Apparently They Are “Business-Minded” Ducks

November 30, 2008


This was fun.  I hope you enjoyed reading the suggested captions for this picture as much as I did.  I thought they were all very good.  But, unfortunately, I had to pick just one.

So, I picked Hilary’s.

100_3716e23  “The price of feathers has increased dramatically. Even the cost of down is up. Good news, upon reflection.”

Thanks again to those of you who submitted captions.

Hilary, I’ll e-mail you to get your address.  Thanks for the clever entry.

Fatherly Advice

November 29, 2008


This was the first time in her life that Gunny and Dilly’s oldest daughter, Samantha, lived far away (16 hours away), and wasn’t able to be with the family to enjoy her mom’s favorite meal to cook and her dad’s favorite meal to eat — Thanksgiving dinner.  So, on Thursday Samantha cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, for her and her husband, Josh.  (Little James isn’t quite old enough to be a meat n’ potatoes guy yet.) 

I hear that she and Dilly were on the phone off and on all day, and Samantha ended up kind of cooking her meal “in tandem” with Dilly cooking her meal.  Whatever Dilly did, Samantha did.  I think that was a great idea!

Dilly always takes this meal on with a passion.  Her Thanksgiving table “groans” with good food, all lovingly made by her, although I hear 15 year old Nikki was a big help this year.  But, anyway, Dilly has set the bar high for what Thanksgiving dinner should be like, and possibly given at least one member of her family somewhat unrealistic expectations for what constitutes a good Thanksgiving meal.

A conversation Gunny and Jay, their almost 14 year old son, had earlier this week:

Gunny:  “It sounds like Samantha is going to fix a great Thanksgiving dinner for her and Josh.”

Jay:  “Yeah, but did you hear, she’s going to use frozen pumpkin pie?!”

(I envision a moment of silence here, while that comment hangs in the air.)

Gunny:  “Hmm.  Let me just give you a little piece of advice, son.  Someday when you are a young married and if you are lucky enough that your wife is cooking Thanksgiving dinner for you for the first time, if she says she is going to use a frozen pumpkin pie?  You should just say, ‘Thank you.'”

What Are They Saying? Supply a Caption!

November 27, 2008

100_3716e22 Here is a picture I took a couple days ago that I think could use a caption.  They are standing on ice that has rain on top of it, hence the clear reflection.

I’ve never tried this before, but I always think it’s fun on other blogs when they ask for captions for pictures.  So, between now and Sunday noon, give these two a caption.  What might they be saying to each other?  Or what observation could you make about them.

The best suggestion will win one of the hanging towels I’m making for Christmas gifts! 

I know.  Contain your excitement.  But, I hope it will be fun anyway!


November 27, 2008


The blessings I am most thankful for today, can’t be bought with money.

I am thankful for my family and friends.  They make my life rich and full and interesting.

I am thankful for the gift of love — given and received.  It was a lesson that I had to learn, and I’m so blessed that I did.  Love is a gift above all others.

I am thankful for the United State of America.  It is the best place in the world to live.

And finally, I am thankful for the gift Christ gave me personally when he died on the cross for my sins.  I am thankful for the peace that assurance gives me.

May you have a beautiful, loving, peaceful Thanks-filled Day.

A Christmas Letter — Making It Better!

November 24, 2008


It’s time to write your annual Christmas letter, and I have some thoughts about that.

By far, the most popular post I have ever written is this one that I wrote last year about whether to write a Christmas Letter.  That tells me that it is a subject many people are interested in, and might be looking for suggestions about.

So, this year, continuing on that theme, I’d like to talk about how I think you can make a Christmas letter the most interesting it can be.  And that, in my opinion, is with pictures.  As possible proof of my theory, I will tell you that since I have started including pictures in the posts on my blog, my readership has almost doubled.  I don’t for a minute believe that is because I have suddenly become a much better writer.  I believe it is because people are just more interested in reading something that includes pictures.

For the last few years, the wife of one of my nephews has been writing the most interesting Christmas Letter we receive — because she inserts pictures all the way through it.  Since she started adding pictures, I have not only been terribly impressed that she was computer-saavy enough to be capable of doing that, but it has been the Christmas letter that I look forward to the most!

In 1992 when both of our children were young adults, Gunny a young Marine and DD in graduate school, they happened to both be home at the same time in the fall so I arranged for a formal portrait to be taken of them.  And, I liked it so well that I had the picture made into Christmas cards and enclosed them with our Christmas letter that year.

Here’s the picture.  I still love it.  I think it is the best picture we have ever had of the two of them.


Now, this year, Hubby and I had a new portrait taken a few months ago, because our church is producing a new pictorial directory, as they do every few years.  And this time, the photographer offered us a new twist.  Would we like Christmas cards with our picture on them?  Well, I thought the picture was pretty good, so I talked Hubby into it, and we ordered them.


But, once we actually received the cards, I had some second thoughts.  Would it look “dumb” to send a Christmas card with our picture on it?  Did “older” adults ever do that?  I didn’t remember ever seeing one.  I debated it with myself (because, frankly, Hubby didn’t care one way or the other), and I just couldn’t decide.

But about a month ago, I got some help deciding.  As I was looking through a box of old photos, I came across the following card from the 1950’s.  It is a Christmas Card with a picture of Hubby’s grandma and grandpa on it.


That settled it for me.  If it was okay for Grandma and Grandpa to do it then, I guess it’s okay for us to do it now!

So, if you are on our Christmas card list, now you know.  You will be receiving a “wonderful” picture of us, along with our Christmas letter.  Feel free to have it professionally framed and hang it over your fireplace (next to your black velvet Elvis painting?).  Or, we’ll probably have some extras, so if you have a bathroom you want to wallpaper, just ask and we can send you more!

Bottom line: I believe any kind of picture you include in your Christmas letter will be appreciated and will make it more interesting. 

Now, start typing — time’s a-wasting!  And, be thinking about what picture you can add!

Quick, Learn To Cook! Thanksgiving’s Coming!

November 24, 2008


It’s three days before Thanksgiving.  You’ll understand why that holds significance for me if you read my post about the first Thanksgiving I was the head cook here.

We’ll be enjoying the traditional Thanksgiving meal — turkey, dressing, potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and a glass of white wine.  And, I’m pretty sure we’ll watch some football.  But, most importantly, we’ll be thanking God for the blessings we have received from Him.

May we all remember that being thankful is the most important part of the holiday, even more than the turkey and the football.

Winter’s Coming and Birds are Going . . .

November 23, 2008


100_3070e1 We had our first snow this week.  Winter’s coming. (Time to put away the deck furniture and cover the grill!) 

100_3071e1 And, apparently migrating birds don’t need to watch the weather channel to know.  We suddenly have huge flocks of greese and ducks coming and going every day.

100_3542e1 The geese and ducks are either using our lake as a “staging area” to start their journey south or we’re a stop-off for them as they’re passing through.  While I assume there is some organization to them, it isn’t obvious to me. 

100_3534e2 They mill around for a long time, and look at me and my camera, like “What are you looking at?”  Of course, I’m waiting for them to take off in large majestic flocks that I can photograph.  But, they are too smart for that.  They know I’ll get cold or bored and go in eventually.  And their patience is rewarded — I go in the house and they take off!

So, most of the pictures I have of them aren’t the wonderful skimming-over-the-water-and-then-soaring-into-the-air,-barely-missing-the-roof kind of pictures I would like. 

100_3255e2 Although I did manage to fool these three into thinking I was going in, so they took off when I was actually able to get a picture.  But, not exactly the “flock flight” I had invisioned. 

The “flock” pictures I do have are the wayyyy up in the air kind that I get when I hurry out when they are already on their way.



100b3200e1This one looks a little like they’re trying to decide who’s going to lead.  I know that feeling.  Hubby and I have that same discussion sometimes!

I am enjoying learning photography, even when the subjects aren’t particularly cooperative.

May you have a blessed Sunday.


How Do You Know You Might Be A Micro-Manager?

November 22, 2008


While we were in Tulsa, Hubby and Gunny had the following conversation:

Hubby:  Well, the girls have their day planned.  What are we going to do today?

Gunny:  I don’t know. Mom hasn’t told us yet. 


I guess that’s how you know.

I raised a couple of comedians.  I guess it’s inevitable that sometimes I’m the punch line!

Sharing Ideas with Fellow Bloggers

November 21, 2008


I am far, far from being an expert on blogging, but it has occurred to me that these two ideas that have struck me recently might also be of interest to other bloggers.  So, I guess this is a “for what it’s worth” post.

1.  First, I have started writing down ideas for posts as I read other’s blogs.  I’ve always tried to write down ideas that occur to me whenever, but I have just recently started specifically keeping a pen and paper handy when reading and commenting on other blogs.  Sometimes the idea for a new post will come from my comment on the post, if not the post itself. 

Case in point, Staci, wrote this post about what makes a reader and she then makes the connection from that to being a writer.  It’s very interesting, but what specifically caught my attention was a quote from sociologist Shirley Brice Heath, “Simply being a ‘social isolate’ as a child does not, however, doom you to bad breath and poor party skills as an adult. In fact, it can make you hypersocial.”

Ms. Heath’s quote triggered a memory for me that inspired my comment: 

“This reminded me of when I was nine years old, and had just moved to a new city with my parents (late life baby, so all siblings were grown and out on own). The sense of isolation was profound in my new neighborhood and school. I do remember doing quite a bit of reading to fill the void where friendships had been, but I also remember thinking, “I had better really work at making new friends, or I’m going to be lonely forever!” I know I wasn’t shy before the move and had had a fair number of friends, but I do think that move made me much more outgoing.  Ever since then, I have always been very open to new friendships, and I think that is a direct result of experiencing that awful loneliness as a 9 year old and finding out how painful it can be.”

After I wrote that, I thought, “I may write a post about that move being a turning point in my life.”  A thought that I’m not sure would have occurred to me, if I hadn’t read and commented on Staci’s post.

2. Secondly, I’ve had cards made.



Not fancy, and a “life-time supply” (at least for a 62-year old!) of 200 was less than $25 at Office Depot. 

I got tired of mentioning my blog to someone (which I do do when the opportunity arises), and then, if they asked how to get to it, one or the other of us having to dig a pen and some scrap of paper out of our purse or pocket to write down the address.  This is much easier and more professional looking.  Also, I think this card is much more likely to make it out of the purse or pocket of the person and onto the computer desk than a hastily scribbled address written on a scrap of paper would be.

By the way, if either of my children are reading this, don’t get me cards for Christmas.  I already have a whole bunch.  But, I would love to receive a little business card case.  It might do a better job of reflecting that professionalism I’d like to project than the rubber band I’m using now!

Just a couple of thoughts from a blogger who is just learning as she goes.

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You . . .

November 20, 2008


. . . Happy Birthday, Dear Jennifer, Happy Birthday to You!!  God’s Blessings to You, God’s Blessings to You, God’s Blessings, Dear Jennifer.  God’s Blessings to You!

 Today is our daughter, Jennifer’s birthday.  So, here are a few pictures to celebrate the event!

jen-in-braids Here is her first grade school picture that I always thought was so cute.  Notice her perfectly cut bangs?  That’s because when her bangs got too long, I would trim them by laying a piece of scotch tape across them and then cutting along the bottom of the tape.  As an adult, she teases me about that method, but, hey, it got the job done! 

jens-first-grade-b-day-party-1We had a party for her bithday that year and invited the girl’s in her first grade class.

jens-thirteenth-birthday-cake-0011I can only assume my mother must have been out of town for DD’s ninth (oops, I mean “tenth” — I see another candle flame  down in  right corner) birthday, because she always made pretty birthday cakes for us, and that definitely isn’t one of hers!   I don’t think I did too badly on the lettering but that “festive” border, not so good.  (I hope Cake Wrecks doesn’t read my blog!)

jens-thirteenth-birthday-cake1DD’s thirteenth birthday was a memorable one, not just because she was becoming a teenager, but because . . .

jens-thirteenth-birthday-flowers. . . she received her very first flowers from a florist, sent to her by one of her aunts who lived out of town.  She was thrilled!

Happy Birthday, Jennifer.  We love you and are proud of you.  You are a great mommy to your own three little girls  — and have NEVER cut their bangs, using the tape method!  But, it’s okay.  You can be a good mommy without doing everything I did! 

Love, Mom and Dad