Monday, August 31, 2009


This week end we were able to visit with several family members that were visiting from out of state.

Here is our neice Cindy and her daughter Rachel (petting the donkey) Marley poses with them.

They are in from California.

LtoR: my sister Rita, Me, my sister Kay, my sister Natha, and our cousin Monte who is visiting from Boise, Idaho.

Back row: in white, my great neice Emily, my sister Rita, Dorothy,

me, my neice Robin, cousin Monte, his wife Joy. In blue, my

daughter Kelly, her husband Burk, and he's holding Jenna.

In front: LtoR, my grandson, Hunter, my sister's grand kids

Elijah, Lilly, and Morgan, and then my grand daughter Marley in

the black vest.

Dorothy and I pose with all our grand children except for camera shy Hunter. Sami's boyfriend Blake is with us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

kids play

The grand kids love to imagine themselves in fanciful settings. So, with the help of Photoshop I let them see what it would be like.


Jenna and Marley assist in the blowing out of the candles on my birhtday cake. (Hunter wanted no part in it). We went with two candles because the first regular candle would have burned down before we got the 64th candle lit.

retirement report #4

Yes, it's been four years since I retired. Guess I'd better give you the lowdown on how retirement has affected my quality of life:

  • In the last four years I've joined several organizations and quit them soon after. First was the local volunteer fire department. It didn't take long to learn I was too old to be fighting fires, pulling hoses, and breathing smoke. Then I was hired by a greeting card company and resigned before I ever punched in. Last spring I was hired by the Census Bureau and worked for them for three days and quit. I'm really not a quitter; I worked in a career for many years and came away with a pension. I think it's just that now that I don't have to do anything I don't want, I'm not going to continue any activity that doesn't satisfy my soul.
  • I even quit attending a church that I have been a member of for eight years. I am appalled at how the neo-conservative faction that has hijacked the Republican party manipulates evangelical voters. I can't be a part of it. That's all I'll say about that.
  • Here's something I'm not too happy about. It took 3-1/2 years to gain 33 pounds after I retired. I've lost 8 pounds in the last few months and I'm trying to get back to a good, healthy weight. I'm not on any special diet or exercise plan. I just eat smaller portions and walk at every opportunity. Each shopping trip to Wal-mart I walk around the inside of the store several times before I begin shopping. I'm 64 years old and take no medications, but if I don't stay in shape and lose weight that will change.
  • I've been making progress on learning to play the keyboard. I use Youtube tutorials to learn the songs I want to play. It's a lot of fun and I call it my anti-senility therapy. As we age we should keep learning, keep learning, keep learning.
  • I've scaled back my gardening. This year I put out 10 tomato plants. I miss having new potatoes, green beans, and okra in the garden, but we can pick them up at a local farmer's market. I don't miss the back breaking effort to weed, cultivate, and pick all that produce.
  • I'm beginning to think it would be good to sell our place in the country and buy a smaller house on a postage stamp size lot in town. A place with minimum maintenance requirements would free me to read, play music, play with the grand kids, and pursue any adventure that strikes my fancy.
  • I think the most important part of retirement is trying to find your place in the universe. When we're young we are drawn away from self examination by the need to make a living, raise a family, conform to the social milieu we find ourselves in. But, as we mature we recognize the artificiality of a life composed of Pavlovian responses to the commercial, political, and religious stimuli that reflect the spirit of the age. I've never been able to fit in (except in my own family), but who knows? Maybe before I die I'll find a place for myself somewhere in this crazy world.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

quote of the day

The mind I love must have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody's fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind.

--Katherine Mansfield

birthday tea

This morning, Marley, Hunter, and Jenna had a tea and cake party for my birthday.
Marley pours the tea (Orange Crush)

Marly instructed us to sip our tea slowly with raised pinky. Jenna did her best to comply

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

quote of the day

Most of history is indeed an agreed upon lie, either by consensus of an unenlightened people, or through perpetuation by larger ongoing forces in power at the moment. So I think it's always best to doubt the history that is most readily available to you. It's available for a reason.

--Joe Bageant

Thursday, August 06, 2009

a new feature

For the past 20 months I've been learning the piano. This is my public debut. I hope you like it.

You may have to turn up your speakers. If this goes over well I'll invest in a better microphone.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

quote of the day

Ideas of the world and of oneself which are social conventions and institutions are not to be confused with reality. The rules of communication are not necessarily the rules of the universe, and man is not the role or identity which society thrusts upon him. For when a man no longer confuses himself with the definition of himself that others have given him, he is at once universal and unique.

--Alan Watts


This morning Dorothy and I went on our annual trek to Porter, OK to buy peaches.

Dorothy is trying to decide which kind of peach to buy. She settles on Red Helbertas which will be good to eat and to make pies. We also took home a couple of fried pies to eat for lunch.

They had free samples of this nectarine jam spread on crackers. Once we tasted it we had to have it. We'll have some with butter on biscuits in the morning.

On the way home we stopped at a yard sale where this fellow walks up wearing a baby racoon on his neck. He let me take the little critters' picture but he turned his head so his face wouldn't show. I figure he's probably in the FBI's witness protection program.