Wednesday, January 31, 2007

apple pie

For tonight's evening meal I'm making Sesame Orange Roughy. It only has 97 calories per serving, so I thought we could afford to eat a little dessert. I made an apple pie. It's the second apple pie I've made in my life. The first one was 34 years ago. We're just going to eat a small slice with no ice cream, and if any of the kids or grand kids come over we'll send the rest of the pie home with them.

I followed the recipe in a cookbook and it didn't make enough pie crust dough. So, I made some more and patched the crust here and there. It didn't turn out very pretty, so I hope it tastes good to compensate for the poor aesthetics.

I was just thinking. The first pie in 34 years. Now that I'm retired, I need to be a little more adventurous and try new things, expand my mind and my horizons and all that. Let's see, what have I done in the last 16 months?

  • volunteered helping the Katrina victims.
  • painted a couple of pictures
  • worked for awhile as a volunteer firefighter
  • I'm teaching an ESL class
  • started cooking
  • started an online book selling business
  • Yesterday I started a new poem. The first verse goes like this:

I tell the grand kids stories and

As their eyes begin to shine,

They see inside their heads the

Adventures of this tale of mine........

I'll share the rest of if when it comes to me.

There are many more projects that Dorothy has in store for me but they're to numerous to mention here. I'll feature them here as they are completed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

quote of the day

Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out.
--Anton Chekhov

Monday, January 29, 2007

time for a change

Time time has finally arrived. It's been creeping up on me for a long time. I'm going to change my way of eating. Over the years I've gradually gained weight, from the time I was married when I weighed 165 lbs until now. Recently, Dorothy and I have learned that some of our friends have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. When I retired, I set a goal of living 30 more years. I want to goof off to compensate for all the years I had to work for a living. But, I want those to be good years, relatively free from disease and disability. Long term obesity and inactivity are the prime triggers for T2D, so it's time to grab the bull by the tail and face the situation.
Dorothy obtained a copy of a diabetic diet so since I'm the primary cook in the family these days I've started using it as a guide to balance the carbs, proteins, and fat plus keep the calories on the down low (how do you like that slang?). Our friends Carol and Carl Keys gave us a Light Cooking cookbook for Christmas (were they trying to tell us something?) and it's a big help in preparing low fat, low calorie meals. I lost 5 lbs the first week and Dorothy lost four. I'll keep you posted about our progress.
I was reluctant to write this post, because once published I'm committed. If I fail then my readers will know (both of them). But were going to put effort into this enterprise and the benefits will far outweigh the loss of all those fast food cheeseburgers. Actually, we haven't been hungry. It seems that if you keep your blood sugar on an even keel by balancing the carbs, protein etc. you don't get hungry. We eat six times a day, after all. I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

quote of the day

Age is such a potent marker that whatever happens to our minds and bodies in later life, we assume it to be the result of advancing years. If older people do anything the least bit unusual, we label it eccentricity or senility, even if they have been doing the same thing all their lives. Within such constricting mindsets, tight as an undersized suit of armor, growth, flexiblility, and new enterprise become impossible. Not only the quality but the length of our lives may be affected.
--Ellen J. Langer, Mindfulness

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

quote of the day

Life is always a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope.
--Edith Wharton

Sunday, January 21, 2007

the great unstorm

Last Thursday Bill, Karon(Dorothy's brother and his wife), and I met her after work in Tahlequah. We drove around the city and its environs to see the damage done by the ice storm. It was unreal. I was able to get this picture before it got too dark.

This large limb, weighted down with ice simply fell off a tree. We saw telephone poles that had broken under the weight of the ice, electrical wires sagging, homes dark from lack of power. We live twenty miles away and the roads never became impassable. We were fortunate indeed.

Friday, I watched Hunter and Jenna. Jenna is teething and wasn't in the best of moods. I'm surprised that young mothers don't have bulging biceps and huge shoulders from carrying around fussy babies. I called Kelly and she suggested I administer some baby Tylenol and Oragel. That worked and after a good nap she was her old self again.

I put some plastic blocks in the floor for her to play with. These blocks were scientifically designed by kid experts to appeal to little ones and keep them busy for long periods of time. Jenna ignored them. However she was spellbound by the dog dishes, especially the one with water in it.

Then, she was very helpful to me in the kitchen.
"Hey, Grandpa, I'm here to help with the dishes."

The meteorologists on tv predicted a massive winter snow storm for our area. Amounts up to 9 inches were possible. Saturday morning it began to rain and sleet. I took Dorothy to get her hair done by our niece, Juella, and then I went to Marley's basketball game. Afterward we went grocery shopping and decided to get home before the frozen stuff began to accumulate on the roads. To make a long story short, there was snow on our cars when we went to bed last night and nothing when we got up. A warm air mass moved in from the south and now those areas west of us will see some melting of the ice that has troubled them and maybe life can get back to normal for them. I know the weathermen feel compelled to broadcast the worst case scenario because it's less embarrassing for them when the weather turns milder than they predicted than having the opposite happen.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ice storm update

The storm has passed through. We were very fortunate. Dorothy went to work yesterday after prying loose the frozen doors of her car. The roads were clear most of the way to Tahlequah, but just five miles from our house the trees were crystalline with ice. There was no danger of slipping on the sidewalk or the car sliding into a ditch. Some of Dorothy's workmates lost power and are sleeping in a motel until the electricity is restored. As you can see from the photo, we got a dusting of snow and it's very cold (as I write this it's 19 degrees) but we're safe and warm.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

ice storm

There are over 90,000 homes in Oklahoma that are without power this morning due to the largest ice storm to hit the area in six years. Dorothy and I are comfy and cozy in our home, our electric power still intact. If we lose power we can still light the kitchen stove burners which use propane, and we also have a kerosene space heater. There is another wave of freezing rain on the way and the temperatures are going to continue to drop to a low of 3 degrees by Wednesday morning.

We've been watching old western movies to pass the time. One channel ran an all day showing of the old "Three Mesquiteers" films starring John Wayne, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, and Alibi Terhune. When I was a kid those cowboys were my heroes. With my own toy gun, holster and hat I tried to imitate the way their gunbelt hung low to one side with bullets displayed around the belt. Of course they wore the required white hat of the good guy, with a kerchief around the neck with the knot off to one side. Although they spent their time chasing after bank robbers and rustlers instead of driving cattle, they still wore spurs on their boots that jingled when they walked. Their horses were magnificent steeds, their harnesses and bridles studded with silver conchos. I still love to watch those old fashioned heroes who stand out in stark contrast to the modern anti-hero who is usually a brooding social outcast who triumphs over evil using unlawful and unethical means (James Bond, Dirty Harry for instance).

Saturday, January 06, 2007

basketball fever

Marly plays basketball with the team "Fever". Here she is with her Dad/Coach, Burk.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


  • Dorothy did most of the cooking during the holidays, but now that she's back to work, I'm back in the kitchen. You can't have two cooks at the same time. If I'm free in the kitchen all day I can have a pretty decent meal on the table when Dorothy comes home. If she's there while I cook it just won't work. She'll ask questions like, "Why are you using that pot?" "Well, I opened the cabinet door and there it was." It's best that she doesn't witness my cooking process. She doesn't need to know that it was necessary to wipe tomato sauce off the walls as long as the kitchen is clean upon her arrival.

  • I need to pay more attention. Is it age that causes us to disengage and coast through our days without noticing things? Let me give you an example. Sunday, Dorothy and I had lunch with two other couples. After the meal the waiter gave us our check in one of those plastic wallets. I simply put my check card in it and let him take it away and when it returned I glanced at the receipt and put it in my pocket. On the way home I remarked to Dorothy that the cost of the meal was certainly reasonable. They must have given us a senior discount. "Let me see that bill," she said. I fished it out of my shirt pocket and handed it over. "This isn't our bill. We didn't order this." We got another couple's bill which was substantially less than ours should have been. How embarrassing! We called them and they insisted that it was no problem, and that the bills were almost the same, but I know they weren't. We plan to take them out to dinner to make up for it...........When I was younger I would have examined the check and caught the mistake, but now I seem to be on automatic pilot, letting things go. Who knows what I may be missing?

  • I'm babysitting Jenna and Hunter today. I think I've worked out a successful feeding system for Jenna. First, I moved the high chair away from anything within her reach. Then when she inevitably turned around and stood up in the chair, I simply turned the chair around until she was facing me and fed her standing up. I'm a genius! It worked out great and as you can see she was happy. Lizzie was happy to wait at the ready for any delectable morsels that fell to the floor. And Grandpa was happy to work out such a clean and efficient method for feeding a baby. I may have to write a book of tips for other men who struggle with baby sitting. I'll make a million dollars!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

about girls

Dorothy, Kelly, and Karon went shopping today and I'm taking care of Marley (7) and Hunter (4). While the women were driving away I said to Marley, "What a boring day they're going to have. Spending the whole day shopping." To which Marley replied, "You don't know much about girls, do you Pops?"

Monday, January 01, 2007

photo catchup

It just occurred to me that I've been laying down on the job when it comes to posting photos on this blog, so for the next few days I'll try to bring you all up to date on the family happenings.
Each year the student council at Sam's (my grand daughter) school organizes a fund raising event for the local homeless. The students spend the night in cardboard boxes on the front lawn of the school as a way to appeal for donations. This night the temperatures fell to nine degrees.

Sam is being interviewed by the local tv station.

Because of the extreme temperatures the school officials required the kids to go inside at midnight. Sami and a friend decided to explore the school, including the boy's restroom.

thoughts while laying awake at 3:30am Jan 1st.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning and after an hour decided to get up. I put some coffee on and thought it time to get back to this blog after a week long absence.

From where I sit I can look out the window and see a bright yellow moon low in the pre-dawn sky. That's an auspicious beginning to the new year.

Dorothy and I are not much for late night partying, so we had lunch with two other couples yesterday afternoon and had our New Year's Eve party at the Olive Garden. We had a great time with people whose company we thoroughly enjoy.

Dorothy's making the traditional New Year's dinner of black-eyed peas, cornbread, fried potatoes, and ham, plus coconut cream pie for dessert. The family will be here.

I think I'll forego the new year's resolution this year. They usually fall by the wayside very soon into the year anyway. O.k., here's a resolution. I'm going to let the year unfold and enjoy each day as it comes, thanking God for my health and for my retirement. And to be thankful for Dorothy and all the kids and grand kids. I hate to think what life would be like without them.