Monday, September 25, 2017


A couple of weeks ago I posted about Gayle's Beau Jack's son and his wife evacuating from their home in Key West as Hurricane Irma was bearing down.

(You can re-visit that post here if you missed it or are so inclined.)

They've been sheltering here in Arizona since then but they left very early this morning to return to their home, which apparently survived the storm with only some tree damage on their property.

So yesterday was brunch day and here they all are.

(left to right): Jeremy, Jack's oldest son; Marina, a native of Venezuela and Jeremy's wife; Gayle, the fabulous BRD; and her bearded Beau Jack.

Not a bad looking lot, eh?

Incidentally, Gayle has had eye surgery recently and her dark glasses were worn all day to cover up the (temporary) damage.

I'm not sure if the others were wearing shades with her as a joke or if it was really protection from the sun glare on a beautiful day in Arizona.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


The following short essay, titled "On School", was written in the 1850's by a young Elvira Johnson when she was a school girl at Dublin Academy in Dublin, Indiana.

It was found among some family papers.

I have only made two correctional additions (in parentheses) to Ms. Johnson's text.

We could not spend our time in a more useful way than going to school.  There are many coloured children that are deprived of the privilege of going to school because they are of a different colour.  The colour ought not to make any difference but it does make a great difference with some people.  It is not always that we have the opportunity of going to school therefore we should (be) very attentive.  If we do not improve (in) our time in school while young, in old age we will look back with regret and think "were I to have this life to live over again how different I would spend my time in school."  There are some children that do not go to school with the intention of learning but with the intention of having a little fun.  They do not yet know the necessity of education.

Elvira Johnson was my wife's great-great-grandmother.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Ah yes, Gentle Readers, once again we have maneuvered our way through another difficult week.

It is also the event known as the Autumnal Equinox, or more familiarly as The First Day of Fall.

So let's get out there and kick some leaves.

Raking can wait awhile.

But first a little humor (or humour, depending on where you reside.)

I think that last one is my favorite this week.

What's yours?

Now listen, folks, it is up to you to have a scrumptious weekend, full of feasting, frivolity and laughter.

Above all, always keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .


Thursday, September 21, 2017


It wasn't too long ago, perhaps a week, that we were complaining about the long-lasting hot summer.

Temperatures were still climbing into the 80's every day here in the Central Highlands of Arizona even as the Autumnal Equinox was bearing down on us.

It's tomorrow at just after 4 p.m., by the way, that Fall officially begins.

One day, returning from a grocery trip, I spotted this downpouring of rain.

It struck me as odd, appearing to be white whereas a downpour like this is usually a darker coloration.

Apparently it was sunlight shining through the water.

You can see the hills behind it have sunlight on them.

And then, a few days later, there was this sudden storm.

Rain was pounding down and for a short time there was also some hail.

That's not snow surrounding the birdbath.

Our front door is metal and the hail sounded like it was going to knock the house down for a short time.

Evidence was left just outside the entrance.

And then it passed and the sun began beaming down again, eliminating all the signs of a late summer storm and making steam arise from the land.

But today the wind is blowing briskly outside and the past few days and nights have been cooler.

Just in time for Autumn.

Bring on those jack-o-lanterns!

(A home decorated for Halloween on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Prescott a few years ago)

Monday, September 18, 2017


SWMBO and I have two cats.

(Okay, let me put that a different way.)

Two cats have SWMBO and I.

As keepers.

As feeders.

As affectionate petters.

These two cats have been together since each of them were foundling kittens.

You'd think they would love each other.

And I think they do.

But Blackwell, the male, the younger of the two, lies in wait for Muggles, the female, the older but more fragile of the two, to go anywhere.

To eat.

To defecate.

And then he chases her back to her spot on the M's bed.

She (SWMBO) yells at him.

To no effect.

I say "he just wants to play."

To even less effect.

But other times of the day, they are inches apart, sleeping, the best of friends.

Who can figure out cats?

Friday, September 15, 2017

L'humour du vendredi (or the Friday Funnies)

I thought I'd try to bring a touch of class to the title of this blog post this week but I dunno.

Maybe I should just stick to The Old Familiar.

At any rate, Gentle Readers, the temperature only just climbed into the 70's as of 9 a.m. so I guess autumn is upon us.

Today's edition of the Funnies may answer the question: what is the best way to be photographed posing next to a statue.

Or not.

Here goes . . .

Several of the posers favored a violent confrontation.

While Political Correctness seems to be the law of the land these days, it was refreshing for this old codger to see that there are still some sassy females around.

I give a Hat's Off to all these inventive models.

What was your favorite?

Now if you're laughing already, that's a great way to start an inspiring and perhaps slightly salty weekend.

Keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Well, I must say I expected you Gentle Readers to say nice things about the beautiful women in the family I married into.

And of course notice was given of the handsome great-grandson (thanks, John Gray).

But I was taken aback by Jager's comment about my Stanley (North Dakota) genes.

How, you might ask, could an upstanding young man (never mind that nickname: Cougar) turn . . . in a few short years into this dissipated wreck of a human.

Part of the transformation may be attributed to that cursed affinity he developed for the fumes of rubber cement.

But wait!

The story takes a turn and, in spite of the drinks on the table, he produces a pretty darned good looking son.

Here's a slightly better (and earlier in time) picture of the Terrible Twosome.

Allow me to introduce my son, Scott, handsome like his proud papa.

So those genes weren't so bad after all, were they Jager!

One more picture, for Montana Mike (aka Should Fish More) who made a snarky comment referencing my dandy legs.

(And, of course, for Val, who also likes the pictures of me in my short shorts.)

In TV days, not dressed for the camera, but slaving away over a hot typewriter.

Gentle Readers, enjoy!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


This is a picture of our gorgeous granddaughter, Lesly, and her son, Donovan, goofing recently up where they live in Colorado.

I can take no credit for the looks on this branch of our family.

But to see where it came from, take a look at these two pictures of the grandmother (and great-grandmother of Donovan).

This is the legendary SWMBO.


I married into a family with lots of beauty.

(Lucky me.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


I know, I know, I haven't been blogging much lately, other than posting the dubious Friday Funnies.

Well, that's something, isn't it?

Okay, update.

Judy, aka SWMBO, is making great progress in her recovery from her femur fracture in mid June.

She's still using the walker but she said the other evening to me "I have had several instances lately where I suddenly found myself a couple of steps away from the walker with no other support."

She made the mistake of mentioning that to her PT guy today and he said "Thursday bring your cane."


But her mood is good, most of the time, and I think she's looking at each of these developments, small as they may seem to the rest of us, as challenges to surmount.

And surmount them she shall.

After the hurricane . . .

The BRD's Beau Jack has a son who has lived in Key West for years and he and his lady evacuated a couple of days before Irma blasted across the keys maybe 25 or 30 miles from their home.

They came to Arizona to take temporary refuge with Jack and Gayle and have been anxiously scanning the internet trying to find out how their home fared.

From what they could tell today it looks like their house escaped wind damage.

Next is to find out about water.

So this terrible tragedy has come closer to home for us.

Some tidbits . . .

A very good friend who suffered a fall recently learned that she fractured a couple of vertebrae in her spine, is wearing a brace and is not-too-patiently waiting to meet with a neurosurgeon.

But she'll be okay . . she's only 85.

Another friend, Lori who lives Down the Street from our previous home, emailed that she had made a quiche and a pumpkin pie this morning.

Nothing, she said, spells autumn like quiche and pumpkin pie.

And our weather is about to break, with high temperatures dropping into the 70's later this week.


I'm doing fine.

First check of my new Pacemaker tomorrow.

The photos were taken from my front and back yards this evening.

I like the last one.

Friday, September 8, 2017


It is a little difficult to be cheerful as this weekend approaches, Gentle Readers.

Southeast Texas is struggling to pull itself out from under the disaster that was Hurricane Harvey.

The Caribbean has been devastated by Hurricane Irma, which is now headed for Florida, and Hurricane Jose is following right behind.

And last night the largest earthquake to hit Mexico in a century shook Chiapas, Oaxaca and even Mexico City with many people lost and severe damage in some areas.

So all in all while it may be hard to smile, my job is to try to lighten the mood somewhat so let us make an effort.

Like many of you, no doubt, I've got water on my mind this Friday so that will be our theme.

And . . . for good measure . . .

To all of the folks in the paths of hurricanes or earthquakes, be smart and stay safe this weekend and laugh when you can.

I'm thinking about you.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .