If you enjoy reading this blog, you may also like to read the articles I write each week as the Springfield Genealogy Examiner and as the Ozarks Cultural Heritage Examiner. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a one. You may also enjoy reading my Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories blog. You can also read about the family stories in my novels at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kaylee in action

Fixed these random photos of Christmas 2009 activities a couple days ago, but hadn't posted them yet... but, here goes. Kaylle likes to "look through things" - these towers collapsed, moments later, needless to say!

Annette and Kaylee enjoy letting her fly. Took a few of these to get a good one.

At our "second" Christmas, Kaylee had fun with the "paper wrapping" on her dolly bed...

She did enjoy playing with it, unwrapped, as well.

Larry enjoyed his guitar case, as well... Ben looking on.

All having a great visit!

It has been several really good days! ;-) - and more days to come.

Happy New Years to all! ;-)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas presents, etc.

As promised, some gift photos. Nancy got the newest Jance novel, among other books on her list.

Allison got a loaf pan, and several books... and an I-Pod Nano she has wanted for several years!

Bill got the word puzzle book from Allison and the brand new "U is for Undertow" mystery by Sue Grafton - Kinsey Millhone mystery book, among other books on his list.

Allison took this photo of me putting away pots/pans after dinner... we have so little storage space, each has to go in a special place or they don't all fit in... my job to reach around the corner to "get it right." Perhaps! ;-)

It was another very good day! ;-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day 2009 in Hollister

We did have a White Christmas at the cabin this year, for our first Christmas as full-time residents in Hollister/Branson. It had rained, yesterday, and in the 30-40 temp range. As the front went through, and temps fell into the 20s overnight, the lingering rain started to freeze and turned to snow. Some slick spots, but by 11 am when I took this photo, the sun was out nicely, even though the temp was only about 24 degrees.

We finished the puzzle we started, on Christmas Eve, before we went to bed...
Allison had helped get it started, but she went home. Bill and Nancy were going to stop.... but, just one more piece... about twenty times, and it was done. Good excuse for old folks to sleep in on Christmas morning - I suppose we were going to anyway... OK!? Very nice puzzle to do!

Christmas Brunch of Banana Bread (from Allison - she makes it really good!), sausages, pineapple chunks, and orange juice.

Christmas Dinner - Allison said I should get in the photo - she took it - had to move a bit to get the light right. Came out pretty fair, thanks! A little different this year, with meatloaf (made from new beef and pork blend from the Harter House!), scalloped potatoes, lima beans and rolls. Yum! Candle, red plates, and flowers were a nice touch - Nancy gets all the credit!

Some photos of Christmas presents tomorrow... keep you in suspense!

It was a very good day! ;-)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009 in Hollister

Chili and cornbread for supper on Christmas Eve. Raining, White Christmas snow expected overnight.

Putting together a Christmas puzzle, while watching SMU (!>!>!??) dominate in the Hawaii Bowl game.

It was a very good day! ;-)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas is one week away

Have to share a couple photos of the grandkids from their mom...

Arrion got a new sewing machine, and has been practicing on jumpers for Kaylee. Here is a neat one!

They went to Barton Creek Mall, rode on the train, and say Santa. Kaylee is new to the idea.

Allison was over this afternoon. Her work is going well!

It was a very good day! ;-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finished next book last night

Thanks to Annette's help while she was here, my next book is now available, in either print form or as a PDF Download:

This is the companion book to my blog: Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories

Click on the Cover, above, to take you to the storefront where it is currently available and has additional information about the contents.

It will be on Amazon.com and other places in 6-8 weeks. It is ISBN 978-0-557-24064-7.

It was a pleasure to put together, and I hope will be useful to some folks who want to tell their stories but have needed a little push. Maybe this effort can contribute in that direction.

It was another very good day! ;-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Wedding Reception Photos

Today I will share a few more photos from the Wedding and Reception last Saturday that were not previous posted here or on Facebook.

Nancy and Bob - siblings - his daughter, Susan, was the Bride.

Randy, younger brother of Susan, and his Uncle Joel.

Nancy, left, Bob, Susan's older brother, right; with his mother, Darlene.

Bob and Richard in a lighter moment.

Prior to the Wedding ceremony. Debbie, Janie, Rachel and Nancy wait patiently.

A full pew. Charlotte, Darlene's friend, talking to Phil. Kevin, Toni, and Mary Ann; Joel and Nancy - and I sat on this end.

Feel free to add a comment, below, with and questions or comments.

It was another very good day! ;-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jonesboro to Hollister

Yes, it did take four hours to get home. Beautiful drive through Ozark Mountain Country... but not a drive to get in a hurry. Drove northwest of Jonesboro on US63 - on up to Thayer, MO. West from Thayer on 142, 101 north to 160, and on into Forsyth and Hwy 76 on home.

It was interesting to see what towns and areas promoted tourism and which did not. The photo is the Tourist Information Center in Thayer, MO. Not big, but good signage. It was interesting that Hardy, AR, had the most tourism activity, but it also had a by-pass, so we didn't go in town, at all. We were headed home, of course, not out visiting places.

It was a very good day! ;-) Very nice to be home, as well! ;-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Florida to Jonesboro, Arkansas

When we were loading the car, this morning, to head home, the temperature was 71 degrees. What a pleasant surprise. It was still cold and raining Saturday night! And, the sun even came out, a little later on, today. We had stopped at the Florida visitor center on Friday, very overcast, but the sign under the airplane said: "The Sunshine State" - we wondered if we would see any. We did.

Very pleasant drive back down I-10 through Alabama and Mississippi - quite a bit of fog - to Louisiana (past Biloxi and Gulfport) and picked up I-55 north through Jackson, MS, to Memphis, TN, as darkness set in. We continued on I-55 and then U.S. 63 to Jonesboro and called it a night.

Nine states in the last week...

We'll finish our trip on Monday with a leisurely drive through Ozark Mountain Country to home.

It was a very good day! ;-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Susan's Wedding Day and Reception

We are in Pensacola, Florida, for Susan's wedding (daughter of Nancy's brother, Bob). It was a neat but fairly traditional ceremony merging the two families. Just a couple of photos - Bride and Groom, first, Susan and Richard.

Nancy, Bob, Carol and Joel, at the reception.

It was a very good day! ;-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Success in Citronelle

We went on up to Citronelle on Friday morning, checking out cemetery locations that Nancy had researched. The first one, a little ways out of town, didn't seem too promising. We took this photo to show we were in town... settled in 1811. Wow! ;-)

The part of town we drove around in wasn't too large. Here is the main street; courthouse on the far end. Looks a lot like some of the photos from the 1920-30s Nancy had in a book.

After driving around for a while, we found the road leading east of town, where two "main" cemeteries were located. They were the size we liked, and we could actually drive the car around in the cemetery, and look at the names on the stones. Real cool, and had been raining some, so that was especially nice. After about the second turn, Nancy says: "I see WILSON!" I go out to walk the 75-100 feet to see the names... sure enough, it was David C. and Martha C. WILSON - exactly who we were looking for... and, as a bonus, their only two daughters were buried with them. What luck. Nancy seemed happy!

Five or more years of research culminated in a great find, in a very interesting place!

We were able to get back on I-10 and go east to Pensacola for the Saturday wedding - a successful "find" behind us! Happy Wife! Happy Life! ;-)

It was a very good day! ;-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Overnight in Mobile, Alabama

Drove east from Austin on Texas 71, early today, to I-10 through Houston and Beaumont. Then to Lake Charles across the swamp into Baton Rouge to catch I-12 eastbound. We drove past D'Iberville, Biloxi, Gulfport - where we lived exactly 48 years ago this fall. I was at Keesler AFB, training to be a Ground Electronics Officer in the U.S. Air Force. Gulfport was the big town, we said we "lived in Biloxi" - but our house was in the Back Bay, actually in D'Iberville.

We are enroute to Pensacola, Florida, to the wedding of Nancy's niece, Susan, at noon on Saturday. We stopped overnight in Mobile, because Nancy has some genealogical research to do on one of her Wilson line... that lived, and probably died, in Citronelle, just north of Mobile. We are less than two hours from Pensacola.

When we left Biloxi, in Dec 1961, we drove through Iowa, on our way to Winslow, Arizona, my "permanent" assignment location. We had a major snowstorm in Coon Rapids while we were there, not unlike what they are having now. SMALL WORLD!

[P.S. If you are a Space Invaders fan, from the early days of computing, check out the bottom of the page. Click the last line for hints on playing.]

It was a very good day! ;-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Last day in Austin this visit

Time has really flown by. On Thursday, we head for the wedding in Pensacola. I did get a couple of pretty good photos of the grandkids that I wanted to share.

Alex watching TV, in a very pensive mood, it seems.

Kaylee eating. About the only time she stops moving long enough...

Kaylee in one of her favorite places, under Arrion's (mommy's) feet...

Alex at opening of his Tae Kwon Do class.

It was another very good day! ;-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Grandparents Digest

Have you seen the Grandparents Digest website - full of fun things to do with Grandkids?

Check out http://grandparentsdigest.com/

Always something more and different for everyone on the Internet!

It is another very good day - Kaylee and grandma are coloring together... 2 year old Kaylee naming the colors! ;-)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Grandkids in Austin

It has been a very busy week. Larry worked at the cabin, Annette was keynoting in New Hampshire, flew home on Thursday. They flew back to Utah on Saturday, just before the big snow arrives, perhaps. We got in the car for Austin, at 11:20 a.m., and, with the football games on the radio, didn't stop until we arrived at the house in Austin just after 10:30 p.m., just after the end of the Texas victory!

Got this photo from Arrion this week... so cute!

It was a very good day! ;-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cabin Outdoor Decorations

Before the weather turns bad this week, we got the Cabin Decorations out for the Christmas Holiday... a little sunshine left.

It was a very good day! ;-)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kaylee is a Longhorn

Arrion posted this photo on Facebook. Texas football was undefeated for the regular season, so Kaylee is celebrating.

Is she really just two years old?!? ;-)

About to have homemade pizza for supper, so...

It is a very good day! ;-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We had a nice day at home with Annette, Larry and Allison here to help us celebrate the holiday. We had turkey, dressing and sweet potatos, etc. for dinner.

We played Tripoley as the Dallas Cowboys prevailed over the Oakland Raiders, as they were supposed to.

It was a very good day! ;-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Larry's Birthday

Larry had his birthday, today. We went to Danna's in the middle of the afternoon for our "other meal" after special brunch Annette prepared late morning. We were at the "other" table this time, so the fire remnant is the other half from a lot of photos we have taken previously.
[Several years ago our favorite BBQ restaurant had a fire and burned down... the salvaged the two pieces of the sign, and rebuilt... better than ever.]

After our meal, they brought Larry his "birthday boy" special, with several spoons.

Back home, after a break, Larry opened his gifts, and then we played games before having his cake.

You may have guessed that Larry is not 36...

It was a very good day! ;-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Donny Osmond wins

Donny Osmond actually won the Dancing with the Stars competition on ABC-TV on Tuesday night. He came on strong, towards the end of the competition, especially on Monday night. He looked like a real professional! BTW, at 51 he is the oldest winner in this competition by quite a few years....

[image from donny.com]

We have followed all the Osmonds from the time they were on Andy Williams television show, have met them personally, seen them in many venues over the years. Just cannot help but cheer each success... their lives in the spotlight have not all been successes... Congratulations on another BIG WIN! ;-)

It was another very good day! ;-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Guests have arrived

Annette and Larry are here with us for a couple of weeks. They will be in and out as business and other family activities they have to do dictate. Larry's Dad will celebrate his 90th birthday a couple days after Thanksgiving, so they will go up to Shelbyville to do that with his family. Last week, they came and stayed overnight; took our Honda up to Springfield, IL, for Annette to give a Keynote at an Illinois State Library conference. The week after Thanksgiving, she does the same at the New Hampshire Conference, so will fly up and back... We are all on our computers, in our designated spots, working away at what we do... most of the time. Gather for meals and chit-chat. Actually, at the moment, Annette and Mom are at Target....

Larry and I are upstairs and downstairs, respectively, working on student assignments - we both are teaching on-line courses, as is Annette. Just an update! Have a great Thanksgiving break!

It is another extra good day! ;-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tips for living to 100

Ok, here is another interesting article: "10 Tips for Living to 100" - I first saw it the October 2009 print edition of US News, but the blog article dates from February. Check it out! Check out the online 'life risk calculator' in the blog article.

The ten tip lead lines are [ you really need to read the article to understand them, of course]:
1. Don't retire.
2. Floss every day.
3. Move around.
4. Eat a fiber-rich cereal for breakfast.
5. Get at least six hours of shut-eye.
6. Consume whole foods, not supplements.
7. Be less neurotic. [That was in yesterday's blog, too, as I recall!]
8. Be a creature of habit. [perhaps my favorite!]
9. Live like a Seventh-Day Adventist. [The Life-style, not the religion, I note]
10. Stay connected.

It was another very good day! ;-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Resilient People

The November & December 2009 edition of the AARP magazine has a great story entitled: "The Secrets of Resilient People."

Follow the link to read the whole story. Be sure to take the quiz, via the link at the end of the article.

The story suggests that research shows that resilient people share some common qualities - ones you can cultivate to master any crisis [and I subscribe to them fully!]:

1. They stay connected.
2. They're optimistic.
3. They're spiritual.
4. They're playful.
5. They give back.
6. They pick their battles.
7. They stay healthy.
8. They find the silver lining.

This is as close as I have seen in a long time to a formula for a happy, satisfied and enriching life. What do you think? I'd love to hear your reactions to reading the article; or any piece of it.

It is another very good day! ;-)

Friday, November 20, 2009

New photo from Austin

Arrion just sent this photo of Kaylee and I on the couch in Austin - we were there for her 2nd birthday, a couple of weeks ago.

What more could a grandpa ask for?

It was another very good day! ;-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ozark Mountain Christmas

The Ozark Mountain Christmas celebration in the Hollister/Branson area runs from the first weekend in November to the middle or end of December. To participate, this year, we got an "official" wreath at Branson Mill. We hung it on the loft, to add holiday cheer to the cabin.

Here is a closer look at the wreath.

Annette and Larry arrived last night by air in Springfield; I picked them up. They left for meetings in Illinois this morning, in the Honda Civic, but will return this weekend.

It was another very good day! ;-)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More Thoughts of Trees

With a couple of more weeks gone by, I'm coming back to preferring the Bradford Pear tree for our replacement, in the spring. The Red Maples are already clear of leaves. Here are the Bradford Pears in the neighborhood, three to the west, a little one to the west, and a big one to the south.

They are all just starting to turn red, the middle of November. I like that!

It was a very good day! ;-)