Sunday, December 29, 2013

Catfish Dinner

Last night the family had our last dinner together before Rachel and Brad return to St. Thomas. We always enjoy the food at the Catfish Hole in Fayetteville, AR.

Jenna and Gracen, cousins and best friends
Our daughters Kelly and Rachel

Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Birthdays

Sami, Hunter, and Marley have birthdays in December.  We celebrated those on Sunday with a dinner of egg rolls and a cake afterward.

Gracen shows her displeasure when everyone sings Happy Birthday.
For some reason she doesn't want anyone but herself to sing.
Later, the kids tried their hand at making gingerbread houses. Hunter
never passes up an opportunity to make a face.
Hunter's house




Sunday, December 22, 2013

Family Dinner

Last night we had barbecue sandwiches made from pork loin smoked over apple wood for 7 hours, along with Memphis style coleslaw and Dorothy's wonderful potato soup. Seated LtoR Brad, Rachel, Kelly, Burk, Dorothy, Tara, and Sami.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Eating

Rachel and Brad are in from St. Thomas for the holidays and that means delicious meals at our house for the whole family. 

This morning it was biscuits with sausage, sausage gravy, and chocolate gravy.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Getting Ready for Christmas

Here are some of the things Dorothy has been making in preparation for the holidays:

Cannoli cake. I can't wait until this is sliced and served.
That's one tall cake.
Fluffy, melt in your mouth divinity candy.
My peanut brittle
Just out of bed, Gracen checks on the birds.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Still No School

The grandkids have to return to school tomorrow now that the winter ice has begun to recede. We took Gracen to her cousins' house to play in the snow.


Quote of the Day

The conventional "self" or "person" is composed mainly of a history consisting of selected memories, and beginning from the moment of parturition. According to convention I am not simply what I am doing now, I am also what I have done, and my conventionally edited version of my past is made to seem almost more the real "me" than what I am at this moment. For what I am seems so fleeting and intangible, but what I was is fixed and final. It is the firm basis for predictions of what I will be in the future, and so it comes about that I am more closely identified with what no longer exists than with what actually is.
Alan Watts - The Way of Zen

Monday, December 09, 2013

Emergency Trip to Town

Dorothy ran out of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter.  In our house that is an emergency because during these cold spells Dorothy deals with her cabin fever by baking.  So I scraped ice and snow from the car and off we went. The highway to town was clean and dry but downtown was a mess.

Downtown Westville, OK.
The post office

Record Cold

The weather man says this area has broken the previous record for longest time below freezing temperatures.


Friday, December 06, 2013

Major Winter Weather Event

Major winter weather event.  That's how one TV meteorologist described it. It looks like the storm that hit this area in 2009. In that "event" we lost power for 12 days. Trees and power lines fell under the weight of ice.  Fortunately this time our part of the state did not get the ice accumulation that happened to the southeast of us.  However, our end of the county is getting heavier snow than the rest.


This Junco is searching in the snow for seeds.
I'm surprised to see Mr. Sapsucker still
around. They are normally seen around here
as they migrate through. If I were him I would
pack my bags and wing to warmer climes.


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Snow Day

The cold stuff started around noon today with sleet, freezing rain and now, as it's getting dark, huge snowflakes are falling.  This is a major winter storm. The governor has already declared an emergency. But what does that mean to kids? Getting the day off from school is a mind altering experience to them as these photos attest:

Marley and Hunter seem overjoyed
to help their mom make cookies. When
we received this photo our first question
was, Where's Jenna.?
Here she is.

Quote of the Day

If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be too cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
--Annie Dillard

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Thoughts at Christmastime

I was reading through some old posts and found this one that I think bears repeating:

I've read that there are many people who are unhappy, even depressed during the Christmas season. There is an increase in the rate of suicide during this time of year. It makes me wonder what it takes to make a person happy. I know that money, success, and material things do not provide happiness. Not that I know that personally; I've never had much of any of those things, but maybe that's why I am happy. I've never had a strong desire to acquire. And I've not always been happy. I had to grow up first, and that took a long time. Although things don't bring happiness, people do. Having a close, loving family makes me quite content. And being retired adds to the quality of my life.

In the first half of my life there were two obstacles to happiness. The first was change. Nothing ever stayed the way I wanted it. The kids had a habit of growing up. Things changed on the job and I would have to adjust. I don't like adjusting. People died or went away. The second was that nothing was just the way I thought it should be. If people would only act according to my expectations then everything would be fine. If circumstances unfolded in line with my desires, then I could be happy. But that never happened. In fact, I don't think that has happened to anyone in the history of the world.

If I've learned anything from life it's this: People don't change. It's possible for them to, but highly unlikely, and certainly not because of any desires or efforts on your part. Circumstances are not going to change just because you want them to. Now, it's possible to change things by responding to opportunities to better your position in life. You can get an education, go for that promotion, buy that house you always wanted. All these things are good, but there's no guarantee that happiness will be the result. No, I think you just have to decide to be happy. Find out what you love to do and do it. Decide who it is you love and be with them. Then go about your daily life and happiness will sneak up on you.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

Our morning breakfast routine includes watching the birds at the feeder outside our dining room patio doors. This morning we spotted this Yellow Bellied Sapsucker. The sun was not high enough to brighten the picture but we don't see this bird often so I snapped while the snapping was good.

This bird is a relative of the wood peckers. While the wood peckers
peck holes in the bark of trees to extricate wood boring insects. The
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker creates holes then flies away. He comes
back later to eat the sap that has oozed out of the holes and any insects
that have

Thursday, November 28, 2013


We had a great meal today.  In addition to the traditional fare of  turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, hot rolls, green beans (from our summer garden), candied yams, broccoli-rice casserole, Dorothy also tried something new with the desserts.

This corn pudding consisted of corn, goat cheese, basil, cheddar
cheese, onions, eggs.
This apple tart was drizzled with butterscotch sauce
before serving.
Regular pumpkin bread on the left, pumpkin, hazelnut spread,
 and chocolate swirl on the right.
Kelly and her family spent the day at Burk's parents house in Little Rock. We know we have
to share them on holidays, but they were greatly missed. 
After the meal I collapsed into my recliner and spent the afternoon in a tryptophan stupor.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Last night we had the family over for tacos to celebrate Tara's 26th birthday.

Always ready for a party, Gracen showed up in
her snazzy duds.
Christina and Zack in the foreground. Background l-r: Dorothy,
Samantha, Kelly, Tara, Burk
Jenna anticipates the big blow.
Gracen doesn't like people to sing as you can tell when we began
"Happy Birthday to You"


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quote of the Day

It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older, one climbs with surprising strides.
George Sand

Midweek Photos

Gracen and Jenna peruse the American Girl catalogue.

Rachel and Brad sailed to the British Virgin Islands to
have their boat hauled out of the water for wome work
that needed to be done.
So they have to hang out at places like this until the work is done.