A Simpler Place in Time | A New Beginning

It took me nearly 5 years into my retirement to discover something about myself.


Up until early last year (2019), I had been busy with selling my big house of over a decade, then renovating, downsizing and moving into a condo with about 1/4 the square footage of my house. (This is one sure way to discover what are necessities and what you can do without!)  So I was able to consolidate and it was now time to decide what to do with the “Farm”.  Twenty-eight years had gone by and I still owned the special place on Whitetail Lane.  As I looked at all of the various options, one thing began to become clear to me; there was no way that I could bring myself to sell it (for sentimental reasons)!

“The Barnyard” Oil on Canvas Steve Testerman 2016

So the plan developed over a 6 or 8 month period; I looked at Log Cabins (too expensive), building a house (still expensive, but possible), a doublewide trailer (wheels), a tiny house (nope), an airstream (still too small and, again, wheels) … then somehow an idea emerged (I’m still not sure of the genesis)…a BARNDOMINIUM!

Texas Barndominiums was probably the first time I learned about what could be done … the answer is pretty much anything!

Check out some of the high end Barndos being built in Texas; mostly in the hill country around Austin.

About this time a friend, by chance, was able to go on a tour of a Barndominium in Alabama belonging to author and celebrity chef Trace Barnett. She fell in love with the quant, farmhouse feel of this place; there is a great story of his place and what he is doing with it in his book (and some great recipes)!

So with some encouragement, and validation that … this was not a CRAZY idea; the project began!

to be continued…

A Simpler Place in Time | Cecil

Construction on the farm began to accelerate.  First there was a chicken house, then came the barn.  Next we built a small corral or stable on the back side of the barn; first for the goats and then we decided to take on a new resident.

Down the road from our place was a dairy.  One day, I stopped and asked about buying a cow; there were no cows for sale, but they had a couple of young holstein bull calves for sale – $10 apiece.  They weren’t even weaned yet; they had to be bottle fed.  So after a trip to the feed store for a big bottle feeder and powered calf milk; I returned to the dairy and chose the calf with a white heart on his forehead – we would name him Cecil (I have no idea where that name came from, but it seemed to suit him somehow).

I loaded him in the back of my truck and with a friend holding Cecil down, we carefully made our way down the road and to the new corral.  Before long it was time for Cecil’s first feeding and it all went smoothly!  He drank that half gallon of milk with gusto and twice a day from then until he was to be weaned, I fed him.  I supposed he thought I was his mother.






It’s a good thing that Cecil bonded to me, because as he got older he got more frisky!  One day I remember a nearly 200 pound Cecil, running at me at full speed, only to do a double-fake juke step, like Herschel Walker, only to peel off at the last second, as I braced myself for the hit.  Cecil seemed to be smiling as he blew by at top speed; hooves throwing little chunks of turf and mud into the air.  He was just messing with me!



Cecil continued to thrive, but before long, he began to sprout horns and they grew into formidable weapons and as the hormones surged through his body he seemed to develop a “tude”.  He was a teenager now and he was not in any mood to tolerate nonsense.  I seemed to be OK, as “Mom”, but Cecil seemed to take a special dislike for Bubba.

One evening Bubba was returning back to the trailer from his deer stand, coming down a little trail in the pitch black.  Later we figured out that Cecil had planned an ambush and as Bubba approached the safety of our front porch, suddenly Cecil sprang into action.  His head was down, you could imagine that he had been sharpening his horns all day!

I not think it was possible that Bubba move so quickly as he did that night, bow and quiver in hand with Cecil at his heels!  He scrabbled up on to the front porch just in time, and Cecil came to a screeching halt.  We would not have been any help, we were all laughing too hard at the scene.

That was Cecil’s last adventure as a bull; in the next few days the vet came by and removed a couple of sets of things; his horns and those things that were making him so ornery.

After that Cecil was like a lamb, gentle and meek.  We will always love and remember ole Cecil!


to be continued…



A Simpler Place in Time | Archery

One result of our new found rural life was a new intensity in our quest for deer. What had started some years ago with the "First Deer Hunt", had evolved into a ... well... obsession with archery and bowhunting. It was a natural enough transition … [Continue reading]

A Simpler Place in Time | Doublewide Home

There was a turning point in life on the farm after the first year.  Dave, Jeff and Bubba were the primary residents; and later Rob came to live, so it was a pretty full house.  My own situation had changed a bit, I had newfound flexibility in my … [Continue reading]

A Simpler Place in Time | Dog Tales

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play … [Continue reading]

A Simpler Place in Time | Humble Beginnings

The story of the farm had a humble beginning. I closed on the land in the summer of '92 and had to immediately get busy setting things up for the boys to start school in September.  The first step was to clear an area for a structure, bulldozing … [Continue reading]

A Simpler Place in Time | A Look Back

For Sale.  Near Athens, 15 miles from The UGA Arches, 250 Acres.  Will subdivide. $1,100 per acre.  Call xxx-xxx-xxxx" It was a simple ad in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Sunday in 1992 that immediately caught my attention.  The seed of an … [Continue reading]

Christianity Today | Trump Should Be Removed from Office | Mark Galli

It’s time to say what we said 20 years ago when a president’s character was revealed for what it was." - MARK GALLI December 19, 2019 - In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical … [Continue reading]

CHRISTMAS: IT’S ALL GOOD | Be the News | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - Every generation of Jesus followers is responsible to ensure the news of the Christian faith stays true to the original. So are you good news? What if you’re the only news someone gets? More ...   … [Continue reading]

A Simpler Place in Time | The Good Old Days

The Good Old Days! Was a promise really something people kept Not just something they would say and then forget Did families really bow their heads to pray Did daddies really never go away? Oh, Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days" -The … [Continue reading]

CHRISTMAS: IT’S ALL GOOD | Leveling the Playing Field | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - The original message of Jesus was so compelling that everyone who heard it wanted it to be true. Maybe the version you’ve heard isn’t as captivating. If Jesus truly offered an invitation that left no one out, would you consider it … [Continue reading]

CHRISTMAS: IT’S ALL GOOD | Better Than True | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - People close to Jesus were convinced they had met good personified. So they documented the story. They were convinced it wasn’t just for a nation or for a generation, but for all nations and every generation. This was good news, … [Continue reading]

A Simpler Place in Time | Baby Boomers Guide

Midnight Train to Georgia "Oh, he's leavin' On the midnight train to Georgia Said he's goin' back to find Ooh, a simpler place in time" Gladys Knight and the Pips   A Simpler Place in Time! A line from the song by Gladys Knight … [Continue reading]

How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy | Listen | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - It can be easy to see someone else self-destruct and think to ourselves, I would never do that. But truth be told, we’re all capable of ending up where we don’t want to be. Even Solomon's son—the heir to the throne of … [Continue reading]

How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy | Pay Attention to Your Narratives | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - We can talk ourselves into anything. Our internal narratives justify our beliefs as well as our actions. But when those narratives are not true, they lead to destructive thoughts and behaviors. We can choose to carry around false … [Continue reading]

How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy | Pay Attention | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - We all face dilemmas in which circumstances point us in one direction, but our consciences point us in a different direction. At times, we ignore the tug of our consciences and sell ourselves on a questionable decision. King David … [Continue reading]

Out of the Shallows | Pick Up the Fork | North Point Community Church

Pick Up the Fork Jamey Dickens - No one strives to be shallow. We all want something real and relationships with depth. But how do we grow deeper spiritually? The journey starts with a step that each of us can only take for … [Continue reading]

You’re Not the Boss of Me | Fear | North Point Community Church

Fear Andy Stanley - All of us walk through life with occasional fear. And it’s not always a bad thing. Fear is a byproduct of our ability to think about what might happen in the future, and it can protect us from harm. However, living with too much … [Continue reading]

You’re Not the Boss of Me | Anger | North Point Community Church

Anger Andy Stanley - When we feel anger, our emotions tell us it’s 100 percent someone else’s fault. But James, the brother of Jesus, has something different to say. When we take a step back and acknowledge what the problem really is, anger will no … [Continue reading]

You’re Not the Boss of Me | Envy | North Point Community Church

Envy Andy Stanley - Envy causes us to compare and compete with others in an unhealthy way. It brings arrogance when we’re winning and discouragement when we’re not. It robs us of contentment and causes us to feel like—as an ancient king put … [Continue reading]

You’re Not the Boss of Me | Guilt | North Point Community Church

Guilt Andy Stanley - When it comes to guilt, many of us naturally lean in one of two ways: we wallow in it by reliving the past, or we deny it by making excuses. In either instance, guilt is causing us to be out of balance. The apostle Paul reminds … [Continue reading]

You’re Not the Boss of Me | From the Heart | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley I can’t believe I said that. Why did I do that? Where did that come from? Emotions can get the best of us. If we’re not careful, things like anger, lust, greed, fear, and envy can shape our actions much more than we want them to. … [Continue reading]

Fight for It | Building Resilience in the Next Generation | North Point Community Church

Clay Scroggins with Tim Elmore - Resilience has changed throughout the generations and as a culture, we are trending toward. The trend for parents is to protect rather than prepare the next generation for adulthood. Our greatest opportunity for … [Continue reading]

Fight for It | Your Struggle Can Be Your Superpower | North Point Community Church

Clay Scroggins With Sheryl Sandberg - Being connected is not enough. When we respond to adversity in our lives by showing up for each other, we turn connection into community. In our greatest adversities, we receive the gift of being comforted by … [Continue reading]

Fight for It | Building Resilience Through Rejection | North Point Community Church

Clay Scroggins - Everyone faces rejection. How we handle that rejection can either cripple us or force us to become more resilient. In a critical moment during Jesus’ ministry, his heavenly Father reminded him of something that can help all of us … [Continue reading]

Fight for It | How to Build Resilience | North Point Community Church

Clay Scroggins Life is full of trials. Every trial carries with it a setback that we experience. Our ability to bounce back after experiencing a trial is called resilience. In this message, Clay teaches us how to use the smaller trials of life as … [Continue reading]

This Changes Everything | North Point Community Church

Clay Scroggins - Church can seem full of traditions. While those traditions are important, the meaning sometimes gets lost in the symbolism. In this message, we’ll look at a church tradition that goes back thousands of years and talk about why we … [Continue reading]

Better | The Banana King | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - Most of us want this year to be better. But “better” requires a bit of honest and awkward evaluation. So what are you holding onto that’s holding you back? more...     … [Continue reading]

Better | Do This One Thing | North Point Community Church

Jeff Henderson Many of us want this year to be better than last year. We start off with good intentions by making a commitment to improve but inevitably end up not following through. There’s got to be a better way, right? A perfect year may be … [Continue reading]

A Wish for Your New Year | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley We all experience wishful thinking, but what if there is a certain wish that can make our relationships richer and our faith journeys more exciting? We wish for you to experience what we’re talking about in … [Continue reading]

Be Rich 2018 | God is Love | North Point Community Church

Danielle Strickland - Maybe the most simple thing we’ve ever learned about God is also the most complex: God is love. It’s a hard truth for us to understand because we’re influenced by so many other views of him. So how does it work exactly? And … [Continue reading]

Be Rich 2018 | Hope Heals | North Point Community Church

Jay & Katherine Wolf - Jesus told us, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Katherine and Jay Wolf's extraordinary story shows us what it looks like to hold onto the hope of Jesus when life-changing … [Continue reading]

Be Rich 2018 | Now or Never | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - Chances are good that if you’re reading this, you’re in the 1% club. By international standards, you’re rich! Of course, you may not feel rich, but the truth is it’s time to start giving while you’re living because what you’re holding … [Continue reading]

The Bible for Grown-Ups | For The World | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley The Bible did not create Christianity. Christianity is the result of an event (the resurrection) that created a movement (the church) that produced sacred and reliable texts that were collected and bound into a book (the Bible). But how … [Continue reading]

The Bible for Grown-Ups | The Old Testament | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - The Old Testament chronicles God’s redemptive, sequential activity in history. It’s a fabulous, gritty, epic history of the Hebrew people in which, over and over, Israel is reminded that they are a divine means to an end. So, maybe … [Continue reading]

The Bible for Grown-Ups | In The Beginning | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - “In the beginning. . . .” can be a loaded phrase—one that forces us into debate and doubt. But maybe we’re missing the point of Genesis 1:1—a point Moses made to a world where the violence and injustice of the gods justified and … [Continue reading]

The Bible for Grown-Ups | Last Things First | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - As children, many of us received a leather-covered book full of long words and difficult names we couldn’t pronounce.We were told everything in it was true and we should do our best to abide by its teachings. Then we grew up. What … [Continue reading]

Reclaiming Irresistable | North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley - Long before there were Christian Scriptures, there were Christians—men and women whose faith began with an empty tomb. These eyewitnesses to the resurrection experienced an event so extraordinary that it changed their lives and what … [Continue reading]

It’s Fine | Good Grief | North Point Community Church

Clay Scroggins - Most of the emotional stuff we cover up and refuse to deal with revolves around loss. We all struggle with expectations that went unmet, goals we failed to achieve, or dreams that were broken. How we handle our loss matters. It … [Continue reading]

It’s Fine | Healthy Emotional Habits | North Point Community Church

Clay Scroggins - Establishing healthy habits will benefit the relationships you care most about. Others will reap from the emotional habits you sow. more...   … [Continue reading]