needed an ACC Request for her HOA requirements to get a shed installed on her property. She brought it by to have me check and make sure she had everything needed- she did!  I’m on the HOA Board of Directors. She didn’t have a home computer (gasp!) and was going to have to send the request snail mail (eek!).

Well, I have a scanner and computer and volunteered to scan and send them to her. She was very appreciative of a fifteen-minute process, and I was happy knowing she genuinely needed the assistance in order to get a timely board decision.

In the meanwhile, I got to talk to the neatest, coolest, a lady who shares my faith in the Lord.  It’s refreshing to talk to someone of like-mindedness who is genuine that she really believes what she is telling me about GOD.  She wasn’t trying to score points or have a secret agenda, she just wanted to see if she could pray for healing for my knee replacement surgery on Oct 26th. I welcome all prayers, as I have been told it is a tenacious surgery and pain filled recovery. The good side is once I get through the first two months of rehabilitation I should be able to walk more distances than my current limited walking. The tremendous pain that I endure discourages walking, bending, stooping, etcetera; which in turns makes my legs very weak upon standing and walking. I am hoping for improved quality of life with the surgery- let us hope I am right.

#appreciation #thank you #surgery #Lord

Update:  I had both knees replaced and four and six months respectively I am walking great and feeling like a new person.


Inspirational poetry

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love, loves without merit,

trusts without reason,

shares itself wholly.

Unconditional Love, asks for nothing in return

but, is rewarded with another’s love.

Unconditional Love,  tells you that you are unique,

special and loveable.

Unconditional Love,  goes the extra mile to believe,

building one up, instead of

tearing one down.

Unconditional Love, is without worldly rhyme and reason…

it is Unconditional!

cc 10/11/1990 Kathy Challis

#unconditional #love #poetry


Inspirational poetry


My LORD os a special spirit,

that settles upon me like a dove;

so soft and gentle does he comfort me

in all of my tragedies.

He tells me of all the wonders

he has in store for me to behold.

He tells me of the galaxies the pilgrims

have called their home.

He shows me all his creations,

my eyes light up in wonder and awe.

Now, I look all about me and see with

truth revealing, that man is just a special

part of this place I call home.

And now, I look forwards to my special spirit to guide me in the ways

of righteousness and help steer me from wrong,

So, if you’re ever in need my friend and

you don’t know where you belong…

you can just borrow my special friend, the Spirit

that’s  everlasting; the Lord God almighty

and take him on home.

cc December 15, 1990 Kathy Challis orgional titled, “My Lord” & “Take him on home”



The old meets the new learning styles

Teaching my great nieces (9y & 16y) remotely with the cell phone and laptop can be quite a challenge for anyone. Have you read the USA President’s Handbook for Health, Fitness, and Nutrition lately? (not exact title but should be)  Talk about a mind blower. It is lengthy and has many links to it for further research. My niece Makayla was telling me about how much she could walk at a time, which was wildly exaggerated or she is a gifted athlete but balked at the idea that she had to do a timed run of one mile, for her pre-test.

Well, she lives in the mountains up a steep grade 1/4 miles from the main road. I was doing the calculations of a mile equivalency based on endurance and how steep the road is.  She threw a fit at my numbers and I finally caved in and ended the call- she still hasn’t done her pre-physical test that the President says she must do. So, We go into YOGA – I don’t know the first thing about yoga except you try to bend like a pretzel.  My sister bought 4 video series starting with the basic concepts to expert yoginis. That has worked better as a 1 hour of physical activity requirement for children and 30 minutes for adults per day. She is up to 20 minutes of trial and error but confident that she will eventually master it.

I chose a digital microscope/endoscope for my nieces to use in Science classes. I had to walk sight unseen my 9 yr old through computer installation and calibration of said microscope over the telephone. She was blown away at the 1000x strength imaging of an ordinary leaf. She could see the membranes and cellular structure within on her computer screen.  Her grandma was really excited as they tried different materials, onions, paper, pebbles, etc.  It made the headache of choosing new and modern vs traditional microscopes worthwhile and hoping I didn’t get too much overkill.

When you live on a mountain you have to take technology with a grain of salt. I ordered a cell phone through T-Mobile to use the hotspot feature for the internet- wouldn’t work. Then we went to Verizon, wouldn’t work despite the fact that the local tower is from Verizon. They can’t get a landline service either. So my sister went to Walmart (28 miles away) and bought a Straight Talk 5 Gbyte prepaid card and it worked with the Verizon tower but ran out of time after three 8 hours days of being online. So that can get expensive at $50.00 per card real quick. So our next option is the public library over 35 miles away.  My sister had to convince the librarian to allow them to bring in their laptops and remotely connect to their (hotspot) internet so they could do their assignments. They are attending Alabama Connections Academy for their online education. We’ll see how that works out as I have to interact with them over the phone; I live in Texas, they live in Alabama, to teach the assignments so they can join the weekly online webinars and stay up with the classroom teacher.



What a wonderful man I married.

When it comes to the marriage lottery- I won, big time!  When I tell people that Robert and I were 17y and 15y when we married and we have known each other 41 years, they are surprised that we made it 40 years since we were so young starting out.

We were very mature at our tender ages. We had experienced a lot of family life failures with our parents and their spouses to make us want to be an exception to the rule that, “young love doesn’t last.”

Robert and I discovered employment and acquired living debts just like everybody else in the world. At first it was difficult to get an apartment and utilities cut on because of our age. You had to be 18 yr’s old or have a co-signer. Robert would be 18 in one month so I explained this to the electric company and they finally agreed with a hefty deposit to give us utility services. The water was paid for by our landlord. We rented a nice furnished one bedroom apartment and lived there until I was six months pregnant with Rose. The land lady didn’t allow children in her apartments so we had to move. So we chose a tiny unfurnished one bedroom suite, and sat about furnishing it with garage sale finds and a new waterbed bought on terms.

We owned a 1969 Ford Galaxy 500 vehicle, Robert had worked and paid it off in Oklahoma before we eloped and got married. One day, about two months later, Robert came into the fast food restaurant and gave me a piece of metal  and said that was our car. He had been hit in a driving accident and totaled the car. We discovered that what the insurance said the car was worth and the blue book were totally different and they chose the lesser of the two. So with $500.00, we went to a ford dealership to buy a car. This time a Ford LTD, used of course.  We were warned against leasing vehicles by Roberts dad (which proved was poor advice). So, we took our used, no warranty car home and drove it for almost six weeks when the engine blew in it. We had to buy another vehicle at a pay-as-you-go car lot, because we still owed on the LTD for four years. After, we paid the LTD off we saved up and put a new engine in it and reupholstered the seats- and it served us well for many years.

Though we went through ups and downs, unexpected twists and turns, we settled down and life evolved and we had our family and life was good.