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.

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! ;-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanksgiving and Holly Berries

The sun was not out, but I took this photo of the cabin with Thanksgiving decorations today, just for the record. Also, below, is a close up of the Holly Berries!

Double-click on the Holly Berry photo to see all the red berries better... ;-)

It was a very good day! ;-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Return from Austin via Indian Nation Turnpike

Left Austin at 7:30 a.m.; got back to the cabin at 8:00 p.m. - little further, little longer.

Stopped for gas in Canton, Texas. Not much of a leaf change yet.

Second stop was in Glenpool, OK, just south of Tulsa... at the QT - many more colored leaves...

Nice to be home, after a great visit for Kaylee's birthday.

It was another very good day! ;-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Kid Pics

The kids were playing with a new quilt... that really wasn't supposed to be out yet... the best kind of toy, right!

Alex playing with Kaylee's birthday present, a lockset number set; note the Elmo tatoo, on him and on Kaylee as part of the party treats.

Cute photo of Ben and Kaylee with Elmo!

It was another very good day! ;-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kaylee's Second Birthday

Today is actually Kaylee's 2nd birthday, but we celebrated last evening. Arrion has already posted some photos on Facebook. Here, we will share some interesting views, perhaps alternative views, of the 'birthday' celebration.

We started with pizza from Little Ceasars.

Kaylee was the center of attention with her Elmo cake and balloons.

Here Kaylee is playing with the high chair for her doll that we got here, wearing a shirt we got her, using part of the tea set that grandma Rathsack got her. She loves her dolls.

Earlier in the day, we took Alex to Barnes and Noble to get a new Flat Stanley book.

It was a very good day! ;-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday in Austin - 7 Nov 09

Alex and Grandma were playing checkers last night when I had my camera out - couldn't help but record the event. They were down to three kings each.

Here is a neat photo that Arrion took of Kaylee. Tomorrow is her 2nd birthday!

It was another very good day! ;-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kaylee in motion

Took this photo of Kaylee... almost standing still.

Of the next several attempts to catch her, this was the best... Kaylee in motion... all the time!

Later on, she was playing with her dollies.... finally!

Is she cute, or what? ;-)

It was another very good day! ;-)

Alex off bus from kindergarten

We arrived in Austin while Alex was in kindergarten. Decided this was a great day to take some photos - 75 degrees and light breeze!

Here, Arrion is standing in the front of their housing complex, The Enclave, waiting for Alex to arrive from school on the bus. Just this year, he is being bused to and from Kiker Elementary, rather than going to Clayton, just across the street. What a wonderful world we live in! It is actually working quite well.

There were two moms waiting by the time the bus arrived.

Here comes Alex; had a bit of a tummy ache today, didn't eat enough of his lunch. His arrival was documented here, in any case!

It was another very good day - Kaylee came running saying "Grandpa!" when we first arrived. What more could I want! ;-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Trip to Austin via 412

We took a different route to Austin to see the grandkids this time... we keep trying different combinations. This time we went south on US 65, west on US 412 to Springdale, south via I 540 to Ft. Smith, west on I 40 to US 69, south to McAlester and caught the Indian Nation Turnpike and south to Paris and on to Athens, where we are staying tonight. In the morning, west on 31 to Waco and into Austin on I 35 and MoPac... Eight hours to here, about three to go... so, could have gone on in, but didn't want to disturb the kids bedtime routines.

West on US 412 from US 65 is four lane to Alpena. This is Alpena (just west of town they are digging around the road... hope improvements are coming!):

Just north of Fort Smith, is the town of Mountainburg, where a large Kinnick family (NC branch) has lived for many, many years. Here is the sign for their town.

We also stopped at the Oklahoma Welcome Center on I 40.

Pretty exciting trip!

It was another very good day! ;-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hollister new point of view

Three photos I took today, in Hollister, MO, of interest in the local area.

The new Peace Lutheran Church, off Hwy 165, from several ridges to the west:

College of the Ozarks from a direction rarely seen:

Late fall foliage:

It was another very good day! ;-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Official Halloween Photos from Austin

Here are the photos Arrion posted on Facebook; family above, of the grandkids on Halloween last Saturday night.

Here are the actual 2009 costumes:

Kaylee with her decorated pumpkin.

Another very good day! ;-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Geocaching from Hollister

Allison and I went out to Hennings State Park to attempt to repair one our Geocaches this afternoon. Forgot to take the camera. Couldn't find the cache, anyway, so will have to archive it.

Since this is the end of the cache, I thought I would share the photos from May 2004 when we originally put out the cache, in a great location. Annette went with me that day. Here she is at the overview, just above the Hennings Glade Cache.

Here I am, some distance away from the cache. Vegetation much more grown up now. "Glade" is a clearing in the woods, by the way!

Here I am closer up - gives nothing away, except it was in the "glade!"

It was a very good day! ;-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall in Hollister, Part 2

I wanted to share a couple more of the fall color photos I took the other day. These were before the last rain... most of these leaves are gone by now.

This one is looking south, from a high point in the subdivision. No sunshine.

This one is looking over toward the town of Hollister and the College of the Ozarks (left center). Cloudy again. I like the red maples in the middle, of course.

The sun had come out, just a bit, for this one.

This one is looking directly up into a red maple.

Nice to get a few good ones. They just make be feel good! Enjoyed another nice long walk around this circuit again today, but didn't take the camera. Perhaps another day. There is a real good view of the new Peace Lutheran Church, a couple of ridges to the east. Thought I might have had it in these photos, but not a good one. That's a good incentive to try again.

It was a very good day! ;-)