01 Apr 2010 09:55 pm


One of my best friends is a great hunter.


My Dad is such a card. He posted the “wives” photos on our family website several years ago.


An April Fools Joke.


Of course, my Mother is Daddy’s one and only wife.


A funny picture of my cousins.

I pull a prank on my husband almost every April Fools Day by putting pickle juice in his Diet Dr. Pepper. I hadn’t done it in several years but today just seemed the right time to do it. I waited until he left the room and had my little cup of bread and butter pickle juice ready. I poured it into his can of Diet Dr. Pepper and waited.

He came back into the room and started telling me about Google changing its name to Topeka as an April Fools joke. I thought to myself, he knows what today is. He will never fall for my April Fools prank. I kept waiting but he didn’t take a sip. Pretty soon he decided to go fix supper. Yes, I am lucky, my husband likes to cook.

He came back into the room and sat down with supper and pretty soon he drank his Diet Dr. Pepper. I heard a “Yuck.” He ran down stairs and got another can of Diet Dr. Pepper to clean his palate and as always, laughed about being fooled again.

I’m just waiting to see what kind of prank he plays on me.

30 Mar 2010 10:11 am


Making the strawberries cry

Spring Break is over. And not one blog post. I didn’t really travel except for a day trip to Tulsa to see Sesame Street Live and the Tulsa Aquarium with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. Mainly I cooked….and cooked….and cooked.


And I enjoyed it.

There’s nothing like feeling like cooking, cleaning and being with family. I didn’t realize how much last year took out of me until recently. It’s good to feel well enough to mop a floor and run up and down the stairs, delivering laundry to the rooms.

Health is important to happiness.

When I was a little girl I loved Ice Cream. Vanilla Ice Cream with chocolate syrup was my favorite. I remember sitting at the kitchen table, eating my ice cream and waiting for my mother to turn her back. When she did, I would stir my ice cream with the chocolate syrup until it was soupy. Then I would try to speak in my mother’s voice and say, “Take your medicine.” Savoring the taste of that ice cream flavored “medicine” came next.

Back when I was little, medicine wasn’t specially flavored for children and neither were vitamins. I remember choking down some kind of liquid pink medicine that gagged me. It tasted like a mixture of eggs and bubble gum. I think my mother called it sulfa.

Swallowing pills was also a problem for me.

So, when I stirred my ice cream into soup it was really my idea of great medicine.


Our family doctor, F.E. Shearer delivered my brothers and sister and me into the world, a world much different than today. My mother told me that my birth cost one hundred dollars. Fifty dollars for the hospital and fifty dollars for the doctor. Of course, this was before President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Congress passed Medicare.

I remember Dr. Shearer well. He looked like the doctor in Norman Rockwell’s painting and he was a kindly, patient man.

Dr. Shearer doctored my brothers and sister and me through broken arms, tularemia, measles, mumps, chicken pox, spider bites, and stomach upsets. Dr. Shearer was my doctor until I married and took off to my life as an Army wife.

Army medical care was a shock from the start. We spent more time waiting to see a doctor than standing in commissary lines. We were never assigned to a specific doctor so any “follow-up care” would find us with a doctor we had never seen before.

Most military hospitals in the states lacked a sufficient amount of doctors and when I discovered that we could go to a civilian doctor I took advantage for the sake of my children. Champus covered eighty percent of the care and I was able to submit our doctor bills directly to them for reimbursement.

Champus was a good system but it was altered and reduced during the Clinton administration. Tricare was in its early phases.

We were living near Washington D.C. at the time when a school nurse reported to us that our daughter might have scoliosis. Because of the changes in Champus we could no longer go to a civilian doctor so we had to take her to Walter Reed for her routine scoliosis check. She was sent down for an x ray. As she was putting on the robe I heard the x ray technician complaining that he had been on leave and was rusty at taking x rays.

Later, when we saw the doctor he had a pretty grim look on his face. He asked my daughter if she had tied a knot in the belt of her robe when she had the x ray and she answered yes. He showed us the x ray and there appeared to be a tumor on her spine.

The good doctor reasoned that the x ray must have been faulty but just in case, he wanted to send my daughter for some more tests.

What followed were two more months of gripping anxiety as she was scheduled for a bone scan and an MRI. The waiting for the results was agonizing for me. But it turned out, the tests ruled out a tumor. In addition, she didn’t have scoliosis.

I had always heard that Walter Reed was a great hospital. It serves the greatest people in the world and although my daughter’s doctor was a concerned, thorough doctor, the hospital lacked the resources and training that was needed to serve active duty military, much less dependents.

Another incident in early 2000 was horrifying to me. My husband and I were stationed in Germany and he came down with a kidney stone. He was sent to Landstuhl but they lacked the facilities to handle large kidney stones. Hospital officials made arrangements to medivac him to Walter Reed.

I was not allowed to accompany him because of lack of funding.

A procedure to blast the stone was unsuccessful so it had to be surgically removed. After the surgery my husband woke up in the hospital corridor. The hospital was so crowded that he had no room.

I was not surprised when in 2007 The Washington Post revealed the disgusting conditions wounded soldiers had to endure at Walter Reed. The left went wild in their hatred of all things Bush, even though the over crowding and lack of resources had existed for many years. In fact, it was during the Clinton years with the cuts in the military that the conditions at Walter Reed and other military medical facilities began to erode.

The thing is, kids, this is what we have to look forward to, now that socialized medicine has passed.

Obamacare will bring us bureaucrats, red tape, more graft, incompetent medical technicians, over crowding, lack of resources, lack of doctors, dirty hospitals, more taxes and wealth redistribution.

The military has already seen it and endured it.

We’ve been there and done that.

The transformation of America that Obama envisions is not healthy change.

I miss Dr. Shearer.

19 Feb 2010 01:09 pm


My great grandfather and his horse and buggy. His horse was named Bob.

No worries back then about sudden acceleration or loss of steering.

Oh wait.

A sting by a bee or a wasp could have done some damage and caused a great deal of acceleration.

As much as I love horses I don’t want to go back to the horse and buggy, nor do I want to ride a bicycle everywhere.

I love cars.

I really do.

Cars with power. Cars that are large enough to protect my family. Cars that are reliable and comfortable.

The only foreign car I have ever owned was a Volkswagon van and I didn’t love it.

I have never been a Toyota customer, I don’t like teeny little cars and can’t stand the name of one of it’s most well known vehicles, the “Camry.” Who came up with that whiny name? In fact, I’ve always had a problem with the names of Toyota’s cars.

But that’s the least of the car maker’s problems.

The Toyota company is knee deep in recalls and invitations to testify before congress. I find this news article suspect, however.

I have to wonder if the Obama administration might be going after Toyota for political reasons.

In Japan, some Toyota executives have privately questioned whether the U.S. government’s majority ownership of GM has colored the Toyota investigation. GM is Toyota’s largest competitor, both in the U.S. and overseas. One senior Japanese auto executive in the U.S. described the probe as “60% political,” and asked whether federal regulators were “trying to help GM by vilifying Toyota.”

Recall Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood’s outrageous statement telling Toyota owners not to drive their cars.

Will Americans one day be driving a government prescribed car, except for the very elite?

I love my 2009 Pontiac Vibe. It’s sad that after 2010, there will be no more Pontiacs.

17 Feb 2010 04:14 pm


Dr. Amy Bishop shot her brother, Seth dead when she was twenty one years old, went on to graduate from college, marry, have children and get a doctorate at Harvard.

A great deal of achievement there but bodies of people left in her wake.

An attack over a booster seat at an IHOP. Bishop was questioned in an attempted mail bombing investigation.

A UAH professor told the Chronicle of Higher Education today that he became concerned about Amy Bishop’s mental health “about five minutes after I met her.”

The professor, who asked not to be named out of concern for his safety, told the Chronicle he “expressed his opinion that Ms. Bishop was ‘crazy’” during a meeting of the tenure review committee.

His remark made it back to Bishop, and she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging gender discrimination. The professor’s remark was going to be used as possible evidence in that case.

Bishop is related to the acclaimed novelist, John Irving.

Amy Bishop, who is accused of killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama and who penned novels in her spare time, is related to famed novelist John Irving.

Bishop is the second cousin of Irving, a New York-based publicist for the author confirmed today. Irving is writing a novel and declined to comment about his relationship with Bishop’s family, except to say he is a cousin of Judith Bishop, who is Amy’s mother, said the publicist Anne Tate, who works for Random House in New York.

Bishop used her relationship to Irving and her PHD from Harvard to try to impress members of the Ipswich book club.

The Boston Globe has obtained a draft of Bishop’s unpublished novel.

Acquaintances of Bishop,a Harvard-trained neurobiologist said she was a regular member of the Hamilton Writer’s Group in the late 1990s when she lived in Ipswich and saw writing as her ticket out of academia.

Was Bishop an academic fraud?

Did she try to “cheat her way to tenure?” Evidence presented in this article suggests she most certainly did.

Evidence strongly suggests that Dr. Bishop used her husband, her family and by all appearances the sham ‘Cherokee Labsystems’ to fabricate a record of recent accomplishments. Her use of essentially an online vanity publisher further diminishes her professional stature.

It should have been no surprise to Dr. Bishop that the University easily saw through the smoke and mirrors and that she would not receive tenure. But an oversized ego can be blinding.

It seems clear that Dr. Bishop re-wrote the rules for herself. Rather than face the reality that she needed to conduct real research and publish substantial, scholarly work in peer reviewed journals, Dr. Bishop tried to cheat her way to tenure. And, when that failed, it appears Dr. Bishop premeditated a new plan: if you don’t accept what I publish, you will perish.

There has been very little mention in the press about Bishop’s political leanings but there is this:

A family source said Bishop, a mother of four children - the youngest a third-grade boy - was a far-left political extremist who was “obsessed” with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.

09 Jan 2010 03:08 pm


Yesterday, if he had lived, Elvis Presley would have been seventy five years old. I was a child in the fifties and grew up with Jailhouse Rock ringing in my ears. My Dad had all of Elvis’ records and when he played them on the hi-fi I made him dance with me. My cousin Jeanne (on the right in the photo above) was five years older than me and the perfect age for Elvis fever. And Jeanne had the fever, big time.


When Elvis was drafted into the Army in March 1958 he got his ears lowered at the Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Reception Center, which is near my hometown. My Uncle Max took my cousin, Jeanne out to Chaffee so she could have a closer look at Elvis. The barbershop where Elvis got his GI styling is now a museum.

Jeanne remained an Elvis fan and saw him in concert in Kansas City sometime in the mid seventies. By that time, he had bulked up but his voice was still rich. Jeanne and her husband, Junior had taken a tape recorder into the concert and still have that treasured audio tape of Elvis.

When I was nine years old our family made a pilgrimage to Elvis’ home, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. I remember writing my name with a pencil on the Great Wall of Graceland surrounding the home and worrying that the pencil writing wouldn’t last. We were allowed onto the grounds and my Dad had his movie camera at hand but he was so excited to be at Graceland that all the movie footage he took was upside down. Later, when we watched the movie, our necks ached from holding our heads cocked in order to see it.

I remember gathering acorns from the estate while my Dad talked to a man who claimed to be Elvis’ Uncle. People still write their names on Elvis’ wall.


Elvis is still King of the South so it matters not that the North is bereft of hero musicians and California still suffers under the Michael Jackson regime.

Elvis still lives in the memory of those who love his music. In 1995 a friend and fellow teacher, Jan Honeycutt, sought to convince area leaders and officials that the old Fort Chaffee reception center (and barbershop) should be restored and made into a museum. She had discovered that building 803 was slated to be demolished after Fort Chaffee was to be closed in 1997.

Jan and her students began to lobby local officials to save the reception center and barbershop. They began to raise funds for the restoration. After over a decade of work, in August of 2008, the dream came true. The old Reception Center, where thousands of GI’s were processed on their way into the Army is now housing three museums, The Elvis Presley Barbershop, The Vietnam Veterans Museum, and a Doll Museum. The Chaffee Museum is on Twitter.

Happy Birthday Elvis. We miss you.

26 Nov 2009 07:54 pm


Just like it was in the time of the pilgrims and the native Americans, in order to get a turkey, one had to go hunting for it. Then, they had to prepare it and bake it.

This photo, found in my grandmother’s trunk, is of my great Uncle Clint and the turkey he shot for turkey dinner.

25 Nov 2009 07:10 pm

Here is the Thanksgiving menu for the battleship, the U.S.S. Minnesota in 1907. My great great Uncle Fred T. Whitmarsh served on it and I found it in my grandmother’s trunk.



Click on the photo to read the menu.

Just checked in for the first time today and see that I have been linked to by the mighty Instapundit.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

02 Nov 2009 08:23 am


At least for a few moments.

31 Oct 2009 08:55 am


I carved the Jack-O-Lantern last night.

Tonight the spooks will reign.

21 Oct 2009 07:30 am


Children need love, discipline, guidance and most of all, mothers and fathers who are models of maturity. In some news stories recently, parents have fallen far short of that goal, nor do they seem to aspire to it.

Take the Heene family for one.

Consider the exploitation of the Gosselin children by their own parents, Jon and Kate.

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