Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Therapy Night

I usually write in my journal in the morning when Milo and I return from our walk. This post is in the evening. 


First, something positive.  Things are coming together for New Year Eve's Progressive dinner / party.  The cocktails, as I mentioned, begin at 6PM at our house.  We have the bar that will handle the whole neighborhood.  Our house is 5500 square feet, which is large enough to hold two separate parties.

For several years, we had the New Years Party at the school house.  The last one we had there was 1999-2000.  What a great location to bring in the new millennium.  There is one small, tiny issue to be dealt with at the school house.  The only bathrooms are the two out-houses up the hill, behind the building.  Did I say, small, tiny issue? 

I'm not worried about people drinking and driving.  Our Sunshine neighbors are not in the habit of doing something that stupid.  Besides, the next house is close enough to walk. (Unless you are afraid of the mountain lion.  Chris, the mayor, will handle it.  He told me he found his rifle. See the November 22 entry.)

My real concern - - - I'm worried about my Mother-in-Law (MIL).  If you have been reading my journal, you have picked up that she has cancer.  She has undergone 5 Chemo treatments and has dealt quite well with them.  That is until this last one.  It breaks my heart to see someone go through what she is going through.  We talked to her about having the neighbors over and she encouraged us to do so.  Tomorrow she goes in for a CT scan to see what the Chemo has done to the cancer.  I hope and pray (and I've been doing a lot of that) that she is showing improvement.  I can not tell you how much I pray for her.  I am the one who is home all day, every day, trying my best to make sure she is comfortable.   The house is big enough for her to go to her room and not know there is another soul in the house.  She wants us to entertain.  I want her to be comfortable.

OK, thanks for reading. (((Hug your love ones))), be thankful for each day and pray.

2 Timothy 2:15  It's one of my favorites.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dog Breath hehe


Milo, as a 6 week old puppy and his sisters.

A friend of mine and I were discussing one of life's little mysteries - Where does a dog keep finding rancid fish to eat every day?  That is the only way I can imagine that his breath smells as bad as it does.  He provided us with some entertainment the other day.  My youngest son, Michael put one of his peanut butter sandwiches on the coffee table.  Milo helped himself.  I can not describe what the poor dog went through.  It must have taken him 20 minutes to rid himself of the peanut butter on the roof of his mouth, AND his tail wagged the whole time.  Milo is a real lover and is friendly to all.  He lets us know when the bear is near.  He does like to chase rabbits, squirrels and foxes, although he has never caught one. He knows the deer are off limits. I hope he never finds a skunk.

Since I retired, I have been doing a lot of reading.  In fact when I'm not fishing, skiing, drinking wine with the neighbors or walking with Milo,  I read.  My brother gave me David McCullough's 1776 and Michael gave me Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton for Christmas.  I've already started 1776.  I really enjoy history.



Monday, December 26, 2005

A Sunshine New Year Party


A Sunshine Progressive Dinner Party

Saturday, December 31, 2005

6:00 - 9:00 Cocktails & Hor' d'oeuvre's at David and Janice's (the bar's open)

9:00 - 11:00 Dinner at Steve & Dee's

11:00 - 1:00 Desserts and Champagne at Steve and Lisa's. (the hot tub is open, suits optional)

The festivities start at 6PM.  The first driveway past the schoolhouse. 



As always in the past, you are welcome to bring your favorite drink, snacks, side dish and a dessert.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Holiday greetings to some friends


I imagine this will be winding down here in J-Land for a few days.  I wanted to wish all of my new friends a very Merry Christmas.  I wish I could give everyone an individual Christmas message but it's impossible to speak what is in my heart to all.  There are some I would like to say a special "Hello" to that I know read my journal.

Deb, Thank you for "bringing me out of the woodwork", as Jackie put it.  I pray for your healing.  Your Turtle card has been ordered.  Sometimes it takes them a while.  AYAT?

Jackie, for your kind words, thank you.  I hope you don't have to work in the ER on Christmas eve.

Dad, we have so much in common.  I've worked in a grocery store the early part of my life and I love horticulture.  With my Tennessee roots, who knows, we might be related.  Without you, I would have never started my journal.  A web search in early Sept. for "gardens" took me to your site.

To my Maryland friends. We have a lot of history between us.  Although time passes, friendships stay.  Remember "never criticize, condemn or complain"?  We learned it together.

To my special friend, somewhere in Louisiana.  You showed me how to laugh at my boss.  A lesson I will never forget.  You became one of my closest friends.  I miss our daily phone calls and our joke of the day.  Your garden is beautiful.

Dr. Shields in Oxford.  You are missed in Sunshine.  I write about what we are doing, hoping you will return for a visit.  Someday soon, God willing, I will make it to England to visit your University.  Every glass of wine I drink, I share with you.  There is a LOT of snow in Steamboat Springs waiting for us.

Sharon, I hope your cable Internet is up soon.  I look for your missive every day.

Betty, Stay warm in Billings.  Thanks for visiting my journal and leaving comments.

Kara, My oldest son was born in Tucson.  I think of Arizona every winter, in fact, all winter!  Enjoy this time of life.  The children grow up so fast.  I often wonder, "where are my little boys?"

Darla, thanks for leaving your comments.  As with all the journal authors, I enjoy your post.

Best Holiday wishes to all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NASA and Santa



I just received this from Bruce Buckingham at NASA.

Your Tax dollars at work!


NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida has come to an agreement with the North Pole to permit Santa Claus and his reindeer exclusive use of the Shuttle Landing Facility on Christmas Eve.

The jolly fellow plans to use the runway as a rest stop on his global gift-delivery run. Since Kennedy employees have never seen Santa during his past visits, they'll closely watch the runway in hopes of catching a glimpse of him this year.

This is not the first time the agency has opened one of its most recognizable facilities for outside use. Kennedy recently agreed to allow two civilian businesses to use the shuttle's runway and its facilities, as part of a pilot program to expand runway access for non-NASA activities.

During Santa's brief stop at Kennedy on Christmas Eve, he hopes to take an up-close look at the facilities that will help return humans back to the moon and eventually on to Mars.

"Santa has often said he envies NASA's beyond-Earth-orbit journeys,"

said Ima Elf, lead engineer in Santa's workshop. "He prefers traveling with his reindeer, but Santa has great interest in NASA's space vehicles. He can't wait for humans to be stationed on the moon so he can make his first legitimate visit there. He has his own Vision for Space Exploration and hopes to have an annex shop on the lunar North Pole in the future."

For more information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Winter Solstice


Milo and I were greeted with this sunrise as we left for our walk this morning.  It is looking southeast (Duh).  The cold, cold weather has broken and it is nice enough to walk for a half an hour without freezing!  Bob stopped the school bus and handed Milo a treat.  I handed Bob a bag of cookies.  (You will never guess where I acquired them!)  All the kids in the school bus waved as they drove off.  You could sense the excitement of the upcoming Christmas vacation.

I have been waiting for this day for months.  The days finally start getting longer.  Sounds like a good reason for a party.  Wouldn't you know it, one of the Sunshine neighbors will be hosting a Solstice party tomorrow evening.  David owns a company that makes Mead, a honey beer.  He is from the same community I lived in when I lived in Maryland.  Let's hear it for Owings Mills, Maryland! Sounds like another good excuse for a party!


Monday, December 19, 2005

Milos Christmas gift to you


While Milo and I were out on our morning walk, I asked him what he wanted to give all of the J-land buddies for Christmas.  We decided this picture of the Sunshine School house would be nice.  It was a cold 11 degrees.  Milo sends his Christmas Greetings to all!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas 1953...The first time I saw the real Santa


This is the picture my father put on our family Christmas card 1953.  I remember waking up hearing the sound of sleigh bells.  My mother knitted the Christmas stockings for the three boys.  Mom kept them until she died.  I still hang mine by the chimney, in her memory.

The house is full of the smell of Christmas cookies.  This afternoon the Sunshine ladies are meeting for their annual cookie exchange.  The guys are NOT invited.  That's OK because a huge plate of mixed cookies will return home!  Mary is hosting the party this year.  2PM, mountain time.  The cookies will be home about 5.   Yum, Yum!

Deb's birthday party was a lot of fun.  Atrie played the piano and we sang Christmas carols.  3 of the 5 band (Blowtorch Hillbillys) members were there and expected to harmonize.  Now that was something to see.  hehehehe  There must have been at least 50 people in attendance.

CBS Sunday Morning had an interesting segment by Ben Stein.  It touched on the "Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas" issue.  Way to go Ben! 

Saturday, December 17, 2005

More things going on in Sunshine


Holiday Greetings once more.  Tonight is Deb's 50th birthday party.  It looks like the whole neighborhood will be there.  Deb isn't letting the fact that the big five-o has arrived bother her.  She ran in the Chicago marathon and will take on the Boston marathon next. 

It's 9 degrees and snowing.  I'm thankful that we haven't had too much snow.  I sometimes have to deal with the snow plow driving by and blocking my driveway with a pile of snow.  That event always happens just after I have cleared the driveway (One of Murphy's laws).

Last night's wine tasting was quite a bit of fun.  There were about twenty of the neighbors in attendance.   Melissa had a table set up with three Pinot's in bags.  One was from California, one from Oregon and one from Burgundy.  We were to try to guess which one was from the respective country.  Only three people made the correct choice.  The dining room table had ten other Pinot's for us to taste.  One of the wines my uncle sent me was chosen as the best.  Oh yes, I'm glad we live close enough to walk home.

Keep smiling and "alway look on the bright side of life."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Caroling through J-Land


Hey, this is fun!  I love meeting new friends (J-Land buddies)  Thanks for stopping by.  I'll let Milo know you were here.

 My favorite Christmas song is "Caroling, Caroling" by Nat King Cole.


To participate: 

1) Make an entry titled "Caroling Through J-Land" with these same instructions so others can play along.

2) Visit as many journals as you can and look for their entry titled "Caroling Through J-Land". Leave the title of your favorite carol, along with your name and link to your journal for other carolers.

3) Spread the word so we all can meet new friends and spread some Christmas cheer!

4) Caroling ends this Sunday night at midnight to give everyone plenty of time to make the rounds.

Happy Caroling and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Morning walk


It's far to cold to go for our walk this morning.  The cold isn't to bad but the wind chased me inside to the treadmill.  Milo doesn't mind.  He follows me anywhere I go.

Tomorrow (Friday) I will be attending a wine tasting party.  Jan and I have joined four other couples for a once a month wine tasting.  We started last summer and have tasted only whites.  Tomorrow we are going to do Pinot Noir and cheese.  My uncle owns a wine shop in Portland, OR and has been kind enough to send me three bottles of Oregon wine.  I can't wait!  If you note, I said "I" am attending.  Jan has her staff party tomorrow evening.  Hopefully she will be finished in time to join us.  When I told my band buddy, Steve, that I was going alone he responded, Ah ha.....Stag....time for some Hai Karate and bling, bling!  Had me laughing!



Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tagged by Sharon



Sharon was nice enough to tag me.

Name 10 things that make you happy and want to dance (in no particular order)  Then you have to tag 5 people to do the same.

1.  My Wife

2. My boys (both of them)

3. A working car with a full tank of gas.

4.  Hot apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream dripping down the side.

5.  Good music of any genre.

6.  Giving a smile and receiving one in return.

7.  Skiing in the spring.

8. Walking Milo, our dog.

9. Conversing with a long lost friend.

10. Fishing in Wyoming.

You are tagged: 






Sorry if you have been tagged before.  My known number of J-buddies is small.



Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Morning


Yesterday was Don and Marty's Christmas tree cutting party.  They always have a big turn out and still have plenty of trees left over.

I love quiet Sunday mornings.  I'm usually the first one out of bed, fix myself a hot cup of English Breakfast tea and nestle in to watch "CBS Sunday Morning".  I've watched it almost without interruption since it's inception in the early 80's  It's not an hour and a half of bad news.  They cover many very interesting topics.  By the time the show is over, I hear others stirring around the house.  I put on some quiet jazz and move into the kitchen and start a pot of coffee. 

After breakfast, Milo and I head off for our morning walk.  I don't usually stop and put the flag up on the weekend.  Exceptions would be any national holidays that would fall on a Saturday or Sunday.  I usually have to grab Milo's lease on the weekends.  Because we are walking later in the day, there are several other walking.  One group (there are usually 4-6) has their dogs with them.  Milo is not a mean dog but he is still very young (21months) and loves to "play".  He is also very large.  I don't want to cause any hard feeling with the neighbors so the lease go on if there are others around. "Others"....sounds like "LOST' doesn't it.

A group of us are talking about holding our church services at the school house.

Just a quick not on Audie.  She finished her fourth chemo session on Thursday and is feeling much better today.  We are still waiting for all of her hair to fall out. We will have no idea what the cancer is doing until sometime in January.  Thanks for all of your prayers.

Congratulations to Deb.  I hope to have the process of receiving her "Turtle" card in the mail this week.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Are you a Turtle?



The Turtle Creed

Turtles are bright eyed, bushy tailed, fearless and unafraid folk with a fighter pilot attitude.  They think clean, have fun a lot, and recognize the fact that you never get any place in life without you stick your neck out.

The "Turtles" are indeed an illustrious group and include in their membership ranks some of the country's foremost leaders in the fields of government, finance, entertainment, aerospace and all other areas where aggressiveness, a feeling of fair play, clean thoughts and a sense of humor are keys to success.

So.......Are you a Turtle?

There is really only one correct answer to that question.  Might I suggest you visit for a hint.

Also is the homepage.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Coldest day of the far


WOW.....It's cold in Sunshine.  Minus eight (-8) by my outdoor thermometer (low was -18.4).  When it snows, I make sure that I get up early.  I have plenty of tasks to get the family out the door and on their way to school and work.  I usually sweep or shovel the walk out to the cars, start the car(s) and then sweep the snow from the top of them.  Sometimes I have to scrape the frost off the windows.   Oh..... to have a garage again.

It's cold outside. cold is it?

The snow "crunches" when you walk on it (it actually squeaked today).

My ski jacket sounded like Christmas wrapping paper when it moved.

The dogs only stayed outside ten minutes

The sun rose over the eastern horizon with a red glow telling Milo, Malcom and I that, although cold, it is still a beautiful day.  I like to say that "everyday is a good day, some are just better than others".  As Dad Says, SMILE!

Monday, December 5, 2005

Burrr No Morning walk today


A gracious good day to you.  It is SIX degrees outside with wind gusts of sixty miles an hour.  The wood burning stove is working very well and we are warm and cozy inside.  Milo doesn't seem to care about the outdoor tempature.  When I opened the door, he did his usually romp, looking for someone to play with.  He stayed outside for half an hour before he wanted to come in and eat breakfast.

Yesterday afternoon we dug out all of the Christmas decorations.  It was a great day for any task that can be complete indoors.  We put on the Christmas music and heated up the hot chocolate.  My wife, Janice and I had single adult lives before we were married.  We each brought our own Christmas decorations into the marriage.  The decorations have merged nicely but Janice likes to decorate the tree.  So do I.  So while sharing a bottle of wine, we decorate two trees, one upstairs and one downstairs.  It works out well.  I have the lights on both trees on a timer.  Usually one of the boys turns the lights on for the first time.  The boys are getting older and this year, the job of lighting the tree was mine.  The house is very festive.  Somehow, a couple of presents have magically appeared under the upstairs tree.

Stay warm, smile and, as we say in the fire department, BE SAFE!

Sunday, December 4, 2005

A smile

I know these have been around awhile.  My friend, Terrell sent them to me this morning and I thought I'd share.  I thought of Dad when I saw the word SMILE.  I need a smile today.  It' noon, 19 degrees, windy and snowing!  A good day to stay inside next to the wood burning stove and read a good book.  Today it is "Doc Susie, MD"  a story about a woman doctor in the early 1900's in the Colorado Rockies.

You can't read this and stay in a bad mood!

Have a nice day!

1. How Do You Catch a Unique Rabbit?
Unique Up On It.

2. How Do You Catch a Tame Rabbit?
Tame Way, Unique Up On It.

3. How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest?
They Take The Psycho Path.

4. How Do You Get Holy Water?
You Boil The Hell Out Of It.

5. What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall?

6. What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too Long?

7. What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn't work?
A Stick.

8. What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours?
Nacho Cheese.

9. What Do You Call Santa's Helpers?
Subordinate Clauses.

10. What Do You Call Four Bullfighters In Quicksand?
Quattro Sinko.

11. What Do You Get From a Pampered Cow?
Spoiled Milk.

12. What Do You Get When You Cross a Snowman With a Vampire?

13.. What Lies At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches?
A Nervous Wreck.

14. What's The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup?
Anyone Can Roast Beef.

15. Where Do You Find a Dog With No Legs?
Right Where You Left Him.

16. Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils?
Because They Have Big Fingers.

17. Why Don't Blind People Like To Sky Dive?
Because It Scares The Dog.

18. What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic?

19. Why Did Pilgrims' Pants Always Fall Down?
Because They Wore Their Belt Buckle On Their Hat.

20. What's The Difference Between a Bad Golfer And a Bad Skydiver?
A Bad Golfer Goes Whack, Dang!
A Bad Skydiver Goes Dang! Whack.

Now, admit it. At least one of these made you smile

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Morning walk

I call this my morning walk because I usually write it in the morning, after Milo and I return from our walk.  This morning my wife joined us!  Aren't Saturdays wonderful!

The neighborhood party at Frank and Madeline's was a huge success.  They had it catered with appetizers, cocktails, beer, wine, soda, PRIME RIB and deserts. The hillbillies played and had a few neighborhood members stand in with the band. There were about 60 people in attendance.  Our new neighbors from Ireland were there.  Frank and Madeline's house is nestled back in the woods with a beautiful lighted flagstone walk leading up to their front door.  As the party was ending and folks were starting to leave, it started to snow.  It was a beautiful ending to an otherwise perfect evening.

The next organized Sunshine event will be the News Years Eve party.

We moved the two smallest fire trucks into the new firehouse.  We are going to wait for the new pavement to "cure" a little more before we move the new fire truck full of water.  There is a picture of the beautiful new truck on my Sept 19th entry.