Friday, March 31, 2006

quote of the day

There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find thatdeep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.
-- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Yesterday I picked Tara up from school for an appointment with the optometrist. She got some new glasses. She was pleased with the look. She said they looked Emo. "Emo? I asked". "Yes, it's a fashion," she replied. "Oh, ok. Emo."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I've been up since 4:15am. I've been working on uploading information to the data base for our fire department. I get things on my mind and then wake up in the middle of the night thinking about stuff. I need to get over that. I'm retired. This is a volunteer position. There's no reason to lose sleep. I'll keep telling myself that and see if it works.

I had an ultrasound yesterday to check out my pancreas and gall bladder. I'll have the results in a few days. It went better than I imagined. I hate doctor appointments because I always imagine the worst case scenario. I envisioned myself on the examination table in one of those backless gowns in total humiliation as nurses giggled and peeked under my robe. In reality, I was fully clothed and the procedure was not the least unpleasant, and lasted less than twenty minutes.

Dorothy was summoned to jury duty. So far she hasn't had to sit on a trial, but simply calls in every afternoon.

Monday, March 27, 2006

fire call

We were called out to a fire near the fire station this evening. We had to put out a back yard fire and two smoldering brush and log piles. As you look at the pictures you may wonder what my duties are besides photography. I interviewed the owner getting all the particulars we need for our report. Then while the "kids" spray water on the fire, I pull the hoses for them keeping them kink free. I also man the pumps and make sure they have everything they need. Incidentally the state of Oklahoma repealed the burn ban last week and so many people went berzerk lighting up their brush and trash piles in addition to the fact that the warm windy weather returned that the ban was reinstated this afternoon.

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putting out the back yard fire Posted by Picasa

heading acrosss the pasture Posted by Picasa

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soaking the ashes Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 25, 2006

last class - hoses

In this, our last class, we learned to unload and load hoses and how to work the nozzle under pressure. We all took turns at the nozzle. We hooked the big hose to a fire hydrant and the truck pumped the water through the small hose to the nozzle. Posted by Picasa

Angie tries her hand at it. Posted by Picasa

our instructor cranks up the pressure Posted by Picasa

reloading the hose Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 24, 2006


Marley and Hunter spent the night. Here's what we did today: We went to town and bought some seed potatoes. We took down the Purple Martin bird house and cleaned it out, then hoisted it back up on the pole. We went fossil hunting down at the creek and found a pretty good one. Dorothy made us pizza for lunch. So far a pretty good day.

Dorothy had the most annoying, startling, bonejarring ring tone on her phone. The other day, on the way to the doctor, the phone rang. I almost jumped out of the car. When she finished her conversation I took her phone and changed the ring tone to a pleasant Caribbean melody. So much better. She's mellowed out over the years; I was surprised she let me get away with that.

not a bad fossil Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

quote of the day

I don't think necessity is the mother of invention - invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.
-- Agatha Christie, An Autobiography, 1977

spring snow

This is so typical of Oklahoma. After an unusually warm winter we wake up to a spring snow. This will be gone soon. It didn't go below freezing last night so as soon as the sun comes out it will disappear.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

i'm back

This is the first I've felt like writing this blog since Sunday. I spent all night Sunday night thrashing around in bed with extreme abdominal pain, ostensibly the result of eating a bad tuna sandwich. I went to the doctor Monday and he wasn't sure it was the tuna. He took some blood and the lab is testing for Pancreatitis and Ulcers. I'll know in a few days. This is the second time in three months I've been to the doctor for a serious illness. I thought this blog was going to be an account of the great life I would have after retirement, but now I'm beginning to wonder if it will become a chronicle of the inexorable disintegration of my body as I lurch toward old age. We'll see what the lab tests reveal. Maybe it was the tuna after all.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

quote of the day

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz, Anger in the Sky

Saturday, March 18, 2006

appreciation dinner

Today the Christie-Proctor Volunteer Fire Dept. had its annual appreciation dinner at the Proctor Community Center (above). It's a free event where we show our appreciation for the public's support of our endeavors and also provide an opportunity for homeowners to join the association and or donate to the organization. It's also an opportunity to give an accounting of the funds we receive through membership dues and taxes by showcasing our upgraded equipment, training, and other improvements made over the last year. We barbecued a hog, some chickens and hotdogs. We had a great time and raised $564.00.

Three of our trucks Posted by Picasa

Firefighters and support people Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 16, 2006

there's no photo for this post

Our volunteer fire department is giving an appreciation dinner for the community this Saturday. Our state representative and county comissioners will be there, and we plan to feed our guests and show them how much progress we've achieved in the last year in recruiting new firefighters, upgrading equipment, and providing training for the members. Every one is pitching in and contributing time and treasure to this event.

We had a meeting this evening to divide up certain tasks between us and make sure everything went off as planned. I thought it was odd that we met at one of the members' processing plant instead of the fire station office. We were sitting there drinking coffee and eating cake when a pickup truck drove up and backed into the building. In the back of the truck was the main course of Saturday's meal. A hog which had already been killed and bled. Two of the guys hung it by the heels and and proceeded to skin it while we discussed the upcoming event. I've lived in the country for 25 years and I've never witnessed anything like this. It was enough to make me a vegetarian.

Our assistant chief was going to give a talk about the changes the department has seen in the last year and introduce the community leaders but he was called away to help fight fires in western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. So he called me this afternoon and asked if I would prepare something to say. So I have until Saturday morning to prepare a presentation. Oh boy.

It's getting late. I'd better go to bed so I can get up early and start on this job. I'm looking forward to retiring again. I've said that before haven't I?

The unofficial community meeting place. It's easy to get engaged in conversation and let an afternoon slip away. Posted by Picasa

James the proprietor Posted by Picasa

Mike and I join the "meeting" at the store. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

a day in the life

I was busy today and it seemed a typical day, at least for the last week or so. Here's how it went. I woke around 7am to the sound of birdsong. The sun was shining; it was about 28 degrees outside. I checked my email; no real messages, just spam. We're out of bagels so I had two pieces of toast with peanut butter and jelly and about three cups of coffee.

I went to the fire dept office and uploaded some fire reports. In order to receive federal grants all fire departments, even the smallest rural ones, have to send their fire reports to the national data base. So I spent about three hours doing that and talking to the state fire marshall's office making sure I was doing everything right.

Then I stopped at the Dawson's Creek store, a little country convenience store between the fire station and our house. It's become the nerve center of the fire department. We have a lot of impromptu meetings there while we sip coffee or soda pop. Anytime you stop in there's bound to be at least one firefighter there, especially since the owner, James Rector, is a member. I bought a powerball ticket and then went home.

When I arrived home and checked my email I noticed I had sold a book on Amazon. I packaged it and took off for the Proctor post office to send it on its way. I always visit with the postmaster, Kathleen. I worked with her on the job and we've been friends for twenty years.

Back home, I worked on my roto tiller for awhile. It will start but won't run for very long. I'm afraid I forgot to drain the fuel tank last fall and now the carburetor is gummed up. Tomorrow I'll take it apart and clean it. Maybe that will work.

This afternoon I joined James Rector and Mike Wolf and helped them to build some concrete forms for the new helipad. At 4:30 I told them that if I wanted to eat dinner while it was still hot I'd better get home. Dorothy made barbecued meatloaf with twice baked potatoes and green beans. We had banana chocolate cake for dessert. After dinner I've just been watching tv and playing on the computer.

All these activities were done at a leisurely pace. I remind myself often how lucky I am; retired, yet active at things I like to do, but without the stress and strain of working for a dysfunctional organization. Yes, life is good.

At the Christie-Proctor Fire Dept. office Posted by Picasa

Proctor Post Office Posted by Picasa

quote of the day

Marrying for love may be a bit risky, but it is so honest that God can't help but smile on it.
--Josh Billings

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

latest picture of Jenna Grace

Look at this little ragmuffin

more tornado photos

For those of you who don't live anywhere near the "tornado alley", here are some shots of Bentonville, Ar. My daughter's boss took these from around his neighborhood. Fortunately his house was unscathed.

Monday, March 13, 2006


This is a picture of the neighborhood in Fayetteville, Ar. where my daughter Rachel's boss lives. A tornado took the top of the house. Fortunately, the bad weather traveled north of where we live, but left a path of utter destruction as you may have noticed on the news. So after an extremely warm and dry winter it all changes over night and the experts are telling us to expect this severe weather often during the spring.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

quote of the day

It's a shame that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day is work. He can't eat for eight hours; he can't drink for eight hours; he can't make love for eight hours. The only thing a man can do for eight hours is work.
--William Faulkner

end of drought

We're getting thunderstorms almost every evening now. They popped up this afternoon over the plains and tonight they'll roll over the Ozark Plateau where we live. We'll have to unplug the computer, tv, satelite receiver, microwave, etc. tonight before we go to bed.

Last night we went on a call where someone was burning trash in violation of the burn ban. We put it out for them. It will be an expensive trash burning for them, especially since this is the second time we've been to this location. We're getting rain now and I guess people are anxious to start burning again. The grass is still dry and the wind is blowing every day. It's still dangerous.


Marley and Hunter brought their gardening tools with them today to practice digging. The only harvest today were bugs and worms. Notice the green grass. That's a welcome sight.