Category Archives: Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Thanksgiving 2020

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It’s Thanksgiving Day!! What a year it has been for everybody. Global pandemics, political and racial upheaval, a plunging economy. Things have been really weird all year. Personally I dealt with all that plus I retired in June. We and I have lots to be thankful for. I love being retired for one. The political upheaval seems to be resolving itself here in the USA. Hopefully we will make progress on our racial issues as well. That will be a long process rather than an event. Me and my family have our health. You sure can’t take that for granted. The main thing I am grateful for is my brother, Bob’s continuing recovery from his illness.

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A little over a year ago he was stricken with viral encephalitis.

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This man who has completed about four dozen marathons and over one hundred half marathons lost his ability to even walk. The past year, despite some setbacks he is making progress. He can walk a little ways with a walker now but he is determined that he is going to enter a race again. It won’t be a marathon and he’ll probably walk instead of run but I think he is going to do it.

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So during his ordeal which included two acute care hospitals, two long term acute care hospital, and a long term care facility I have met some of the army of health care workers in our country.

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Everybody from doctors of all types, nurses, nursing aides, speech, physical, respiratory and occupational therapists to the people who clean the rooms, bring the food, and some of the sitters that sat with him early on. They were all awesome going above and beyond expectations to make sure that Bob got great care.

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Yep, they are all heroes, and right in the middle of Bob’s ordeal the pandemic hit and yet they continued to take care of Bob. My hat goes off to them and am deeply appreciative of what they do.

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So this photo is from a couple years ago. Last year Bob and I had our Thanksgiving meal together in a hospital in Memphis. This year, he is in Tulsa but at a Long Term Care facility where they are shut down because of the pandemic so we’ll talk to him today but we won’t be able to share a meal with him. Hopefully, next Thanksgiving he’ll be with us again. He and I talk every day plus I have been able to be with him on some of his doctor’s appointments lately.

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My prayer is that you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.

Skywatch Friday

Special Addendum – Thanksgiving 2020

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So today Logan, Heather, and Nana (the world’s greatest MIL) sat down to eat for Thanksgiving.

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A little bit closer look at the food. I smoked the chickens. They were huge! Like small turkeys.

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Logan again and Abby the wonderdog

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My beautiful bride, Heather.

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And Nana, the world’s great MIL.

Skywatch – The Gloaming

I was out in the woods on Turkey Mountain the other day when it started getting dark. The sun was going down fast. I love the word “Gloaming.” An old English word with roots back to the Middle Ages. I love how people say “The Gloaming.”

Another word for the same time of day is Eventide. An even older English word from before the 12th century. It has a kind of churchy spiritual aura around it.

Whatever you call the time of day, I love being out in the woods when night comes.

Come check out Skywatch Friday with me and a bunch of other bloggers.

Hello Autumn!

Finally got cooler weather. Time for a pinion fire and adult beverages on the patio.

My Tiki enjoyed the company.

My brother had surgery early this week. Because he lives in a long term care facility under lockdown I had not seen him since March. So the upside of his surgery was that I got to spend many hours with him in his room. That was nice but it got cut short. Tulsa is running out of hospital rooms because of our Governor’s refusal to address the pandemic so brother got kicked out a couple days early. He’s in good hands though, the place he lives has skilled nursing facility so he’ll spend some time there recovering.

In the meantime the Tulsa area is having some great Fall colors on display. I love it.

I did another geocaching Adventure Labs outing, this one at Tulsa’s Gathering Place park. I thought I had been over square inch of it and knew all there was about the park. Turned out I was wrong, I found out several things I didn’t know before. I had the whole place to myself.

For example this is the Reading Tree. It was the first attraction at the park and Reading Partners sponsored readings there for thousands of kids before the park opened. One of the challenges for the Adventure Lab was to find out what corporation sponsored the physical facility. That was a problem because they were asking people to please stay off the grass. I didn’t want to be “that guy” who thought the request didn’t apply to him so I called the park office and asked them and they told me. Don’t tell anybody I cheated though, okay? I’m not going to say just in case you want to do the Adventure Labs outing.

So we finished the floors at our house and are waiting on the painters to start next week. We have been shopping for new light fixtures. In my new office I am going to get rid of the ceiling fan and put in just a light fixture. What do you think of these?

So after my brother got booted out of the hospital I was a little blue since I don’t know when I am going to see him again so I went on a walk on Turkey Mountain. That always cheers me up. I am working on a geocaching type thing for Black Friday on the mountain. The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition is sponsoring it in an effort to get people into nature. Anyway I got about 12 to 14 temporary caches that we will be planting along a trail. More on that later.

So I’ve had a busy week, how about you? I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

Skywatch Friday – The Moon and More

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This was the Halloween Full Moon. A blue moon because it was the second full moon of the the month. I love full moons. Did you have any trick or treaters. We didn’t on purpose because of the pandemic. We shut out lights off. Felt strange but we did it. There were still lots of kids out and about Halloweek Night.

I’ve been going back and forth a little bit when taking the kid to and from his university. I always try and and jump off the interstate for short segments on Route 66. It’s been years since I have done that. I found this bank in Chandler, Oklahoma that had all these old signs in their parking lot. I love stuff like this.

All sorts of signs scattered here, there, and everywhere. Sign me up!!

Near the town of Davenport I came across these pumpjacks. These are not used to pump oil. They are on gas wells and the wells produce so much water that if it wasn’t pumped off it wouldn’t allow the gas to produce. It’s called a Hunton dewatering project. Hunton is the name of the formation.

Across the road from the pumpjacks was a cemetery where I went geocaching. It was getting late in the day and I loved this view of the fence and the trees. I love cemeteries.

I found this gravestone. I loved this, God bless Jimmie Clark. He sounds like a great guy. Just what I needed during this election vote counting and pandemic angst going on.

What are doing to keep your sanity during these trying times?

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Skywatch Friday – Trees and Skies

We are lucky here in northeast Oklahoma. Central and western Oklahoma had a devastating ice storm this past few days. Lots of trees and powerlines down. Our son is in a small college in that area and he is dealing with being out of power for the first time in his life. Here in Tulsa we just had cold rain. Lots of it!!

Before that happened though we had overcast skies. Sometimes you have to go with the sky you have. The tree above looks to me like dancing tree with lots of lacey arms.

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Here’s another dancing tree. Not quite as extravagant as the first tree.

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And here is just plain overcast sky in kind of a layer cake composition.

I’m still hanging out at the house with flooring contractors. They guys are really good and are such true craftsman but I am ready for them to go to their next job so we can start to put our house back together. Of course, next Monday we got painters coming!! Fun, fun, fun.

I hope that you have a great weekend. I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

Skywatch Friday –

December 2019

I don’t have very many new Skywatch Photos this week. I have been baby sitting contractors in our house for over a week now on our new floors. I think they are a trustworthy crew for sure but things come up from time to time where a decision needs to be made and its just best if either Heather or I are there to talk it over with the guys. So the photo above is from last year when I was still running in the evening on the RiverParks trails here in Tulsa. I am retired this year so I don’t go running at night any longer. I can go run during the day. The photos are not near as good though.

I have an engineer friend who is in North Dakota right now working. He snaps pretty good photos but he is not on the internet at all except as a lurker. So he texts me photos and and edit them. This is a drilling rig at sunrise. You can tell it’s pretty much winter already in North Dakota. I think winter starts on July 5th up there and ends on the following July 3rd. Not too many rigs running up there right now.

Here’s another photo from Josh. These rigs are not drilling, they are “stacked” in the drilling contractor’s yard waiting for energy prices to go up. (And they will).

Black Lives Matter Mural - Tulsa, Oklahoma

Switching gears, I was able to get out of the house briefly yesterday. I went up to Tulsa’s Greenwood area and snapped a photo of Tulsa’s new “Black Lives Matter” mural. We had a mural painted on a street this past summer. I think a lot of people would like to have kept it but it became hard for the city because other people said they wanted to have their own street murals as well. The city put out a call for organizations to take over the street so the city could deed it to them but nobody wanted to so the city removed the mural. This new mural is a commissioned work on private property so its all good.

I think the way things work in Tulsa, eventually there will be another street mural and it will all be done legally and without liability to the city.

Switch gears again on you. We got some of the floor down. It’s like a 3rd generation laminate and the pieces lock together tight. It’s very laborious to install but it should last a good long time.

And one of those things that came up with the flooring guys. They told us about some wood rot underneath or big window. So we got to fix it. Not a big job but an important one. We hired a guy we’ve known since he was about six or seven years old. He is a contractor now. He works on everything from movie sets to our little job. Very precise, very careful and does neat work. It’s amazing watching kids grow up to be great adults.

Hey everybody, be safe and have a great weekend!

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – RiverParks Trails

We’ve been pretty busy getting ready for a house refresh, new floors, paint, and a few other things. Wednesday afternoon I had some time so I headed over to Tulsa’s RiverParks trails for some walking and geoaching. It is staying warm but the trees are starting to change color.

I went looking for a gadget geocache. A geocache that may be easy to find but difficult or tricky to open up and sign the paper log. If you don’t sign the log, then just spotting it doesn’t count for anything. This is one where I figured out the secret.

I figured it out and went walking to another one. It was really pretty.

Here is a view across the Arkansas River to Turkey Mountain. I spend a lot of time there.

Anyway, I had a great time on the river today.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – October is Here!

We have a pretty good vantage of the sky at our home. Here it is looking west. No need sometimes to drive places for Skywatch photos.

And here is a netted sky at one of those fancy multi level golf driving ranges. Never been although it sounds like fun.

This is a sculpture of a bison that I photographed at a low angle through the glass. It is called Guardians of the Plains and is on the turnpike in Sapulpa, just west of Tulsa.

This is a short video of a geocache hunt at a car museum in Tulsa. That is supposed to be a huge gasoline pump.

One day recently we had the swirly winds and funny clouds indicative of atmospheric disturbances which in Oklahoma means tornadoes. We didn’t have tornadoes. I used the Hyperspektiv app to kind of give an idea of the atmosphere.

I went out for a bike ride the other day. One of the best days of the year, sunny and cool, about 68F and hardly any wind. It was perfect. About ten minutes after this photo was taken I had a head on collision with another bicyclist who veered right into me. Luckily I had seen that he was a little jittery and had put on the brakes and tried to go to the right to avoid him but he panicked at the last second steered right into me.

We both ended up on the ground, I hit my head pretty hard on the pavement but I was wearing my helmet. The other guy landed on a guard rail with his ribs and was in bad shape and his bike was all mangled. Several people stopped to help and we went to a nearby parking lot. A buddy of his came and got him and his bike and Heather came and got me. My bike is okay. People rib me about how heavy, old fashioned and slow it is but it suffered no damage at all that I can see. I am going to have my bicycle shop check it and my helmet out to ensure there is no damage.

I went to our Bone and Joint Urgent care and got some xrays and checked out by a doctor and prescribed some meds. I can’t drive or drink alcohol while on them. So I just have a sore back is all, and a gouge in my hip where my handlebars got torqued into me when the guy hit my wheel. I hope the other guy is okay. He was hurting when he left the scene.

So if you ride a bike, wear your helmet. I hit the ground pretty hard with my head and I didn’t have a concussion. The other guy was wearing his helmet as well. I am thankful also for all the people that stopped to stop and help us.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday – come check it out.

Skywatch – Standup Paddleboarding on Broken Bow Lake

Heather and I on our recent short getaway to southeast Oklahoma had a great combination of activity and rest. We spent a lot of time at the cabin reading but we also spent a lot of time hiking and one afternoon we rented a kayak and a paddleboard at Broken Bow Lake.

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The lake is also part of Beavers Bend State Park and we found a concession who is open on the weekend. I got the kayak and Heather got the paddle board. I can do paddle boards, I really can, kind of, but they are a lot of work. Kayaking is a lot easier. Heather loves paddle boards. She teaches a class in our gym’s pool where one stands on the boards and does things. I take the class but I am pretty shaky.

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The lake was beautiful and the day was gorgeous. A slight haze in the air. I was wondering if was from the horrendous fires in California, Oregon, and other places in the west.

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Being the weekend after Labor Day there were not that many people out on the lake. Seems like most of them were from Texas.

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Heather showing her chops with the paddle.

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And busting out some yoga moves for good measure.

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We were out for two hours. We went here, there, and everywhere.

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And then it was time to bring them in.

And of course I wore my Garmin watch to document the adventure. I mean it didn’t really happen if it wasn’t documented, right?

And then back to the cabin to chill. It was a great place to chill. We didn’t spend much times indoors. We spent most of the time on the deck with its sectional couch and the hot tub which I didn’t take a photo of for some reason. So if I didn’t take a picture of it, did it really exist?

I’m so thankful that we could take this little trip.

Anyway, we had a great time. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Go check it out.

Skywatch Friday – “Pops” on Route 66

We had our son with us for the Labor Day weekend. On the way from college to home, we jumped off the interstate and got on a short section of Route 66, “The Mother Road” just for a change. We stopped at Pops. A convenience store with several hundred kinds of soda and a cafe in Arcadia, Oklahoma just northeast of Oklahoma City.

They feature this gigantic soda bottle. The bottle has a geocache that I found years ago.

Logan got a triple cola something.

And I got this peach soda. I generally try and get a blackberry cream soda of some sort but we were trying to maintain social distancing and there were people paralyzed with indecision crowding around the cooler in one area so I moved to the Peach section. It was really good!!

Anyway we downed our sodas and were on our way.

We are traveling this week and so I won’t be spending as much time online as what I usually do so I apologize for not being able to comment on your blog like I usually do. The Skywatch Friday meme is set up and should be okay. There is a fourteen minute delay in the Linky’s clock compared to everybody else’s in the world. I don’t know what to do about it.

Anyway, come join the fun at Skywatch Friday