Ask Auntie Linda, Straight Talkerfrom a Straight Shooter

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, My mother is 54 years old and is sentenced to twenty-one years  in the Texas Prison  system.  She has served seven years and recently was denied parole.  She was unfortunate enough to be married to a man from a prominent East Texas family.  He had brutally beaten her and put her in the hospital several times.  She got an order of protection, but he continued to stalk and terrorize her.  She was in hiding and he promised to kill her if he found her.

He did find her.  He was pounding on her door vowing to kill her.  She had called 911 and was waiting for rescue when the door started to shatter.  Mom shot through the door, hit John in the chest, killing him before place arrived.  Because she had just purchased the gun after the order of protection and shot him through the door instead of waiting  for him to get in, it was first degree murder.  She had also told friends she was purchasing a gun to protect herself.

My mother has never seen her grandchildren since she doesn’t want them exposed to prison.  I can only see her once a month since it is a four hour drive one way.  I have to provide her with funds to purchase toiletries, hygiene items, and feminine products.  Mother is a model prisoner.  She never wanted to kill her husband.  She only shot him when he was coming in her door to kill her.  She was denied parole despite her good record and regrets for killing him because of John’s family’s influence.  The judicial and law enforcement failed my mother and our entire family.  Thank goodness, we have been able to interest The Innocence Project in her case.

Domesc Violence is a purge on our family and society.  I yearn for he day Mother can rejoin our family.  Sad Daughter

Dear Daughter, Ths is a sad but all-too common story.  I hope there is some help and justice for your mother.  We all must unite to pass stronger laws and support victims of violence to break this chain.  Auntie Linda




The Joy of learning a Simple Life-Skill


Soap-making is such a simple pleasure.  I bought a couple of bars and just loved it, so decided to try it for myself.  I found a simple recipe and got my resident handyman, Bud, to build me a couple of devices from scrap lumber.  The only purchases were the clamps and soap cutter.

I followed the simple soap recipe and have been making various types, scents, and textures.  I use it for bath, face, and shampoo.  It is wonderful for dry skin and a Godsend for psoriasis sufferers since it is so rich.

I am always so pleased when I learn a new craft, especially if it is an old one.  I would caution anyone who is interested to use caution with the lye.  Be sure to mix outdoors or in an extremely well-ventilated area, wearing long sleeves, eye protection, gloves, and a mask.  The fumes are horrible.  Also, add lye gradually to water, not water to lye!  It mix gets very hot, so have pot holder handy.  Flaked lye dissolves much more easily than gables.  I had to order lye off Internet.  It goes without saying, store lye careful and mix only what you need.  Be sure to weigh all ingredients, not measure.  You will need a GOOD mixer when mixing.  I burned up two hand-held cheaper models before I found that out.  I wouldn’t try stirring, since it might take more than an hour of hand stirring to reach right consistency.  A good electric mixer has it ready n five or six minutes.  Be sure to ms lye n glass, not metal.  It will ruin metal.

Soap has to cure 3-4 weeks, so don’t get in a hurry if you are making gifts.  It won’t hurt to use sooner.  It will just feel slimy instead of nice and soapy.