Thursday, November 24, 2005

Julia - we miss you!

thanksgiving memories

Come, ye thankful people, come.
Raise a song of harvest home.

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies:

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Driving to El Dorado...

Whit finished her scarf on the drive down...

as we enjoyed a beautiful day,

... beauties of nature ...
and happy faces to welcome us.

Everyone had to get in the kitchen ...

... and everyone did a little to help.

Pop tells about the package he sent to Thailand ...

... and everyone is interested to hear what he sent.

Then we give our thanks to God and eat!

Roast Turkey
Dressing & Gravy
Cranberry Relish
Creamed Corn
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Dinner Rolls & Butter
Iced Tea
Sweet Potato Pie
Apple Pie
Egg Custard Pie
Strawberry Cake
Glazed Pecans

MMMMMMmmmm. Yum.

And just for your entertainment:

fleur de lis and Richard IV

Julia, I love you more than apple pie ...


trip to Fayetteville

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Monday, November 14, 2005

Marine Band, Clinton Library, Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday

I am welcoming the changes in the weather - cooler and some rain over the last few days. We had a busy weekend. Did some knitting. Dad washed the cars and worked in the yard, and took a bike ride. I made some beef burgundy on Saturday. Visited with the old folks and enjoyed some of the pulled pork and barbecued ribs Pop cooked and sent home with us. Went to hear the President’s Own Marine Band on Saturday night. Toured the Clinton Library early Sunday morning before church. Then went to church morning and evening.

Chihuly Crystal Tree of Light at the Clinton Library [photo above].

The Clinton Presidential Center is gearing up for the 1st anniversary of its opening. The landscaping has been considerably improved since last year. Multitudes of trees now occupy the former bare lawn. This was my 1st visit inside the library. I simply refuse to pay to take the tour, but I had a chance to go for free. I could say more about that, but I will resist.

I always dread this time of year, and cling to the joys of October and then Thanksgiving as long as possible. A feeling of doom and negativity falls heavily on me about this time each year. Starts about Halloween and usually continues until after Christmas. Then – POOF! – it’s over. As suddenly as it came. This year it arrived a little later. I could feel it creeping up last week, but I kept shaking it off. Then it hit me hard last night. Honestly, I hate Christmas. But I don’t know if I get sad because of the season, or if I have learned to dread Christmas because I know the mood it casts on for me. I don’t know. I really don’t. Maybe it’s because the control freaks are out in force.

Life becomes so surreal and artificial this time of year. Everyone’s priorities become skewed and distorted. Honestly, is there anyone (except retailers) who does not complain about the “crass commercialism” and “materialism” in our society?

There have been many years I did not decorate for the holidays – even when my children were small. Of course they always got gifts and I did lots of cooking, but I really tried to focus on the family time and making memories around the people and being together – not the STUFF.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

i don't know why i didn't become a botanist

This shrub appears most ordinary BUT
it has a secret.

You notice the tiny flowers?
They are quite dainty and understated. In fact, you have to make a point of stopping and actually parting the limbs to even notice them.

So what’s the secret?


If you pass the shrub – even a block away. Out for a walk or even a drive, you will be dazzled by the fragrance. Not pungent or cloying. Not overpowering like gardenia, or penetrating like wisteria. Just light and pleasant. Almost like vanilla, but ever so delicate and feminine. It is a mystery to me why it can’t be bottled or extracted. It is a fragrance that would be fit for the most elegant queen.

It is Osmanthus fragrans or sweet olive and it is what I imagine heaven must smell like!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

confused vegetation

This Japanese maple outside my window is just one example of the strange fall we are having. Many of the trees and shrubs that normally bloom in spring have come into bloom. Look closely and you may be able to see the abundant fallen leaves on the ground (in the background) as well as colored leaves on this tree with new growth. This photo was taken this morning.

And two favorite views in Fayetteville:
Ole Main & Confederate Cemetery

Trees have been late in turning, but it looks like we will have some color in the next week or two. And here it is, almost TG day. I remember about 3 years ago we did not get the first frost until the day before TG. We may break that record this year, as it was 61 when I woke up this morning. A fine day for a noon drive in my little red car.

The F'ville photos were taken on October 22.

Friday, November 04, 2005

quote of the day

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.

J.M. Barrie, novelist and playwright (1860-1937)

(sort of a continuation of yesterday's thoughts)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

... when her body became her enemy ...

… and she could no longer do the things she enjoyed …

I attended a funeral yesterday for an old friend of the family. During the eulogy the speaker referred to happy, fun-filled, active and younger days. A life well-lived, in service to many, a teacher who touched many lives and bore children, and lived to see her great-grand-children.

But there came a day when she could no longer do things for herself. What a privilege it is to be able to work and to be productive. To have a sense of satisfaction in work well-done, and to make a contribution in a world larger than ourselves. To be able to make an impact – even if only a small one.

As the procession of cars weaved through the narrow streets of a small south Arkansas town and then moved out to the wide open country spaces, I was reassured to observe almost every car pull off the road and stop. Perhaps this is no longer common in larger cities. But we are too busy if we cannot take that few moments to assess our own purpose and direction, and to consider our own mortality. Not a pleasant thought –– but an important one – to take a brief break and reflect as the funeral procession crosses our path.

I feel like I am constantly at war with my body. There are so many things I want to accomplish, and at the end of each day I’m so tired and I am rarely able to check off even half the things on my to-do list. I have this moment. I will use it – not waste it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

(weird) things happen

Well, I took my cute little new red convertible in for it’s 1st routine maintenance yesterday. About 2 hours later the clerk came to the waiting room and asked to speak to me in private.

Hmm. This is unusual.

“We are going to have to put you in a loaner for a couple of days. We need to do some extra work on your car … we, um, well, uh, … dropped a piece of angle iron on the hood.


“May I have a few moments alone with her before I leave?” So I took the picture (with my Palm camera). The color does not show well - but there it is. The damage is minor, but WAAAAAAAA!