33 Chapters
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Medium 9781935362593

Life

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

For Mrs. Bobbins, even when quilting isn’t on her mind, it seems to pop up everywhere!

“I probably should have started this swimsuit project earlier in the year.”

“This pattern is called ‘Double Wedding Ring With Prenup.’”

While Mr. Bobbins was away on business, Mrs. Bobbins took the opportunity to work on her favorite quilting project.

“If I have to spend $16 on a rotary cutter, it had better cut more than just fabric!”

Mrs. Bobbins finds out how much her charm quilt vest looks like honeycomb.

I can tell you’re a quilter by the threads on your shirt.

Mrs. Bobbins’ piecing skills tend to show up in unexpected places.

“I see you found my scraps. Nice piecing, by the way.”

“Quilting or non?”

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Holidays

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

The Bobbins’ go all out for the holidays, and somehow manage to make everything quilt-ily festive!

“Bar Gello? Is this some sort of exclusive nightclub for quilters?”

Another exciting New Year’s Eve at the Bobbins’.

Another New Year’s Resoution bites the dust.

Father’s Day at the Bobbins’

Picking Mrs. Bobbins out of a crowd has always been really easy.

A week of late-night quilting has Mrs. Bobbins ready for Halloween.

Another home hit by a growing Halloween menace: quilt gangs.

The Bobbins’ find out that quilt batting is a poor substitute for turkey stuffing.

Camping out online for Cyber Monday is a lot easier than camping out in line for Black Friday

Piece on Earth

Every year as if by magic, the Guild’s holiday party Santa outfit appears, and Mr. Bobbins disappears.

“It could be worse…at least you’re not married to a scrapbooker.”

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Onan Comes In From the Cold

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Onan Comes In

From The Cold j

When John was born, his mother said, “It’s a boy.” When Roybal was born, she said, “Another boy.” When John was a child, his mother told friends, “He’s a good boy.” When Roybal was a child, she told strangers, “I wanted another child but not this one.”

In Chillicothe Middle School, John was called Big John.

John liked being called Big John. Roybal was called Roybal and boys stretched it out and accented the last syllable—

Royyyy-bullllll. Roybal hated his name although his mother said he was named after a movie star. When he got to college where there was a library, he discovered the movie star was

Royal Ballet.

In high school Big John made good grades because he was an athlete with boyish charm and joked with his teachers. He never did homework because he was too busy chasing balls, girls, or a good time. He scored high on exams because the smart kids passed him the answers to win his smile.

Roybal made bad grades because he was smarter than his brother or anyone else in his school but he wanted to be liked and the smartest kid was never liked. He never did homework because he already knew all that stuff. He aced exams but his teachers gave him bad grades because they thought he cheated.

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Next Year in Oberammergau

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Next Year in Oberammergau j

Winnie Wofford accompanied high school friends to Oklahoma to see the Easter Pageant that began at midnight and ended at dawn, and Winnie was so offended she never went to Oklahoma again. It had gotten bitterly cold in the hours between the baptism of Jesus and his arrest, and Millard Moore offered to share his blanket with her. She accepted because Millard went to the Chillicothe Baptist Church the same as she did.

However, crossing the state line had deranged Millard’s mind and he wanted to cross another line right when Judas betrayed

Jesus to torch-bearing Roman soldiers who arrested him. Jesus, that is.

She arrested Millard, or at least his intention. She told everyone in the car, she told her parents, she told the pastor, she told everyone in school that she had arrested Millard.

When they said she didn’t “arrest” him she went to college and returned to Chillicothe as an English teacher to prove that she did “arrest” him. And when Millard ran for the school board, and the city council, and when he was nominated as a deacon in the Baptist Church she told them again. Her only regret was that she didn’t have the police arrest him.

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Chicken Soup for the Damned

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Chicken Soup for the Damned j

Jesus was born in the biggest house with the finest stable in

Bethlehem. His mother was a member of the Daughters of Jericho. His father, Joseph, was a famous hero who drove a stake through the heart of a Palestinian and became CEO of Nazareth

Land Development, employing hundreds of carpenters and masons, creating Mt. Tabor Estates, and reducing the Cedars of

Lebanon to Shittim Wood.

As a boy, Jesus was the best athlete in Galilee, and once, to help his father hide gold while tax collectors slept, with five smooth stones he killed three roosters before they crowed. He also knocked out the eye of a Pharisee’s son but gave the boy a gold coin to replace it.

When he became a man, Jesus used the management skills he learned in his father’s office to assemble a team of adherents who would denounce dissenters, punish the poor, and appropriate the sick in order to enrich themselves. Preaching health, security, and prosperity to all who followed him, Jesus found a hearing wherever he went. Once after he had told them the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids who cornered the market on lamp oil, hangers-on followed him until they were faint. Jesus told them to give him their money and he would give them the secret of everlasting bread. His adherents took the shekels to the nearest McEdonia. Upon their return there was a scramble for the bagels and lox. After they had eaten all they could, they bought all Jesus’ lamp oil at inflated prices. Then Jesus told them the secret of everlasting bread was in the lamp oil of

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If You're There God, Pick Up

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

If You’re There God, Pick Up j

Billy Mac Wilhite came home from the seminary to be ordained as a Baptist preacher. Tommy Foster, who was fourteen, remembered Billy Mac as a quarterback for the Chillicothe

High School Eagles. Billy Mac was Tommy’s hero. Tommy didn’t care that for his ordination Billy Mac wore a plaid coat with gray slacks and a bow tie, had tassels on his shoes, and paisley socks. The Holy Spirit does not always come with good taste.

Billy Mac had attended one of those Southern Baptist seminaries that teach “God is deaf” theology. When he was invited to preach, Billy Mac preached that God couldn’t hear the prayers of a whole bunch of folks. Including the Methodists.

Billy Mac said he had been to Jerusalem where prayers, calls for prayers, incense for prayers, bells for prayers, and prayers were heard day and night. Catholic prayers, Jewish prayers, Armenian prayers, Coptic prayers, Muslim prayers,

Orthodox prayers, Anglican prayers. Was Jerusalem a city known for peace and love? That proved that God didn’t hear the prayers of those folks.

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Questions Catholics Never Ask

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Questions Catholics Never Ask j

When the Virgin Mary visits the earth, why does she always dress like a Muslim?

Other than the halo, how do they know she is the mother of Jesus and not the mother of Mohammed?

How old is that dress any way? It’s unlikely there are any fashion designers in heaven but couldn’t Michaelangelo whip up something? da Vinci?

When the Holy Mother returns, shouldn’t it be “revisitation” rather than “visitation?”

Why is it necessary for the Holy Mother to appear at all if she always has the same message? Love one another? Can’t she think of something that hasn’t been used in soft drink commercials?

If the Secrets of Fatima were important enough for the Holy

Mother to appear on earth to reveal, why did the popes keep them secret until after the events had occurred? Shouldn’t she have appeared again to be sure her message was delivered?

If the pope is the head of the church, why doesn’t the Holy

Mother go directly to him? Doesn’t he listen to women?

What if God and the Virgin Mary got their roles crossed and God spoke to the pope and the Virgin appeared to the president of the Church of Latter Day Saints? Would good

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Reasons for Being a Southern Baptist

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Reasons for Being a Southern Baptist j

You can believe in sole freedom however you feel about soul freedom.

You can have church by yourself, preach at yourself, or anyone else who displeases you.

You can have Communion by yourself; drink real wine if you don’t get caught buying it.

You can suspend or bar from membership anyone who disagrees with you or has skin or money of an inappropriate color.

After baptism, that’s it. No eating fish on Friday or going to confession. No trip to Mecca or praying five times a day. Giving alms is recommended but not required. You can keep the alms in your church if you want.

You can read the Bible for yourself. Written study guides are suspicious if not dangerous and studying the origin of the

Bible is discouraged and should be forbidden.

You can believe the Bible is literally true and that you are born again. That you are dust and will return to dust but that you have a soul. That you are made of clay and that if you cut yourself you will bleed. That God is your shepherd although you didn’t sleep in a pasture last night. That at the Great Judgment the sheep were surprised that they were sheep, the goats that they were goats, and be absolutely certain that you not only have a pass to heaven but also know who has a one-way ticket to hell.

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The Rest of the Story

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

The Rest of the Story j

In New Testament times paper was expensive and writing laborious. It is for that reason that some stories in the Gospels seem truncated. Today you can learn The Rest of the Story.

The Good Sheep, Matthew 18:

What will a man do who has one hundred sheep and one of them gets lost? He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go to look for the lost sheep. When he finds it,

I tell you, he feels far happier over this one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost.

The Rest of the Story:

And when the shepherd returned the lost sheep, behold the ninety-nine were nowhere to be seen, each having gone its own way. “Well,” each sheep thought, “if he cares more for that sheep than for me, I’ll show what I think of him.”

The Good Family, Mark 6

Jesus said to them: “A prophet is respected everywhere except in his home town, and by his relatives, and his family.”

The Rest of the Story:

And Simon Peter said, “My mother-in-law is like that. She wants me to come home and settle down and be a husband to her daughter.” But James and John said, “Mother respects us.”

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Frustrations

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

Even though Mrs. Bobbins loves to quilt, it does have its frustratingly funny moments.

“Shoot, I think I’ve quilted in the tablecloth again.”

“When you’re finished, I need you to shave this old quilt…it’s bearding, too.”

“The moths that eat my wool quilts get appliquéd over the holes they make.”

“I’m telling you, Edith, carpal-tunnel just proves that I deserve a big blue ribbon!”

“Here’s a little something to help my quilt get to the top of the queue…and no questions asked.”

Mrs. Bobbins learns the hard way always to buy extra fabric for the binding.

Overnight guests at the Bobbins’ may not be able to breathe, but they are never cold.

“It is a little bit late for Christmas peppermints. Let’s say they’re beach balls.”

A little microquilting goes a long… actually, it only goes a little way.

“I’ve been fighting this windmill so long I feel like Don Quixote.”

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The Trouble with Eve

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

The Trouble with Eve j

America was in the third year of a world war. Young Carter was in his first year of confusion over girls. Everything they did was so . . . confusing. When a girl said he had long eyelashes he had rubbed them, not sure whether she meant a loose one was falling into his eye or that he was a sissy. He was sure “You have nice hair,” meant why don’t you wash it sometime and “cutest freckles” meant did all of them survive a washcloth?

When girls looked at him he couldn’t meet their eyes afraid of what his face would show. When they smiled at him he gaped at their lips. Why were their mouths so . . . different?

When they laughed, he fled. He also fled the presence of

Clarissa for fear of what he would do. Fall on the ground and kiss her feet probably.

Clarissa Bowman. Girls had such pretty names. Clarissa.

Bowman. He tasted the words with his mouth. Clarissa Bowman. He was given his mother’s maiden name, Young. Young

Carter. It made him want to cry. Why would anyone name a baby “Young?” It was bad enough being called “kid” when you were fourteen and the country was at war. New teachers called him Carter Young until he corrected them. Men said his name sounded like a law firm or a funeral parlor.

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Questions Secular Humanists Never Ask

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Questions Secular Humanists

Never Ask j

Since there is no God, who is to blame for the bad things done in the name of religion?

If I get my credit card bill and need to express my surprise, whose name do I use? Kurt Vonnegut!

Since we don’t have God-words, how will I know if I speak in a religious way? Do humanists have glossalalia? Is John Kenneth Galbraith an example?

When humanists go to AA meetings, what higher power do they recognize?

Can a humanist be an alcoholic? Why would a humanist be an alcoholic?

If I have to take an oath, to whom do I swear? Ted Turner?

Betty Friedan?

If humanists believe that thinking for one’s self, using reason as a guide, is the best way to serve human interests, why haven’t we tarred and feathered the Supreme Court? The Department of Justice? Congress?

If we don’t have a creed, how do I know that what I believe is okay? What about my wife? She has some really freaky ideas.

If a “Voice of Reason” can save the world from destruction, why is it ignored as thoroughly as the Sermon on the Mount?

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Radio WWJS

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Radio WWJS j

Brother McCoy could find no backing for Station WWJS,

“What Would Jesus Say.” He called Brother Harold and enjoyed several minutes of long-distance listening to Jesus rock, sung by Christians who believed intelligibility was gay if not foolhardy. When he explained his problem, Brother Harold offered to sponsor an hour-long show on a local station if McCoy would promote Brother Harold’s products in addition to McCoy’s WWJS bracelets.

Sales of the Bible that bled red ink had slumped. However,

Harold had acquired Bibles that had belonged to heroes and other actors, including the Bible that sanctioned the deaths of more than two hundred German soldiers killed by Audie Murphy, the genuine Gideon Bible that Ronald Reagan included among the weapons he sent to terrorists, the Bible that told

Oliver North how to make crime look patriotic, the Bible that belonged to John Wilkes Booth, inscribed with his dying words, “Tell Mother I died for my country,” the Bible that told

Martin Luther King, Jr. how to die for his country.

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Desert Duel

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

D ESERT D UEL

187

First Astronomer

The king wouldn’t send a man with her unless he intended the man to kill a pretender to the throne. If he had wanted the mother and child to live, he would have sent her to a better place than that.

Third Astronomer

Maybe they were fleeing the king to claim the baby as their own so that he would never threaten the king and could live a good and ordinary life.

Second Astronomer

If you were the son of a king, would you choose to live an ordinary life?

First Astronomer

If I were a king, I’d choose to live in Rome.

Third Astronomer

You are so political. Money and power, that’s all you think of.

First Astronomer

Right now I’m thinking a plump chicken would be good.

Surrounded by peaches on a bed of couscous floating in butter. (He sighs.) We went to the wrong place. That wasn’t a pretender to the throne. Those two, and their baby, were rejected by their families and no one else would take them in.

Second Astronomer

Sometimes that’s the only thing you can do. When you give them every chance and they fail again and again, sometimes you just have to disown them.

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Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting at the Baptist Church

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Wednesday Night Prayer

Meeting at the Baptist Church j

Wednesday night meant prayer meeting at the Chillicothe Baptist Church. Before praying together, Baptists tried to reconcile themselves to one another over ham hock and lima beans, with ice tea and peace cobbler.

First, Brother Wachel announced that he felt pretty good for someone who had a funeral that morning. Next, he identified the larger concerns of the whole church so that folks could pray about it. One of those concerns was the building fund.

“Due to the increased activity of our young people we need to enlarge the nursery,” he said.

No one laughed. No one listened.

Another concern was that Brother Elroy was not fulfilling his role as deacon in charge of visitation. Some of the pew racks did not have visitor cards and some of the pencils in the racks had not been sharpened. The pencils were used by visitors to write their names and addresses on the visitor cards so that the pastor might visit the visitors, usually at mealtime.

Brother Wachel was concerned because some church members used the cards to write notes to each other, prepare grocery lists or share recipes. Teenagers used the pencils to write hymn titles on the cards adding “between the sheets.” “How tedious and tasteless,” “Blest be the tie,” “Fight the good fight,”

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