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Thursday, July 24, 2014
Exotic Beauty
Posted Friday, July 18, at 10:08 AM
Exotic Beauty By Rayla Stewart Hogue Special to the Daily Statesman The gondola had arrived. It was our turn to step in with our group and begin our journey through the rain forest. The small metal cage seated only the six of us and was open to the elements. This morning the rain had lingered, however the foliage of the trees was so thick that it was more mist than rain. They were finally all loaded and settled in the gondola and swung off the loading area into the rain forest...

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Posted Friday, July 11, at 9:39 AM

Running and exploring were the joy of her life. There was nothing better that when mom opened the door of the house to go streaking outside, rushing to the far corner of the yard before turning to run the fence line to the pasture gate, whirling across the open yard to the opposite side and then racing back across the front of the house to climb the hay bales where she was queen of all she surveyed. Oh, the joy of puppy-hood...

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Posted Wednesday, July 2, at 4:38 PM

It was a beautiful afternoon--warm, but not too hot, with a gentle breeze filling the air with the warm smells of the damp earth. The scent of freshly mown grass and flowers in bloom tantalized him. He was slowly moving through the pasture nipping tender fresh grass along the way...

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Posted Friday, June 27, at 9:32 AM

Coming home from work, they let the dogs out to go take care of their business. It was a beautiful day and the girls were running, leaping, and playing as they raced across the yard. Bandita caught sight of a squirrel. Chasing it she ran it up a tree while she raced onto trailer near the tree. Climbing up it she stood at point--watching the squirrel as it chattered at her from the safety of the tree...

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Standing in the Shadows
Posted Saturday, June 21, at 10:29 AM

Stepping onto the stage she was terrified. Her preparations were complete. Rehearsal had gone as well as could be, yet . . . insecurities plagued her. "God, be my voice," she whispered as she picked up the mic. The music began and God's gift poured out...

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Shrouded in Mystery
Posted Friday, June 13, at 11:37 PM

Early summer mornings were amazing. She walked out onto the deck into the delicious upper 50s and slightly damp morning. Ground fog rose across the land from the moisture left behind after the recent rains. The rolling hills of the plains of were swaddled in ethereal beauty--misty white rising and dissipating in warming rays of the sun...

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Walking Wounded
Posted Friday, June 6, at 9:13 AM

Her day was filled with errands and appointments. Throughout the day she encountered so many interesting people along the way. Some she knew . . . some she didn't. Rarely a "shy" person she had brief conversations with people throughout the day. Yet as the day progressed she was tired and a little less eager to engage in conversation. Thoughts from the conversations with the doctors filled her mind and she just needed some quiet time to think...

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Through a Glass Darkly
Posted Friday, May 30, at 10:54 AM

He raced across the room, leaping into the chair, coming to an immediate stop. Every fiber of his being was on high alert. Watching with laser attentiveness, he stalked his prey. Without warning he pounced into action, seemingly flying up the back of the chair, up the curtain, paws outstretched, certain of capturing the bird...

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Liquid Ooze
Posted Friday, May 23, at 8:46 AM

Spring is alive and well. The dogs come into the house and scratch. The cats scratch. Tiny dots move through their fur--fleas. Not wanting to allow the fleas to breed, yet know once they are notice it is too late, she went to the local pet store and got flea/tick treatment for all the animals. Once one flea has entered the premises--they must all DIE...

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Got a Match?
Posted Friday, May 16, at 9:17 AM

His baby brother was getting married. Married? MARRIED! It was hard to believe. The squirt wasn't even 21, but he was tying the knot. As best man it was his job to make sure he got to the church, in the right clothes and at the right time. After all, his soon-to-be sister-in-law would kill them if they messed up...

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Watch Your Step
Posted Friday, May 9, at 8:15 AM

He loved visiting the neighbors. Stopping by the barn had become part of his daily routine. Some days there were mice to stalk and catch, but most of the time he just enjoyed hanging out with the horses and cleaning up the bits of grain they dropped as they ate. ...

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I Don't Want to Love You!
Posted Friday, May 2, at 7:46 PM

"I can't believe you! I'm gone four hours and you couldn't wait! You promised you would just look! Now what do I find, but she's here with you! I can't trust you!" "But honey, I didn't have the heart to turn her away after I saw her. The moment she got out of the car, she came straight to me and sat on my feet. Then she looked up at me with those eyes . . . I just couldn't resist her."...

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Posted Friday, April 25, at 9:20 PM

She had been grading tests all day. By the time she was ready for sleep that night she was tired of reading about ants. Trying to still her exhausted mind she finally managed to quiet her thoughts by counting sheep--ants--no sheep that scurried about. Finally sleep came...

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Son Rise
Posted Friday, April 18, at 9:44 PM

"Wake up, baby, it's time to get dressed," she spoke softly to the sleeping child. "Momma, I don't want to get up." "Come on sweetie, I'll help you get dressed." Lifting the heavy limbs of the child she helped her up, washed her face, combed her hair, and put on her new clothes. She and her sister shuffled toward the car and their dad finally carried them out the door and gently settled them for the ride to church...

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Posted Friday, April 11, at 10:21 AM

She had finished eating her supper and was feeling a little frisky. She loved this time of the day. She had grazed all day; had supper of grain, sweetened with molasses; dad had spent time with her--stroking her . . . talking to her . . . and a little grooming as well. Her siblings had also been fed and had some time with dad, but she had him all to herself for the moment...

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Posted Friday, April 4, at 12:59 PM

Exploding from the fence line she ran as fast as she could. Stretching her body to its full length the ground disappeared beneath her feet. She was a streak of color as she flew past them on their way toward where she had started. The man and horse twirled and raced back the way they had come--paralleling her...

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Posted Friday, March 28, at 4:05 PM

The room was filled with laughing children, playing, and having a great time. Off to the side, sat one little boy on the floor--alone. He watched the other children as they slid down slides, climbed through the tunnels, laughing as they raced through the play equipment. Parents, grandparents, and older siblings watched as the children played in the wonder of the mazes at the play room of the restaurant...

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Posted Friday, March 21, at 9:05 PM

The wind whistled through every window and door, blowing with such ferociousness that she thought it would blow her down. She hated to even have to leave the comfort of home and step out into the constant onslaught of wind. Pulling her coat more tightly around her, she opened the door, stepping into the wind, clinging to the rail for support. Moving quickly to her Jeep, she closed the door and waited for her ears to readjust as she warmed the car...

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Becoming One
Posted Friday, March 14, at 3:25 PM

Glancing out the kitchen window she watched as the dog streaked around the side of the house, almost flying to the back section near the barn. Once, she reached the gate, she whirled around running back toward the house, circled a tree, running full tilt toward the back area once again. Periodically, she would leap into the air or pause following something with her eyes...

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A Light Shining
Posted Friday, March 7, at 2:52 PM

Waking, light gently glowed from another part of the house. I was still early--much too early to start the day. Moving quietly from her room, she made her way down the hall until she could see into the room on the front side of the house. There, sitting on the couch sat her father, head down, reading...

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From My Heart to Yours
Rayla Stewart Hogue
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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.
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Exotic Beauty
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Standing in the Shadows
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