Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rainy Saturday

It's Saturday afternoon, rain is pouring down, the grand kids languish on the couch watching TV.  Dorothy goes into town to pick up a few things at the store and meets up with Tara and Gracen. Gracen decides to come home with us. The decibel level in our house is approaching the need for hearing protection like those guys on the ground at the airport.  In fact, I could use some of those things they use to direct airplane traffic. In the middle of this cacophony Dorothy decided to make donuts. 



Jenna prepares to dive into the pumpkin donuts.

Dorothy also made these glazed donuts plus the holes and some
chocolate Long Johns.

Quote of the Day

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

Joseph Campbell

Friday, September 27, 2013

Another Scary Movie

The grand kids are staying with us tonight so it's time for another scary movie. I thought we would step up the  fear level a notch or two.  Tonight's viewing was the original 1931 version of "Frankenstein".  To protect myself from any legal action that the kids might level against me from the effects of any future emotional scars I had them sign this waiver:

The kids finished the movie relatively unscathed.  Marley, quite the film connoisseur pointed out the inauthenticity of the story line when it was revealed that Dr. Frankenstein had not seen his fiance Elizabeth in four months. Marley believes that no woman would stay engaged to a man who hadn't come to see her in 4 months. Hunter was thought the film was entertaining; especially the part where the town folk pursued the monster with pitch forks, torches, and golf clubs. Jenna kept her face buried in my neck for a good part of the movie.

This portrait of Frankenstein's Monster was painted
by our talented nephew Derek Dunaway.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mid-week Photos

Gracen and Tank decide to go for a walk

It's scenes like this one that makes me glad to be alive on this planet.
I told her to stay out of the tall weeds, but,
well you can see by her attitude what she thought of that idea.
She found some mud to dig in but it turned out to be dry and hard. She told me
she needs a softer spoon.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

King Kong

Marley, Hunter, and Jenna were visiting yesterday.  In anticipation of the visit I recorded the orginal version of King Kong filmed in 1933. I told them how scary the movie seemed to me when I was a kid, so I was eager to see the response of modern kids to the old classic.  When it first came on their reaction was, "Why is this in black and white?".  When the mighty Kong made his first appearance the kids laughed and said "You were afraid of this, Pops?"  Well. I was just a little kid at the time. Later in the movie a crew of men were navigating a raft through a swamp in their attempt to save Fay Wray from the giant gorilla.  A dinosaur rises out of the water and proceeds to eat a few of the men. Marley said, "They didn't do very much research for this film.  Don't they know that a Brontosaurus is not carniverous?" Well, at least one of us enjoyed the movie.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Retirement Report #8

Today I had to crawl under the house and do some plumbing repairs. It was an unpleasant job; cob webs, claustrophobia inducing narrowness, legs cramping from trying to maneuver in so tight a place. It required thinking, planning and going to the hardware store to buy materials. I got the job done and, after a shower, while relaxing in the recliner, a thought came to me about the importance of problems in our lives. It’s only natural to think that the good life is one with clear sailing and no storms, or a smooth highway with no pot holes. And that got me thinking about retirement and I realized it was time for my annual retirement report.

Over the years I have come to realize that a life worth living is one that is balanced between tension and d├ętente. Eastern philosophers would call it Yin and Yang. Most of us experience the vicissitudes of life daily in our work and personal relationships, but retirement removes most of the stress and conflict in living. When you operate on a lower income and reduced opportunity for social contact life runs along smoothly but is less interesting.

I am fortunate to have been able to live two lives in one lifetime. I grew up in Southern California, met and married Dorothy and we had a life in the suburbs of Los Angeles with our two little girls. When the girls were 10 and 8 years old we moved to Oklahoma and I worked at an entirely different career until I retired 8 years ago. We traded suburban living for a life in the country. We saw our girls through their teenage years, marriage, and grand kids.

I can’t help but wonder if, at 68, there might be a third life to live. I’ve been dabbling in art, music, and gardening for these years, but as I learned with the plumbing repairs, there is a significance that one achieves when confronting and solving problems. Now, don’t think that I have been overcome by senior angst. This is not depression. It’s more of an awakening. We all evolve throughout our lifetimes. At least, we should. Our perception of reality is quite different from when we were children. We grow older and learn and experience new things. It may be time to throw myself back into the milieu. I simply desire to live.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you."

Wendell Berry

Late Summer Gardening

Early September and the shadows are beginning to lengthen and dry brittle leaves are falling on the lawn. The rain seems to have dried up and although we water our garden it doesn't seem to have the same effect as a nice soaking shower.

Jenna is helping me pick veggies.



Gracen likes to "cook" tomatoes on her outdoor kitchen.


Tank relaxes in a shady spot.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Princess G

Not only does Gracen think she is a princess; she must dress like one and demands obedience from all her subjects (Mom, Dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and all the cousins)

Quote of the Day

I am going to concentrate on what's important in life. I'm going to strive everyday to be a kind and generous and loving person. I'm going to keep death right here, so that anytime I even think about getting angry at you or anybody else, I'll see death and I'll remember.

-- Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Do The Right Thing, 1992

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Sounds of Summer

During summer nights here in northeast Oklahoma tree frogs and crickets create a symphony of sound that is very pleasant to the ear, but the heat of the day brings the cacophony of cicada song.  I grew up in California and never heard the sound except on family trips back "home".  I didn't need a highway sign to tell me where we were; whenever I heard that metallic din I knew we had arrived. After 34 years of life on Peacheater Creek  I've grown accustom to the sound and the summers would not be the same without them.

The life cycle of the cicada is biologically bizarre.  It lives underground for 5 to 17 years, depending on the species, feeding on root juices.  Then, one day, for some unknown reason, it makes its way to the surface where it sheds it's body and transforms into a creature with wings. The empty body shell stays attached to the tree, fence, or whatever the cicada rested on when the Houdini-like escape took place.

I found this Cicada shell on our front porch column.
The newly winged Cicadas make their way to the tree tops where the males begin their mating calls. I suppose the louder ones are more sexy than the others because they attract the most females.  After mating, the females lay their eggs on the tree branches.  The newly hatched nymphs fall to the ground, burrow beneath the surface, and the cycle begins again.