Thursday, December 30, 2004


Thanks to my friend Pat Emery in Los Angeles, I have a better grasp of the enormity of the tsunami disaster. Just click on the above link.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

quote of the day

If there was strife and contention in the home, very little else in life could compensate for it.
-- Lawana Blackwell, The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter, 1998

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

quote of the day

It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not.
-- James Gordon, M.D.

Monday, December 27, 2004

quote of the day

Providence has hidden a charm in difficult undertakings which is appreciated only by those who dare to grapple with them.
-- Anne-Sophie Swetchine, The Writings of Madame Swetchine, 1869

Sunday, December 26, 2004

quote of the day

I am going to concentrate on what's important in life. I'm going to strive everyday to be a kind and generous and loving person. I'm going to keep death right here, so that anytime I even think about getting angry at you or anybody else, I'll see death and I'll remember.
-- Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Do The Right Thing, 1992

sandwich artists?

Subway is opening a new shop in Westville and they put a help wanted ad in the paper recruiting "sandwich artists". Sandwich artist? Come on. In an age where every fast food chain is proud to offer cookie cutter fare, where you can buy identical food at every one of their identical shops, they're trying to recruit artists, people who are eccentric, non-conforming stand outs? What if they hire a Picasso and the sandwiches only resemble sandwiches in the most abstract way? Or how about a Jackson Pollock? Won't the sandwiches, the crew and even the customer be splattered by the application of the condiments? No, they need to change their ad to recruit sandwich engineers or sandwich technicians. I'd better call them right now and alert them to their mistake.


It's that time again. Time to make new year resolutions. Why do we do this each year? Is it because the human animal has an innate desire to improve himself, to accomplish more, to grow and develop as time goes by? My resolution? I'm not going to eat hot dogs any longer. Why? Because the ones I'm eating now are long enough.

post christmas let down

Christmas is over, the kids are gone, there's empty space beneath the tree. The wrapping paper and debris are bagged up and ready to burn. It's Sunday morning and Dorothy and I are alone, watching tv and drinking coffee. I miss the cacophony of grandkids playing with shiny new toys; the background noise of everyone talking at once, the sensory overload of too much to eat, commingled conversations, remote controlled toys buzzing around the house, and the emotional high of having with you the people you love most. All that has given way to a reflective silence, an empty house. It's a time for Dorothy and I to weigh the possibilities of the new year: the prospect of retirement, the challenge of living on a smaller income, the opportunity to explore new things, to stretch ourselves. A new year unfolds.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

quote of the day

The traditions we perpetuate, the parties we attend and the recipes we prepare give us a touchstone to another year gone. But it is in the faces and smiles and sounds of children, the weight of them against us as we cuddle up, that remind us that life is short and our time with our children is brief, that they grow up and out and away. That knowledge is what has me clinging to the holidays as a time of connection to my family, friends and loved ones.
Not for the stuff. Not for the stuffing. Nothing but the closeness of human beings together. My people. My tribe. My loves.

Jamie Lee Curtis -- Newsweek online

dark frigid nights of the Christmas season Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 23, 2004

quote of the day

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
--Burton Hillis (Better Homes and Gardens)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

winter has arrived

Yesterday was the first day of winter and the cold arrived right on time. Today while delivering the mail I wore insulated long underwear under my uniform, a sweater, coat, insulated parka, and gloves. The temperature was about 19 degrees (wind chill factor 1 degree). It started snowing at around 11:30 but fortunately there was no accumulation. Tomorrow morning it's supposed to drop to 9 degrees. If the wind will die down it won't be so bad. I keep myself going by reminding myself this is my last winter with the Postal Service. Next year when the mercury plummets and the cold winds begin to blow I'll spend those cold days indoors watching tv and drinking hot cocoa.

quote of the day

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Monday, December 20, 2004

quote of the day

The secret of a good memory is attention, and attention to a subject depends upon our interest in it. We rarely forget that which has made a deep impression on our minds.
-- Tryon Edwards

Sunday, December 19, 2004

taking a break

I've spent the morning assembling an entertainment center we bought Wednesday. I decided to take a break and write this post. This piece of furniture is going to be much larger than it appeared on the show room floor, and it makes me think we should have bought an assembled one and had it delivered. I'm getting to the age where I only want to do fun stuff. Is that a second childhood? I feel the need to work out a strategy to avoid hard work before I retire. I wonder if I could fake some symptoms of senility whenever there's a tedious job to be done? Dorothy would say I don't need to fake it. I'll come up with something. Well, it's back to the job; I have to get it done before Hunter's birthday party this evening. He's two years old now.

Hunter at 2yrs Posted by Hello

quote of the day

Mistrust the man who finds everything good, the man who finds everything evil and still more the man who is indifferent to everything.
-- Johann K. Lavater

Saturday, December 18, 2004

quote of the day

One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, December 17, 2004

Look at her. Guilt is written all over her face. The candy cane thief! Posted by Hello

Can you see Lizzy's rear sticking out from under the tree? She's stolen all the candy canes withing reach and she's searching hoping she'll find one that's fallen. Posted by Hello

gifts for men

Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

Rule #1:When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2:If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. By-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3:If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4:Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5:You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Rule #6:Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or deodorant. I'm told they do not stink - they are earthy.

Rule #7:Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks. Shorts.Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink." You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #8:Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will ruin his day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #9:Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire. NAPA Auto Parts and Sear's Clearance Centers are also excellent men's stores. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is. "From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks."

Rule #10:Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook - but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"

Rule #11:Tickets to a football game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." Everyone knows why.

Rule #12:Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don't know why - please refer to Rule #8 and what happens when he gets a label-maker.

Rule #13:It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #14:Rope. Men love rope. It takes them back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8" manilla rope.

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*

quote of the day

Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display--so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow. It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again. --Unknown

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Posted by Hello

crossing Ft Gibson reservoir on the way to Tulsa. Posted by Hello

christmas shopping

Yesterday Dorothy persuaded me to go to Tulsa with her to do some Christmas shopping. I've done all my own shopping without leaving the house. Just a click here and a click there on the old computer and the FedEx man can do the legwork. But, Dorothy usually manages to get me out with her at least one day. She says she really enjoys shopping with me. I enjoy her company but not the company of the teeming masses. I have to admit though, it wasn't bad. We arrived around noon and were gone before the evening rush hour. The crowds weren't so bad. I'm a bit of a people watcher so it was an interesting trip. We ate at the Mexicali Border Cafe and were disappointed. I'm afraid we've been spoiled by our little Mexican restaurant, El Zerape, in Tahlequah. We were back home by 6:30 and had time to lay around the house and rest before work the next day.

price of gasoline at Tahlequah, Ok. $1.49 per gal.

quote of the day

Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousand of miles and all the years you have lived.
Helen Keller--US blind & deaf educator (1880 - 1968)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

cold winter nights Posted by Hello

things not to say when hanging the lights

Did you know that hanging lights on a Christmas tree is one of the three most stressful situations in an on-going relationship? The other two danger zones are teaching your mate to drive and wallpapering. We rush to print with an emergency prompt list of Things Not To Say When Hanging Lights on the Christmas Tree:

--"You've got two red lights right next to each other, goober. You're supposed to go yellow, green, red, blue, not yellow, red, red, green, blue..."

--"Up a little higher. You can reach it. Go on, try."

--"What on earth do you do to these lights when you put them away every year? Tie them in knots?"

--"Come away from that aluminum ladder, kids. I'm going to fry that sucker."

--"If you're not going to do it right, don't do it at all. Don't just throw them on, like you do the icicles. You're worse than your father."

--"Give me that."

--"You've got the whole thing on the tree upside-down. The electric pluggee thing should be down here at the bottom, not up at the top."

--"I don't care if you have found another two strings, I'm done!."

--"You've just wound 'em around and around - I thought we agreed it shouldn't look like a spiral this year?"

--"Have you been drinking?"

--"Where's the cat?"

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*

quote of the day

If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right. -- Henry Ford


We woke up to twelve degrees this morning. Now, that's what I call cold. It's supposed to warm up to about 44, but right now at 9:19 it's a balmy 18 degrees. I'm glad it's my day off. Just think, my last winter to deliver mail in the elements. Thank God!

ESL Christmas Dinner

Last night we had our annual ESL Christmas dinner at the First Baptist Church of Siloam Springs, AR. It was a great time for teachers and students to share a meal and get better acquainted. We tasted new dishes, like an Ecuadorian potato-like patty called yucca (not sure of the spelling) containing yucca, garlic, onions, and chicken, brought by the Albuja family. Maribel Morales brought empanadas Guatemala style, and Adan's wife sent tamales made with rice masa and beef wrapped in banana leaves. We had a pinata for the kids. It was a great time.

The Muessemeyer family Posted by Hello

Cheryl Davis (in blue) and Betty Milam (red) share a meal with the ESL students. Posted by Hello

Naomi takes a turn Posted by Hello

David Muessemeyer holds the rope as Maddy Riley tries to break the pinata. Dorothy Blue and Naomi Morales. Posted by Hello

The pinata broken, the kids scramble for candy. Posted by Hello

The Albuja family looks on. Posted by Hello

I caught Lizzy, the dog that lives at our house, stealing candy canes off the Christmas tree. She's a mean and vicious dog. I'll have to stay alert or she'll start stealing presents. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

quote of the day

From Home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another.
The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.
--Emily Matthews

Monday, December 13, 2004

quote of the day

There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions.
--Bill McKibben Author, Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For a More Joyful Christmas

Sunday, December 12, 2004

all finished Posted by Hello

Grandma, Samantha, and Marley trim the tree Posted by Hello

quote of the day

Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.
--George Mathhew Adams

christmas dinner

Last night we went to the National Association of Letter Carriers' Christmas dinner at the Muskogee campus of Northeastern Oklahoma University. Since I'm retiring in August, this was my last time to attend. My grandkids have been coming to this affair since Tara and Sam were as young as Marley and Hunter are now. We have a dinner, a visit from Santa, then play bingo to win Christmas presents.

This is a close as Marley was willing to get to Santa. Marley and Hunter both have Santaphobia. Posted by Hello

Hunter cannot be persuaded to sit on Santa's lap. Posted by Hello

Santa makes the rounds Posted by Hello

Santa arrives Posted by Hello

Tara and Eli Posted by Hello

Saturday, December 11, 2004

lagging christmas spirit

Dorothy and I just aren't with it this year. No Christmas cards have been sent yet. I haven't plugged in the exterior lights. (They're still up from last year, even the year before that; come to think of it, they've been up there for a long time. All I have to do is plug them in. Maybe tomorrow, Monday at the latest.) We haven't even put up the tree yet. Last night I suggested waiting until Christmas Eve, and she didn't even object. I know! I'll get out my Nat King Cole Christmas CD and pour us some egg nog spiked with just a little rum. Think that will help?

quote of the day

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.
Helen Keller

Friday, December 10, 2004

quote of the day

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is relatively new in the American experience. . .In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
Dwight D. Eisenhower -- farewell address, January 17, 1961

Thursday, December 09, 2004

quote of the day

I have you and even if we never meet or ever see each other, we have left our thumbprints in the thick, moist clay of each other's lives.
-- Hugh Elliott, Standing Room Only weblog, May 6, 2003

christmas season

Here it is Christmas. As I get older it means less. The important thing about the holidays for me is having the family together, and it is fun to watch the little ones react to Santa, presents, and the general excitement of the day. With age comes, I hope, wisdom and I resent being manipulated into spending money by big business whose main concern is holiday profits. In all likelihood Christ was not born in December. The Catholic church, centuries ago, superimposed the Christ Mass over the normal pagan observances of the winter solstice. The decorated tree predates the birth of Jesus. (The Old Testament has a stern warning against worshipping trees) Even Santa Claus evolved from St. Nicholas and his present day image comes from the Coca Cola advertising during the 30's. Am I becoming a Scrooge? I don't think so, but at times, I do have the urge to shout, "Bah! Humbug!"

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

quote of the day

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
--Susan B Anthony, reformer and suffragist (1820-1906)

Tuesday, December 07, 2004