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.