Tag Archives: Family

Our World – Hiking Oxley Nature Center

Sunday the weather was great, sunny and kind of cool but not warm so the family decided to go hiking at Oxley Nature Center. We headed up there to their North Woods Unit and there was like eight or so cars parked there where usually there is none and no more than two in all the years we went there. We went hiking anyway! What are we going to do, go mall walking?

There was like three groups with dogs, on a trail where no dogs are allowed. One of those groups was smoking marijuana as they went along. And then they stopped about 100 yards ahead of us and all urinated together. What!!! Yes, you heard me.

So they got to a fork in the trail and went one way and we went the other. We still had a good time but all the dogs and barking and such meant no deer anywhere close. We had a good time though.

I found this tornado damaged tree that looked somewhat like a bird. Does that count as wildlife?

And at this nice idyllic scene about 30 seconds I took this photo with my phone there were a couple pelicans paddling around. I had brought my good camera with a long lens. I got it out and found out that the white balance, shutter speed, and iso was all wrong. I don’t do auto of stubborness any more and by the time I got all that squared away the pelicans left!!!

And now for your chance to laugh at me. (You might as well everybody else does.) Here is our family selfie from the trip. We were facing the sun to get the good light on our faces but I couldn’t see the screen so I wasn’t really sure what we had.

Well this we had. Talk about fail. Oh well, I smile at myself when I look at it.

Do you ever smile at yourself?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – Happy Thanksgiving

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Yep I doctored this up plenty with Topaz Studio and no, I am not ashamed to admit it.

For Thanksgving I offer up for Skywatch Friday this photo from my office building showing the sun setting and the Arkansas river as it comes into Tulsa from the northwest. From now until daylight savings time starts I’ll be taking a photo almost every day. It is not from my office any longer. I am with a gas company and we used to have a marketing and trading company so I walk over to the big open area that used to be trade floor with the huge window looking west. So I go to a window that faces north and point my camera to the northwest. I do that to avoid the reflection of the camera in the window. After 17 years of taken photos of the same scene I have learned a few tricks.

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Technically, not the best picture in the world, and not in focus. But if you know me you know I don’t care about that. I care about the personality that shines through.

Sometimes we have a big Thanksgiving and sometimes we have a small Thanksgiving. This year it is small. These two, Heather and Nana (the world’s best MIL)  are the ones that stir the drink, and cook the food, decorate, and keep things going.

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Brother Bob is coming in from Tennessee, his new home. The critters love Bob, he is so patient with them.

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And of course Logan. The cat whisperer, just ask our new kitten Lizzy who adores him.

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One of my favorite pictures of Dad. From several years ago. It has sparkle in his eye.

We’ll miss my Dad who passed away a few months ago. He flew down from Idaho for years to spend Thanksgiving with us and had not been able to for a few years now. He loved northeast Oklahoma and we went on a lot of adventures in the area. Right up to the last he was interested in the what was going on around him and current affairs and history and a very wry and dry sense of humor. He is my hero. I am thankful for the time that I had with him.

So we will enjoy each other’s company on Thanksgiving, eat some food, and figure out who the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions are losing to this year.

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Yep, Oklahoma is built on a slope that goes from left to right. Deal with it. From Holmes “Peak” as my family and friends in the mountain states bust a gut laughing.

For Black Friday, I got an email from Post Oak Lodge, a resort in the Osage Hills northwest of Tulsa. They are opening up their extensive trail network to the public on Friday. So I am taking brother Bob and Logan there for the day! Bob is a big runnier but hasn’t done too many trails and Logan is a trooper so I plan on spending a couple hours tromping up and down the trails of Post Oak Lodge. They host some awesome trail races, featuring the “Hill from Hell.” Here is a race report from one of the recent ones.I don’t plan on buying a thing on black friday!!

I wish you and yours a Great Thanksgiving Day.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Emily and Libby get Hitched

This past weekend we ventured to Oklahoma City with the world’s greatest MIL, Nana, to attend the wedding of our sweet friends and family, Libby and Emily above. No they didn’t get married in a swimming pool!! This is from earlier.

It was a classy affair. Instead of a guest book they had this thing. You signed a little wooden heart and put it in a slot at the top. Being the classy guy I am, I not only signed it, I went ahead and put a Dallas Cowboys star next to my name. Not that they are Cowboys fans, but they should be!!! Right!!?? I don’t see my name. Some Eagles fan probably took it out.

The wedding party was very attractive. I stole this pic from Cheri Lou’s facebook.  She is probably going to sue me for doing that. So I need you to contribute to my legal defense fund. Just send me your credit card number including that four digit supernumber that unlocks all sorts of good things and your billing address. I anticipate ongoing needs so dont’ be cheap with me.

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And this is a Yogi original photo. I mean what is up with this group of people, they are ll over the place. Look at them. That is Sweetie on the left, then Nana, then Cheri Lou, and behind her is her husband, Sweetie’s cousin, Joe, and the kid in the back is Logan. Quite a group wouldn’t you say, and the bar isn’t even open. This is my photo but Cheri Lou is probably going to sue over this picture as well. So double up on the legal defense fund. And Sweetie is going to dump me so I need an extra donation for that also.  And you will never guess it from this photo, but  The BAR WAS NOT EVEN OPEN yet!! Yep, they are all stone cold sober.

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And here is me with the kid and Heather aka Sweetie. Doesn’t she have a sweet smile?

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And here is Nana and bored grandson.

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And here is the cake, You can tell the bar still isn’t open.

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Things are looking up though. Heather and I found a shuffleboard table. We do shuffleboard!! We courted playing shuffleboard. That is our thing. We also found a cooler. At least I did.

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More selfies, you can tell the bar isn’t open yet!!

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After the ceremony, the bar opened!! And Sweetie danced. She loves line dancing. I can’t do it.

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Logan wouldn’t dance with his Mom, (this is awkward he said). But he cut a rug with his Aunt Cheri Lou.

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And next thing I knew, Heather is leading the Conga line. Why not?

Yep, Emily and Libby got hitched and it was a heck of a party.

Life’s a Beach – In the Air, on the Ground, and in the Water

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Heather and Logan went on their parasailing adventure the other day. I didn’t go, the pics were taken by a boat hand.

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Up

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And then way up there!

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Before coming down for a little shark dip, and then the credit card went though and they went up again.

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While they were up there, I went to the beautiful Gulf State Park’s Backwoods Trail.

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And found some geocaches. No snakes, no bug bites (thanks DEET), but a few thorn scratches.

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Heather and I have taken several long beach walks along the Gulf underneath everchanging skies.

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And I have been crushing beers in the surf. That is what us guys do, we crush our beers. We have found some decent beer here finally. Alabama is a bigger beer wasteland than Oklahoma.

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And I found me a friend at the fishing pier at Gulf Shores. I’m not much of birdwatcher except for the big ones like this Brown Pelican.

Today, we are going on a Segway nature tour of the Gulf State Park. I’ll give you a report later.

Life’s a Beach – Birthday Edition

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Logan started his birthday on the beach, reading.

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It ended up raining and so the planned parasailing got put off for another day. We ended up doing a little shopping and running errands and such.

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He wanted dinner at Shipp’s Harbor, a nice restaurant that we all loved.

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It is in a marina. I love marinas. Looking at the different kinds of boats and seeing if I can tell which ones get used and which ones never get taken out.

We went to see a movie, “The Fate of the Furious”, part of the Fast and Furious franchise. It had some great scenes filmed in Havana with old cars and such. It also had a luscious Charlize Theron as a bad girl trying to steal nuclear launch codes. She commandeers a bunch of cars to go into driverless mode to attack the convoy that has the launch codes. Great scene.

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We also had birthday cake of course.

And so a great day was had by all.

Easter at Nana’s House

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This is Nana, the world’s great MIL. We had Easter dinner at her house this year.

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And this is Nana’s daughter, my wife.

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And Logan, the kid, the big kid.

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We had quite the spread. You can tell we are really heavy drinkers.

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And after dinner, while everybody else is working I am snooping around. These are Heather’s cowboy boots from she was just a toddler. Her grandfather had a ranch you see. No matter, if you live in Oklahoma you have cowboy boots even if you hardly know what a horse looks like. Next the boots is a photo of our son Logan on a horse.

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And this is Nana’s mother’s Easter hat. Nana wouldn’t model it for me. When I was a kid, all the women had Easter hats, and gloves, and white shoes. The little girls had little muffs and me and my brother Bob had bow ties.

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Yep that’s us, rocking the bow ties. Better than muffs but still torture. In case you were wondering, I’m the good looking guy.

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Back to Nana’s mother. These are her Iris’s that Nana transplanted from the family home in western Oklahoma. I love these flowers.

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And this is Nana’s father’s saddle and hat. I love this old family stuff.

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And here is our family photograph. We hope you had a great Easter with family and friends because we sure did.

Somebody is Having a Birthday!

Heather with cake and Birthday Angel

She is holding the Birthday Angel!

Yep, Heather is having a birthday.

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She doesn’t stand still too long, she is often on the go and usually ahead of me.

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Oh what does she have up her sleeve now?

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I try to keep her and mother separated to minimize the mischief.

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Oh, yeah, and she can cook too.

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She flies high

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And can sneak in under the radar!

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Happy Birthday Heather, I love you!! Have a great day!!

My Life in the Service by Matthew Maloney

My Life in the Service

My Life in the Service is the story of my Uncle Matt, a pharmacist from Idaho who served his country in the Army during World War II. He kept a diary during that time and the book is a transcription of his diary. I did some of it, my Dad did the rest and the husband of my cousin in California made it into a book (and I think that he did a great job). I think I first started transcribing the book in middle 1980’s and the book just came out in print just recentlly.

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Most of the entries were very brief and reflected a life in the Army of hurry up and wait, endless inspections, the waxing an waning of military discipline. He was a pharmacist, not an infantryman so he dispensed medicine and was always in the rear echelon. Still he sailed on a troop ship (the USS Susan B. Anthony which sunk by a mine in the English Channel during the invasion of Normany – no lives were lost) from New York to Algiers in 1943 and then while on land experienced air raids. (Nowhere in the book does he describe his life being in danger).

He spent time not only in north Africa but Italy and France. He seemed like he had a lot of free time. He and his buddies were always catching rides to go visit cities and see the sites. He tried to climb up Pompei but it was erupting and raining down hot stones on him and he retreated. He visited Naples, Rome, and various cities in France. He ate great dinners, drank a lot of beer, went to dances and the opera.

He took a lot of pictures, many of which are in the book. He took pictures of his buddies, German and Italian prisoners, the Eiffel Tower, cathedrals, mountains, meadows, and anything else that piqued his interest. Film was hard to get in wartime so he used a lot of paper film and developed it himself. His curiosity about the world and his desire to sample as much of it as he could comes through in the book. His diary started when he went in the Army and ended when he got out, a period of July 7, 1942 to September 8,1945.

I remember Matt as one of the world’s great guys. He was a lifelong bachelor and was a partner in a pharmacy in Jackson, Wyoming from the 1940’s to his death in mid 1970’s. If you were a visitor to Jackson during this period you probably went to his store. It was Jackson Drug Company, right on the square in downtown. He lived in an apartment upstairs, right down the hall from the local draft board. Our family visited him quite a bit back then, back before the Jackson became a home for the beautiful people.

The local paper, the Tulsa World, has been featuring once a week or so survivors of the war and telling their stories. It has been a favorite part of the paper for me, reading the stories of these young men and women who entered the war with an attitude that they had a job to do. Uncle Matt’s experience reads similarly. A reflection of a different time in our country when attitudes were different.

Weekend Recap – Picture Taking

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Hey, can I have two posts for a weekend? No, well I’m going to do it anyway. During our family get together I brought my “good” camera and just snapped away. Everybody was pretty tolerant of me doing that.

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I like taking photos of buildings, and the woods, and trails, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico and the sky and strange things that you see here and there.

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But really people are my favorite subject. People are infinitely fascinating to me although nobody would ever call me a “people person.”

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I sometimes think you can read a person’s story in their face, especially the eyes. The eyes reveal a lot of character.

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And it is fun, especially when people will play along with you.

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How about you, do you like taking photos of people?

Labor Day Weekend

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Well I didn’t get any labor done this weekend. The yard needs mowed, the bills need paid, and a few other things need attending but we took it easy. We spent a lot of time at Nana’s house with relatives both in town and out of town. We all got a little sunburned but we had a good time. It’s great to reconnect with people and see what is happening with them. Plus I get to take lots of photos and use my bag of special effects on them if they irritate me.

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Me and the kid went on a little hike in the north Woods section of Oxley Nature Center. A beautiful area and I have only seen two other people on those trails in all the years I’ve been hiking them.

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The view from the back of the pack

Monday morning I ran a fairly small 5K put on a by a local church, the Run to the Son 5K. A great event that I loved more because I finished 3rd in my age group and got a medal (out of six if you must know).

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It was a Baptist Church that put it on and I violated my oath to never run in anything but beer runs. I’ve amended the rule to include great pancakes instead of beer. Flexibility is my middle name.

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