Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

What Would Seem Insignificant to One

means the world to another.

I know a tale of a little pup that appeared in the midst of a worn-torn area and stole the hearts of those tasked with defending the area. Though it was against the rules, the defenders took the pup in as one of their own.

Many understood that the little pup was more than just a stray dog. He was a reminder of home and hope; an icon of faith of loyalty to those far, far away.

Many realized the importance of such a reminder and did not hesitate to provide aid when needed.

Many helped to make sure the little pup was well cared for, safe and sound in the midst of the very worst of circumstances, and provided a way for little pup to be brought to a safe haven.

May their efforts continue.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Monday Mutt Shot: Contortionist Posted by Hello

Memorial Day

Mr. Whitlock, my 7th grade history teacher, taught many a lesson that is still fresh in my mind today, years and years later.

One of those lessons was that Memorial Day was a day of Remembrance: a day when the graves of those who died in war are adorned in honor of their sacrifices. Origination of the holiday is questionable, but much ado was made of the women who decorated the graves of their loved ones who died in the Civil War.

Decorating a grave in the South for whatever reason is a duty reserved for the family of the deceased. There exists a hierarchy for this duty that begins with the widow or widower, and passes to the surviving children in an specific order. Many a feud has resulted from the audacious impropriety of one foolish enough to interfere with this tradition.

I’ve been foolish in my lifetime, but never brazenly so. I would not dare to deliberately insult another by failing to comply with a time-honored tradition.

Some of my very fondest childhood memories are those of summer holidays, including Memorial Day, when all were summoned to gather at my grandparent's house for celebration.

Often, PaPa, as we youngsters dubbed my grandfather and the adult men of the family gathered around a hot grill, preparing steaks, hamburgers or hotdogs. Grandma and the adult women congregated in the kitchen, preparing all of the fixings. We little ones were directed to the doorstep and assigned the task of churning ice cream.

Way back then, ice cream makers required physical effort to power the crank that turned Grandma's custard-based concoctions (which sometimes included fresh fruit...I remember peaches being one of PaPa's favorite…then again, they could have been Grandma’s favorite) into a heavenly dessert.

As an adult I have chosen Memorial Day as a day to honor the memory of those who gave their lives in war by supporting those who follow in their footsteps. My conviction is such that I have attempted to instill it in the kid.

The kid and I were in the midst of imagining original, yet inexpensive contents for a care package befitting of Memorial Day to military members “somewhere over there” weeks ago when I told her the tale I just related.

She wondered why we couldn’t “just plug the ice cream maker in”, wrinkled her nose when I explained what custard was, and laughed when I told her of how we were tempted to taste rock salt because it looked so much like a candy we found in movie theaters. Yet even at her young age, she found significance in my memories and decreed an ice cream maker to be the perfect gift for the occasion.

Thanks to roll back prices we were able to procure a small electric ice cream maker,rock salt, and a mix that required only milk for our planned care package at extremely reasonable prices.

Today, we received confirmation that our packages arrived in a timely manner to a warm and friendly reception…

(Content has been edited for security reasons)

“Today was a work day for us but we took a short time off to remember those who have died here…by conducting a short ceremony…

…One other thing we did was to take time to eat some homemade ice cream, thanks to you. That ice cream was a hit and everyone here said to say thank you…

…It all came out perfect. I mixed strawberry and chocolate together and everyone loved it. I had to borrow some ice from our dining facility and they wouldn't give me any unless I promised a couple of the cooks I would bring them some, and I did.

…I can't tell you how much that homemade ice cream meant to us. A couple of the guys talked about having homemade ice cream in their backyard if they were home with family today...

Thanks for bringing a little bit of home to us...

Happy Memorial Day

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Wisdom of a Mother

“Parents sometimes handicap their own children by agreeing to have them labeled.”


Congratulations to Evelyn and her mom, on a job well done!


The Criminal Domestic Violence Bill once tabled has renewed life and continues to make its way tobecoming law.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Monday's Mutt Shot: Runaway Dood Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005

In Memory

The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc.

Who's Gonna Wrestle the 'Gators on the Interstate Now?

Several days have passed and there are still no words to adequately express the wide range of emotions of not only those who knew and loved Jon, but also of the compassionate.

May God's Grace be arms of strength and comfort that surround all.

Posted by Hello

April 19, 2005 Manning Times Article

(click on image to open in separate window, then click on image to enlarge) Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

Monday Mutt Shots

The Vet said, "We had to charge $75.00 for the clip-down" Posted by Hello

"Because we have to sedate her beforehand" Posted by Hello

Umm, yeah...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Reaching Out

"Those are my guys"

Your memory lives. Rest in Peace, Gunnery Sergeant Purdie

Missing: 10-Foot Weenie

"I just want my weenie back"

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Somebody probably should have told Ricky Pearce that Marilyn was upright and her legs were closed in that inspiring photo.

Another Step Forward

The Criminal Domestic Violence Bill made controversial recently due to the callous remarks of certain of members of the House has made yet another step towards becoming law.

Hopefully, the reaction of the public to the controversy has been a source of support and strength to more than one victim .

Monday's Mutt Shot: Hidin' Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Makings of a Wonderful Mother's Day

Pancakes for Breakfast Posted by Hello

Yellow Roses, a Hand-Made Card & Potty Elmo! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Though modified ( ), a tougher Criminal Domestic Violence bill is making it's way into law (

Monday, May 02, 2005

Monday Mutt Shots: When Your Human Won't Share Posted by Hello

Try Pouting Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 01, 2005


There was a time when an apology was a sincere expression of regret.

Now, more often than not, an apology is merely a defense; an explanation; an excuse.

Representative John Graham Altman issued the following written apology to the media and the House of representatives April 26, 2004:


Dear Colleague:

I hope I have the opportunity to make these comments on the House floor today. I also wanted to make them to you in this letter.

I want to take this moment to express my regret and sorrow over last week's events. I very much regret that my comments were offensive to some. My intention was not and never will be to paint this institution or you in a negative manner. And so I regret the attention this whole episode has received.

I know many of you don't like or appreciate my comments. I am sorry to those I have offended. But I hope we never get to a place in this body, in this state, when we are no longer allowed to speak our minds.

I'm not asking you to support me. Each of you has the right to tell the world how much you disagree with me. That's what our democracy is all about.

Again, I apologize for this episode. I deeply regret that I offended anyone and for any embarrassment I may have caused this institution I love so much.

John Graham Altman

Representative Altman addressed the House the next day:

"I very much regret. This is not one of those wimpish apologize if I offended you, I never like those Mr. Sandifer, because I offend a lot of people..."

"I don't mind dining out now and then, but I don't enjoy being the entrée..."

"If you don't agree with me, that's Ok. I'm married. I understand people don't agree. I can deal with that..."