"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Friday, April 21, 2017

Siblings, 95 Years & Trees

1. Monday, April 10, 2017 was Siblings Day. This is a photo of me with my sister Kim and brother Tee. I chose one from a few years back. We look just as good now. 
I'm the oldest.
2. Dee’s Mom, Lucy, reached her 95th birthday on April 9th. Dee’s brother Pat and his wife Judy showed up as a surprise. We gathered the family at our home for the celebration. The next big birthday will be 5 years from now when we put a photo of her on the "Smucker's Jar."
Dee's brother Pat, her Mom, Lucy and Dee
3. I completed some French and Indian period Militia as part of my historical miniature collection. Just in case you missed it, view them here.

4. Stephen, Christina and the girls joined us for Easter Mass. It is always a joy to share our church community with family. Our friends all know Stephen's family and make them welcome every time they are at church. Thank you Lord.

5. We had some trees taken down this week. The tree service we used were excellent. The next phase is to eventually grow grass where the trees were. That will commence in the fall.

First 2 trees trimmed.
Trees Down
Trees, stumps & roots gone.
6. “April was just beginning, and after the warm spring day it turned cooler, slightly frosty, and a breath of spring could be felt in the soft, cold air. The road from the convent to town was sandy, they had to go at a walking pace; and on both sides of the carriage, in the bright, still moonlight, pilgrims trudged over the sand. And everyone was silent, deep in thought, everything around was welcoming, young, so near— the trees, the sky, even the moon—and one wanted to think it would always be so.” 

7. Van Morrison - Brown Eye Girl

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Surprise at Bates Creek

Donald Bates found a new creek northwest of his old fishing spot. There was no sign of anyone having walked the creek so he was confident that the fish would be more plentiful at this location.

The morning was better than he expected and by noon he had a large catch of fish. Pleased with his success, he sat back and finished the last bit of biscuit and dried meat. Donald was imagining himself presenting the fish to Mattie Bevan and hoping he would receive a kiss for his efforts.

Caught off guard, he was surprised when the small band of Hurons stepped out of the woods. For a brief moment everyone just stared at each other. Then Donald jumped up and ran. The Hurons had to find a place to cross which gave Donald the lead. Unfortunately he left his gear and fish on the bank. His only thought was to stay ahead of them and get to Briartun as fast as possible.


I just completed this small unit of Militia, which will represent a squad in the skirmish rules I play. (Buckskins and Rangers by Robin Empey of Battlefield Game Designs.) 

These figures represent some of the Briartun characters, with more on the painting table. The Hurons, and lonely Coureurs de Bois, are figures that I painted awhile back. All are Old Glory figures.

Issac Gantt and some Briartun Militia

The Hurons come out of the woods. Behind them is Armond Langevin, a Coureurs des Bois from Quebec.

Friday, April 7, 2017

NCAA, Dogwood & Triduum

1. Ponce de Leon discovered, what is now Florida, on April 2, 1513. He believed that somewhere on the peninsula was a water source that would provide eternal life for anyone who drank of it. Unfortunately he never found it.

2. I would have liked to see the Gonzaga Bulldogs win, but those North Carolina Tar Heels played an excellent game. Read the “Carolina Post Game Notes.”

3. Our Dogwood tree. It continues to bloom every spring.

4. Next week is the Easter Triduum. Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Dee and I attend all three Masses. It is a journey for me, not just a single moment. The washing of the feet is a humble experience which I have taken part in. On good Friday the Veneration of the Cross is a solemn reminder of the walk Jesus made. Then there is the celebration of the resurrection. God’s promise to us of everlasting life.  
5.  “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
6. We made it through the “tornado watch” this week. Thank you Lord and please watch over and help those who did not.
7. Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, Pancho and Lefty.

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Red, Mel's Diner & Bobby

1. I use to watch the “Red Skelton Show” with my Dad. Red was a terrific comedian and every week we laughed at the antics of Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader and Sheriff Deadeye. My favorite was Gertrude and Heathcliff. Red always made me feel like I was actually watching two seagulls talking. 

2. My son, Stephen, came over this week and helped cut down some large bushes. It was no  easy process and required his vehicle to pull out some of the roots. This is step one in a series of Spring jobs that Dee and I are planning. Next is to get some quotes on removing a few trees and grinding down about 6-9 stumps. I have already scheduled for quotes, so more details next week.

3. This is a photo, by Dee, of breakfast at Mel’s Diner in North Carolina. The food is excellent and the waitress, Ella, was efficient and entertaining.
Pam, Mary and Maureen on the left. Me, Tony, Paul and Jack on the right.

4. On March 29, 1929, President Herbert Hoover is the first to get a telephone installed at his desk. It was installed in the Oval Office of the White House. 

5.  “Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”
                                                                            Roger Miller
6. This was shared by my friend Dick. It is a very unusual rope trip performed by Mac King. I’ve no idea how he does it. 

7. Bobby Bare, The Diet Song. A funny tune.

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Memories, Readings & R&B

1. These are a couple of my ol’ Dungeons & Dragons figures that our sons and I used to game with. Now they are enlightening our granddaughter with her game of Dungeons & Dragons. A family tradition being passed on by our son Todd. Great memories and tradition.

2. The Spiders made it to the third round of the NIT tournament but lost to TSU. Their overall record for the season was 22-13 with a conference record of 13-5. We enjoyed the season and wish the best for all the seniors. ShawnDre’ Jones, T.J. Cline, Chase Fletcher and Marshall Wood.

3. We spent this week at the beach thanks to our great friends Maureen and Jack. They shared a beautiful home in Duck, N.C. The weather was sunny most of the week and provided both warm and cold temperatures. We enjoyed a variety of excellent meals, some wine, played “catchphrase” and listened to brother Tony stories. 

An Early View from the Deck

4.  The Wednesday readings contained only three sentences. To me, they summarize the connection of Moses and Jesus and what our core beliefs are. Powerful statements that provide a simple guide for our belief in God.

"However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children's children." Deuteronomy 4:9

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law until all things have taken place. Matthew 5:17-18

5. Barbara George, “I Know You Don’t Love Me No More”

6. Aretha Franklin - Respect

7. Diana Ross & The Supremes - My World Is Empty Without You

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Time, Reunion and Spring

1. Daylight saving time has come and is now a thing of the past.

Well, at least for some of us.

2. We held an Italy trip reunion gathering last weekend. Many of those on the trip were present. It is blessing that we maintain our connection and enjoy the friendship that was developed during the trip. 

3. Every once in awhile Dee likes to enjoy a day where she can not be concerned about anything in particular. It is called a “Deeday.” The rules are simple.
1. Let her stay in PJs all day.
2. I feed myself.
3. I make sure there is plenty of coffee.
4. No visitors.
5. Make sure she has everything required to "just do her thing."
6. Let her handle the TV controller.

4. There was a time, when I was much younger, single and without much thought about anything serious, that I thought about joining the circus. My favorite performer was "the daring young man on the flying trapeze." However, heights bothered me and I didn't look good in tights. It probably worked out well in the long run, as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus" are closing this May.

5. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

6. Monday March 20 is, hopefully, the first day of spring.  

7. The Four Tops - Reach Out,I’ll Be There       

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spiders, Giants & Diamonds

1. The Richmond Spiders basketball team have three players that have earned Atlantic 10 All Conference Honors.

Shawnee Jones, Third Team All-Conference
T.J. Cline, Player of the Year
De’Monte Buckingham, Rookie of the Year

Congratulations to all the players.

2. I wasn’t looking for anything about “giants,” but somehow I came across an article written by Jerry D. Peterson. His web site, My Drift, contains many articles about many things. The article on Giants is very interesting and thought I would share it.

3. I wrote about Tyrion Lannister back in August of 2015. At that time I shared one of my favorite Tyrion quotes. This year I have a new quote.

I believe he has a Red Blend from The Reach.

4. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.” Helen Keller

5. On March 9, 1985, the Tyler Civilian Club, erected the first Adopt-a-Highway sign. It was on Highway 69. 

6. I’ve discovered a new blog. “Discovering Diamonds.” It is a blog that provides “independent reviews of the best in historical fiction.” There is a review about my favorite historical fiction writer, Bernard Cornwell. It is worth reading!

7. The Penguins - “Earth Angel.”

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Computer, Anton & Montreal

1. My computer has been "Mostly Dead" for a couple of weeks. Fortunately our son Eric was able to bring it back to life. A replacement of the hard drive was the key, but we added more memory as well.

Miracle Max

2. We have switched to Direct TV and AT&T Wireless. The transition has been smooth and we are pleased with the new service. 

3. One of the "perks" for switching to Direct TV is that I can watch "Game of Thrones" for a three month trial period. I've gone through season four and five already. What I found interesting so far is that there was a "Mostly Dead" situation that ended season five. How did I figure that out? Well, my intuition was the key. I carefully considered the purpose of killing the character and could not come up with a viable reason or outcome of the death. Then as the camera focused in, I had this feeling of déjà vu. Yes, I've seen that "look" before.

4. “People don’t notice wether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy”

5. On March 3, 1875, the first "indoor hockey game" was played in Montreal, Quebec. One has to love the Canadians for the introduction of would eventually develop into the National Hockey League. It was played in the Victoria Skating Rink. 

6. As we approach the weekend, the current standings for the Atlantic 10, NCAA Basketball are:

Dayton 15-2
VCU                             13-4
Rhode Island               12-5
Richmond                     12-5
St. Bonaventure           10-7
George Mason             9-8
George Washington     9-8
Davidson                       8-9
La Salle                         8-9
Fordham                       7-10
St. Louis                        6-11

7. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Tears of A Clown.

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Rangers, Chess & Valentines

1. “Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has asked the Texas Rangers to work with the Houston Police Department in the recovery of Tom Brady’s missing Jersey.” Don’t mess with Texas.

Texas Rangers

2. Our weather in Richmond, Virginia this week. Monday 64, Tuesday 74, Wednesday 74, Thursday 44 (Rain & Flurries), Friday 42, Saturday 63 and Sunday 72. A wee bit strange for the month of February. I’m not complaining.

3. On February 10, 1996, “world chess champion Garry Kasparov loses the first game of a six-game match against Deep Blue, an IBM computer capable of evaluating 200 million moves per second.” More details at This Day in History.

4. “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh, leader of the Shawnee 1811-1813.

5. Please pray for my good buddy Dave and his family. He is in the hospital recovering from heart surgery.

7. The Temptations, “I Wish It Would Rain.” 

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Critics, Dee and Super Bowl

1. I have read Matthew Kelly's book, "Resisting Happiness." In chapter 35 he writes about critics and provides a quote from Theodore Roosevelt. 

"It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high
and who at the worst, if he fails,
at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls
who neither know victory nor defeat."

2. Dee is the basketball expert in our family. When we attend the games or watch them on television, she provides commentary and explanation of what is going on. Our Richmond Spiders played Duquesne at home last Saturday. One of her favorite players, T.J. Cline, "became the first player in Richmond history to record a triple-double ... as he led the Spiders to a 101-90 win over Duquesne with 34 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists." It was one of her favorite games.

T.J. Cline

3. My PT sessions ended this week. The comparisons, from my first session to this last session, showed a definite improvement. I now have a series of stretches and exercises which I will continue to work on. 

The therapists and their assistants were supportive through the entire process. My thanks to Rachael and Tabitha and the support team Robin, Doug, Alesia, and Billy.  

4. I've gotten back to painting, there are two units of American Provincials on the painting table. 

5. On February 2, 1887, "Clymer H. Freas was the editor of the local paper Punxsutawney Spirit.," and he began promoting the town's groundhog as the official "Groundhog Day meteorologist." Read more over at Wikipedia.

Groundhog Vintage Image

6. Super Bowl LI, or for those who don't care for Roman numerals, Super Bowl 51. I been watching the odds, which vary depending what time of day it is, and the New England Patriots are favored. So, I'm going to go with the "underdog," Atlanta Falcons. I live in Virginia and they're a southern team. Makes sense to me. 

7. The Drifters, "There Goes My Baby."

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.