We are enjoying the back porch while it snows. It is not decorated for Christmas as much this year, just haven’t gotten things out. Maybe it is in the back of our mind that we leave on the 10th of January on an eleven day cruise. Whatever we get out will just have to be put up so soon. It is also another year I didn’t do cards. The world will not end! Usually the porch is where the Santa collection is displayed, this year the Snowmen have moved into their place. The new fire pit is making the porch nice and warm. It easily up the temp by ten degrees in about 10 minutes. Makes it toasty warm. Steve can really crank the flames up giving us heat and light. We, meaning us and Dee, usually go to what I call the Underground for dinner on Wednesday night. It …
The week started off with a Christmas program at Sam’s school. This first picture was taken at the first concert of the year. This concert was the 7th grade band, 8th grade strings and the choir. Each performed three songs and all did the final song. All were wonderful but we thought Sam’s did the best!! This is the whole band. The school has a great music program. On Friday we attended Sam’s competitive showcase. This is the dance group she travels with and is in addition to her regular dance classes. Can you find her in this group? A very talented group of kids, who put in a lot of work to make their performance perfect. Their production number was outstanding, hoping they win a lot of awards this year! Saturday morning Sprint hosted “Cookies with Santa.” They had lots of Christmas decorated donuts, cookies, hot chocolate, apple cider, …
50 years ago on December 1, 1969, Steve huddled around the TV in his dorm at Western Kentucky University as the first draft lottery since 1942 got under way.  He had just turned 21 three days before and was in his junior year.  Within minutes, the relative peace he enjoyed as a college student shattered before his eyes. This is how the lottery worked; each day of the year was printed on a piece of paper. These pieces of paper, representing each potential draftee’s birthday, were placed in blue plastic capsules. Then all 366 capsules (one for each day of the year, including leap years) were placed in a large glass jar. As millions watched on TV or listened on radio, the capsules were drawn from the jar, one by one, The first data drawn was assigned a draft number of “one”; the next date drawn received received draft number …
On Wednesday, the 27th, the kids were here to celebrated Steve’s 71st birthday with cake and presents. Since Derek had to work, birthday cake was sent home for him to enjoy later. On Thursday, while the Shetlar’s visited with his family, we cooked food for Friday. Papa peeled 10 lbs of potatoes; Steve did some food prep and made a new recipe of cookies; Samantha made cookies from her class at school; Kristie made mashed potatoes and stuffing while I worked on other veggies. Afterwards we had a small Thanksgiving dinner for five. Friday, with the entire family together, Holan prepared deviled egg and corn casserole while Steve prepared sweet potatoes. Kristie was in charge of cooking okra and warming the other foods. I was on dish duty. Papa was on rest duty, but did help with the clean up after dinner. We sat down for our family dinner. Of …
Last winter we started talking about changing up the living room by getting a new TV and doing away with the cabinet that surrounded the TV plus all the “stuff” over the cabinet. It was just talk, just couldn’t make that commitment at that time. Finally a couple of weeks ago, Steve started checking the prices of 75 inch Samsung TVs and found some good prices. A trip to Nebraska Furniture started the search for the TV and recliners. While comparing the TVs, it became clear that it wouldn’t cost that much more to put up an 82 inch Samsung Q60. And it was not that much bigger to go larger. On a trip to the PX, we found the same 82 Q60 Samsung from Nebraska to be $400 cheaper and we didn’t have to pay sales tax. Next thing was would it fit in the van . . . …
It was the Saturday before Halloween and time for our annual pumpkin painting. Chili, veggies, cheeses, crackers, grapes and Winking Owl Wine, from Aldi, with a side of chocolate twinkies were enjoyed before the painting started. It was time to get the pumpkins and paints out, but a bottle of wine was almost empty. Dee got very serious about getting the last drop out of the bottle. Derek decided he was going to do his pumpkin the old fashion way and started removing the seeds. Sam wanted to get started right away and took to opening the paints. Note Steve and Steve sitting in the background. As Sam started with her paints, Derek started his carving. Kristie finally gets to start on her pumpkin after doing some photography. I wanted to paint something that would carry to Thanksgiving. Looking at this picture now, it looks like the top I am …
Traveling by SkyTrain gave us panoramic views of the city. The train mostly ran on elevated tracks, at other times we were underground, We arrived at the Waterfront station, exited the Skytrain, and were confused as to which direction to go. A lady was kind of enough to tell us the door to go out, then to take a left when we got outside. As we approach the turnstiles, we realized we needed our tickets to get out of the terminal. This was the first time we had ever used a ticket to leave a subway, train station or airport. Our tickets were found after digging into pockets and bags. After walking for a few minutes, we had doubts we were going in the right direction. A food cart vendor confirmed we were going correctly, just walk a few more blocks, take a right on ??? street and look for …
It was 4:15 a.m. and Rick was right on time to take us to the airport for a 6:05 flight. As we prepared to land in Denver, we were greeted by the sun rising. After a very short wait, we boarded our plane to Vancouver and was treated to a new snack. It was very tasty and decided we needed to order some when we got home. After arriving at the hotel and storing our luggage, we found a Tim Horton just around the corner for some food. Tim Hortons is a Canadian restaurant chain known for its coffee, doughnuts and connection to Canada’s national identity. As we ate our breakfast sandwiches, we were approached by a homeless man requesting food. It seems that there are over 600 homeless living on the streets of Vancouver and over 1600 living in shelters, detox centers, safe houses and hospitals, with no fixed …
Our visit to the Shetlar family lake house on Pomme de Terre Lake included an outing to Lead Mine. It was a 30 to 40 minute drive back into the Missouri country side. The community is located about 3.5 miles east of Tunas on Missouri Route E and approximately 50 miles north-northeast of Springfield, The Lead Mine community is made up of 50 to 60 Old Order Mennonite families. These Mennonites left Lancaster, Penn., in 1969 and settled in Missouri because land was cheaper. Most people thing they are Amish but they are members of Stauffer Mennonite Church. It is a small conservative sector with similarities to the Amish. Most Mennonite are more modern than this group and use electricity. First we stopped at the produce auction. Mennonites are known worldwide for their farming practices and in the summer, many families sell their produce. We wanted to purchase some of …
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