Saturday, September 30, 2006


I've had two allergy attacks in the last two weeks, but I think I've finally found the culprit. Dorothy and I regularly walk at the Westville walking track and Wednesday evening as we were walking along I noticed that the adjacent field was spectacularly in bloom with Ragweed. We cut the walk short but Thursday morning I woke up hoarse, Friday it hurt to breathe and I couldn't walk very far without being totally winded. I'm learning to pay attention to my environment and avoid potential problems. I even bought a respirator to wear while mowing the lawn. I'm anxiously awaiting the first frost.
There's a walking trail in Siloam Springs that I used Tuesday and it was great. Walking along this trail is a meditation and reminds me to be thankful for retirement and the leisure to enjoy it.

The trail ambles by the Simmons Foods home office.

Thursday, I helped Kelly with the kids at the dentist office afterwards we met Dorothy at Mcdonald's for lunch.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

quote of the day

"Too much sanity may be madness, and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be."
--Miguel de Cervantes

Thursday, September 21, 2006

we bid farewell to brain cells

This evening I was in my recliner watching the news when Dorothy spoke those three words I love to hear. "Dinner is ready". I went into the kitchen and this is what I saw:

Spaghetti sauce and ground beef. There was some French bread toasting in the broiler. Where's the spaghetti? While Dorothy got out another pot to cook the spaghetti she asked if I would change a light bulb in the dining room. Sure, no problem. She set the pot on the stove, went into the pantry and returned with a new light bulb. I stood there with the bulb in my hand, looked up at the kitchen light fixture and saw two brightly shining bulbs. "What do you want me to do with this?" I asked. "Change the bulb in the dining room". she said. "Oh, o.k.."
........We're sliding down the slippery slope of senescence.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

quote of the day

The devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still.
--A.W. Tozer

cajun bean soup

Dorothy worked today from 5:30am to 11:00am, so I had lunch ready for her when she got home. I made a Cajun bean soup with Andouille sausage which we ladled over rice. We also had crawfish pies that we bought at Hebert's Specialty Meats in Tulsa. I got the recipe for the soup from the internet and we think it's a keeper. It will be good for those cold winter days just like Dorothy's chili and her green chile potato soup. I had it almost eaten before I thought of the camera or I'd have a photo to show you.
(the crawfish pies were crawfish, cheese, mushrooms, onions, and peppers baked into a puff pastry)

Monday, September 18, 2006

We went to the Cherokee Nation complex in Tahlequah today to get new tags for Dorothy's car. She's 1/4 Cherokee and qualifies for car tags from the Nation.
We're proud of her Indian heritage and support the tribe any way we can.

While she was in the tag office I took some photos.

The street signs at the complex and downtown Tahlequah are printed in the Cherokee using their alphabet, then in phonetically spelled english alphabet, and of course, in english.
Dorothy sat in every chair in the furniture store in her quest to find the perfect one. I suggested she take my recliner and I'd buy a new one for myself, but she turned down the offer. Before we left Tahlequah we did our morning walk around the city park.

Over the footbridge and we'll be done.

jenna eats solid food

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dusty's birthday

Yesterday we celebrated Tara's boyfriend Dusty's birthday. As usual, the little one help blow out the candles.

marley paints

Marley painted a picture of a flower. It was so good I hung it under a flower painting I've done.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

faux tile project

Dorothy is finishing her project of painting "tiles" onto the backsplash.

quote of the day

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, September 15, 2006

retired driver ahead

This morning at 7:30 I was on my way to Siloam Springs to pick up my grandson, Hunter. I probably shouldn't have been on the road at that time because I soon had a caravan of commuters behind me. The sun hadn't been up long and the hills were golden with it and you just can't savor the scenery if you maintain the speed limit.

We retired people are like that, we take the time to savor the scenery. One by one the commuters white knuckled it around me, their blood pressure rising with every mile they traveled. I have a theory that once they arrived at work their sense of urgency left them. They probably didn't even start working until after they had their bagel and coffee and checked their personal emails and surfed the internet for awhile. Once the workday is over Desultory Dan quickly reverts to Maniacal Marvin for the mad dash home where he plops his butt into the recliner and stays all evening with a cold beer in one hand and the remote in the other. I'm happy to be retired.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

one year

Although there's ten more days until the first day of fall, Summer has vacated the premises. It's been a long, hot summer, but now there's a chill in the air every morning and a mist hangs over the pastures. And my first year of retirement comes to a close.

I started my second year with good news. I was examined by a pulmonary specialist today, and pending the results of xrays and a pulmonary performance test, I'm in good shape. I seem to have developed a sensitivity to certain things in the environment as I've gotten older; I'll have to be careful to limit my exposure to smoke, pollen, fumes and perfumes, but that's better than adult onset asthma or a degenerative lung disease. So I'm feeling good about that.

I've been thinking about what I've accomplished the past year and areas of my life that I've neglected. Our first project after retirement was to volunteer with the Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. Several hundred of them were housed at the Arkansas Baptist Assembly grounds and Dorothy and I did what we could to help. We worked at the information office where Dorothy helped people at the window and I searched for missing loved ones on the computer (found a couple too.)

We did some traveling. A trip to California last fall and then to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in early summer and then to Arizona a few weeks later for a wedding. We're getting the itch to travel again. We had thought of taking a cruise, but we enjoy road trips too much, discovering new places to eat (non-chain) and scenic side trips that we missed during our hurried travels during our working years.

I've painted two pictures in the last year. One is hanging on the wall at the Hogwild Pizzeria in Fayetteville, Ar. and the other is on the wall our our living room. I plan to do more painting this year.

I joined a volunteer rural fire department and had fun responding to emergencies and I also set up their computer software so they could be in compliance with the new Homeland Security regulations. I'm no longer with the department because I need to stay away from smoke and fumes and I wanted to devote more time to starting an online bookselling business.

The bookselling business is coming along pretty well. I'm finding new sources for used books and seem to have no problem selling them online.

I grew a garden for the first time in years and we've enjoyed the taste of home grown tomatoes, okra, and corn. I'm hoping to grow a bigger one next year.

I've spent some precious time with the kids and grandkids and hope to grab every opportunity this coming year to do more of the same.

Aside from the bouts of illness it's been a good year. Now I need to set goals and work toward their achievement. Top priority will be given to the war against time and age. I'm seeing how important it is to eat right, get adequate rest and exercise. After a certain age good health cannot be taken for granted.

I plan to paint more pictures this year. I have ideas already on the computer just waiting to be translated onto canvas. I've neglected some remodeling projects so I'll have to get started on them real soon.

In spite of all the things I plan to do I still need to reserve time to read and just loaf. That's probably the most important "activity" for keeping sane in this crazy world of ours.


Last night I rejoined the ESL team at First Baptist, Siloam Springs. It was good to see some of my former students and see how they have progressed in mastering the English language (a very difficult job).

These are people who have come to America for a new life and have a strong desire to learn the language and assimilate into our culture. It's gratifying to be able to particpate in giving them a hand up.

Phase 2 of Dorothy's Project

The next phase in Dorothy's project is to paint a faux tile pattern on the backsplash.

To layout the pattern I used this handy laser level. I placed it on the microwave across the room from the counter.

The device casts a perfectly level line onto the wall which I was able to trace.

This is how it looks so far. More pictures in a few days.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

new kitchen color

Dorothy wanted a new look for the kitchen so she went to Lowe's and got a very light green for the walls and she painted the cabinets a cream color. As you can see the shade of green is very close to white, so she went back and had them add just a hint more of green.

On the way we stopped at the community center at Tahlequah. They were having a rummage sale and I picked up a dozen books.

This is the shade of green she ended up with. She can't decide if it's too bright or not. If it is she'll back at Lowe's tomorrow. Of course, they were kind enough to change the color of the paint at no charge.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

quote of the day

"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws."
-- John Adams

under the influence

There have been writers who've claimed their best work was done while using alcohol and drugs. I'm finding it difficult to be articulate and witty while under the influence of cough syrup.

One benefit of taking all these drugs for the last two weeks is that I've lost my appetite and ten pounds. I could stand to lose 50 more.

Dorothy's been mowing the lawn and doing the weed eating. When I get back to it, I'll be wearing one of those paper dust masks. I've seen people doing their yard work while wearing dust masks and now I know why. And I'm joining their ranks.

Wednesday, I'll see a pulmonary specialist and we'll start the detective work that should determine whether this is adult onset asthma or severe allergic reactions to something in the environment.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

quote of the day

Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go.
-- Sylvia Robinson

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'm back, sort of

Here's an update on what's been happening this past week. I went to the doctor last Tuesday complaining of a sore throat, and bronchial congestion. He gave me an antibiotic, Singulair, and an albuterol inhaler. I was doing fine until Saturday morning. I was having chest pains that began on my left side and radiated to my back, plus I sweat so much my clothes were wet. So, off the the emergency room we went. They hooked me up to all the usual wires and tubes, and according to all their tests, my heart was ok and my lungs were not in bad shape, the congestion still remaining mainly in the bronchial area. The doctor thought the pain was brought on by the coughing. He prescribed an industrial strength cough syrup and a prescription to extend the dose of antibiotics another day. And he sent me home. Saturday night: more pain. Sunday: more pain but not as much. Yesterday: a little uncomfortable but no major pain. Groggy from drugs. Today I went back to my regular doctor, then to the pharmacy. I'm now taking three different inhalers, cough syrup, and two different pills. This afternoon I'm going to make a chart to sort out the different times I have to use this stuff. Maybe I should have paid more attention when the doctor demonstrated how to use this paraphernalia. Dorothy was there so she can help me figure it out. Next week, I have an appointment with a pulmonary specialist. Depending how that goes I may have to do a stress test. You know, with the treadmill and all? I asked if they would give me time to get in shape first. He said no, I need to take the test to see if it's safe to get in shape.