Saturday, December 17, 2005

Golf and Girls

The golf was for me yesterday. It seemed to be the last day of fall because winter is surely here today. We had about an inch of rain last night and it stayed cold today.
At golf four of us were supposed to be playing. "C" and "B" and I started without "T." He showed up on the number four tee box after giving out his homemade Christmas presents to the starters and pros. "C" left on number five because he thought it was cold. "B" left after number eight also. "T" and I finished. He is a good golfer and didn't think being in the 50s was too cold.

The girls didn't think it was too cold to be having fun either. Mrs. Jim and GC#4 had an afternoon and evening out. She had fun trying to keep up with an active eight-year old.
They met at 2:30 and headed for The Houston Museum of Natural Science. Right away they got their tickets for the IMAX showing of Santa vs. The Snowman and headed for the giftshop to wait until the movie would start. They could have seen one of the special exhibits, Mummy: the inside story or Diana, A Celebration, or done in The Cockrell Butterfly Center instead. But giftshops are very appealing when Mimi has money.
GC#4 opted for a cutout set of British Royalty personalities. That was going to go good with the castle and village GC#4 was building back in Katy.
After the movie they went to the zoo. It was dark now, and the zoo was having a special light show with the animals. Not only that but they did the paddle boats, decorated cookies, visited Santa, rode the carousel, and visited the petting zoo. They even had a hot dog in between someplace.

I asked GC#4 in an e-mail what part she like the best. Her reply: "i thought the best part of doing that with mimi was making cookies with mrs. claus at the zoo and meeting santa claus."
It all lasted a long time and it was 10:30 before Mrs. Jim headed home from Katy.

. . Uncles, Grandpa, and Grandma
From left to right: My Dad, Uncle Lester, Uncle Howard, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Chester in 1940s photo

Friday, December 16, 2005

Uncles and Brother-in-laws

The picture is Uncle Howard with his family in the 1940s.

I have two brother-in-laws and a sister-in-law's husband to deal with. They have similarities and differences. The are similar in that they are all nice people. But they have very different personalities. So I will just take them on one at a time here.

I had four very nice uncles, three brothers of my Father were Lester, Chester, and Howard, and Don, a brother of my Mom. All have died. There weren't any blood relation aunts. Mom's brother lived in Oregon most of my life and I don't remember much about him. One at a time for these guys too.

Here goes. Uncle Howard was Dad's youngest brother, two years younger than Dad. I was his favorite nephew; he called me "Jimmie." My best remembrance of him is that he could yodel. He is the only person I know or have known who could yodel. He yodeled good, very good. He would only yodel when nobody was around, except me.

Uncle Howard's favorite song was Cattle Call,
"The cattle are prowlin'
The coyotes are howlin'
Way out where the doggies roam
Where the spurs are a jinglin'
And the cowboy is singin'
His lonesome cattle call
He rides in the sun'
Til his days work is done,
And he rounds up the cattle each fall
Singing his cattle call"

I like to sing that song when nobody is around too. And I try to yodel. Uncle Howard never sang in public either. Not even in church.

He had two boys, John and Jack. Jack and his sons do the farming on our family farm, John has completely retired from the Corps of Engineers. The both live in Tekamah, Nebraska. Jack is married with three sons; John is divorced and has one son. Jack is coming to Conroe next spring.

Uncle Howard finished school through the eighth grade at District # 42, the same school Dad, the other two uncles, John, Jack, two girl cousins, my sister and I all attended until high school. It was a one-room schoolhouse. That was all the education my grandfather would allow, except for my Dad who when through the tenth grade. Grandpa needed them to help on his farms.

Uncle Howard had newer cars and tractors than we had. Dad still used horses for farming a lot in the thirties; Uncle Howard had tractors early on. Uncle Howard did keep a team and a riding horse. He was the first one in the neighborhood to use milking machines.

His wife, Aunt Fae, and my mom were friends before either married these two brothers. I was my Aunt Fae's favorite nephew too. She would make cookies and candy for us. They traveled a lot. Mom and Dad didn't until their later years. So we didn't go on any long vacations until I had graduated from high school.

Uncle Howard was a very clean living man. He was the only one of the brothers who didn't smoke. I don't think he ever inhaled a cigarette or tasted beer. Not even when he was young. I could be wrong, but that was the impression he left for me to remember.

He was also very religious. He became a deacon at middle age and remained one for the rest of his life. I saw Uncle Howard the day he died.

Later that day, about an hour before he died, he led a prayer group in his hospital room with his family. He requested all the nurses and staff who could come to be there also. Uncle Howard prayed then. He prayed for each family member and hospital attendant by name. And he died in less than an hour.

Singing his cattle call

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Me and My Buddy

Me and my buddy, we went for a ride this morning. She was aching to go as she hadn't been out for a week. Before we left, we had to put her top up for the first time in a month. We did that and headed out.

I awoke this morning at 5:09, five minutes before the alarm. I got right up and turned it off so Mrs. Jim could sleep.

It was still dark. This was the day Jr.#3's spouse was to have his bypass surgery at St. Lukes Hospital in the Houston Medical Center. I turned the coffeepot on and showered.

It was still dark when I got the coffee from the kitchen. Adi came into the bathroom to help me eat my granola bar half. She likes food that crunches when she chews.

It was still dark on the back porch where I put my shoes on. Adi did her thing in the moonlight.

Mrs. Jim was up when we came in. I packed the cheese--fat free--and pickle sandwich I had made for lunch yesterday at golf. Remember I had hot dogs instead when golf was rained out. Took my morning medicine and packed the rest for the day, along with my own water and some peanut butter crackers for medicine snacks.

I left the paper for Mrs. Jim except the sports and business section, which went in my reading bag. I know why Mrs. Jim got up. First to kiss me goodbye, but more important to her was to remind me to drive decently.

You see, I am an aggessive driver. Not a good one, but I say a skilled one. Jr.#1 doesn't like to ride with me. Another story there. We headed out. The Mustang couldn't run because we were locked in the traffic on FM 1097, going between 50 and 60.

At the bridge over Lake Conroe, the most striking sunrise was ahead. It had blue and orange/yellow rays almost across the horizon, emulating from the hidden sun. Like a fan. I called Mrs. Jim about the sunrise. We were still talking when we got on the Interstate. I assured Mrs. Jim that I was driving nice, staying behind a white SUV. There was no need to pass because we were going over 70, most times in the 80s.

Traffic never slowed much, we could go 60 plus in the two-lane construction zone that was the bottleneck during the Houston evacuation for Hurricane Rita. The Hardy toll road
traffic was between 80 and 90 in the fast lane, except for a few slower ones that needed to be passed. Once in while I would give the Mustang a free rein, she just wanted to run fast this morning. She thought the breeze was feeling good rushing across her smooth black top.

The trip through town on U.S. 59 was fast too. We did have to change lanes a few times. I found a place up close in the wrong parking garage--the Mustang had no choice here. Jr.#3 and the Patient were in a room, scheduled for surgery at ten. His mother was there too. Ten o'clock came and went. It was 2:30 before they came after him.

The Patient pulled through well; he was in recovery, having had his quadruple bypass surgery. It was time for us to go. Finding the Mustang was easy but I needed directions three times to find the garage.

It was way past dark now and we were heading home, me and my Mustang going fast.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

On the Run
Did you ever feel like you were running all the time? If so, was it to run away from something or to run trying to catch up? My experience has been more like running a race. And I never really know who I'm running against.

I have been running all day again and I don't know why. It didn't help to get up late and mess around. There was a tee time at 10:20 and I had a lot of time.

All of a sudden it was 9:45 and I still had to make a sandwich, take my mid morning medicine, sort out medicine for lunch time, pump up a couple of tires, and try to hit a few balls on the driving range. Ten came and I still hadn't touched a tire. I was losing this race.

Then the phone rang, it was Charlie, my golfing buddy. He announced it was drizzling and did we still want to play. I decided that I didn't. He didn't either then. So I called the other player and the pro shop. Race lost almost before it was terminated.

I went out with Adi and it seemed nice at our house, just a little breezy and misty. Nice and warm though, in mid 60s. After watching Adi smell her favorite spots and roll in the grass, I thought it would be nice to go for a short walk.

Adi loves the word, "walk." [Walking isn't running. Dah.] She heard me say the word and she was jumping up and down, literally. And came to hurry me in putting my shoes on. I had one on and the rain came hard. No thunder or announcement of a dark sky. Just rain. Another race lost.

There wasn't much coffee left but I read the paper, sports pages and funnies. I was supposed to be doing some work on Christmas cards that I didn't get done last night. But it was time to make my lunch--Mrs. Jim was being an elf, helping deliver some toys to schools today. Cards would wait.

My lunch was two hot dogs. Does anybody remember the old Tasty Inn drive in restaurants in Lincoln? They were that kind of hot dogs, with melted cheese and relish, and a little mustard. No bacon though.

That went fine but there wasn't any race to run there. After lunch I had unmentionable desert--main ingredient was Blue Bell Light ice cream--and finished the funnies and worked the Jumbo. Adi always waits patiently for ice cream, waiting until I am finished. She had just eaten hers when Mrs. Jim came. Forget catching up on my cards and personal time. Race lost, she had things for me to do.

I helped and we got the cards done her way real good. Again we were running late, but got changed and put the cards in the mail before it went out. Then we won a race. We got to the funeral home before five so we just sat in the parlor and waited.

Then home again to the Christmas home tour in the subdivision. It was 5 till 8 and seven homes were on the tour. We stopped at McDonalds for me a double cheeseburger to take with my medicine. I had forgotten the medicine so I ate the burger and drank my water on the way home. We stopped for my pill bottle and some water and headed for the first home. Got there at 6:45.

We finished our fourth home at 8:15. They were all nice. I will probably see the other three tomorrow night. Mrs. Jim will only see the one she in which she is working as a volunteer. The garden club people are acting as guides. That race was postponed.

A few thoughts. The older one gets, the slower one runs. Why are we always running anyway? Some races we shouldn't even enter. Other races go better with a helper. Not all races are completed. Some races are really fun, especially in a light rain on a warm day. Maybe we can run faster on a track, going round and round, but we really won't get any place exciting.
There is a lot more to think about. For one thing, dogs are happy just walking.
All this could cause a person to worry.
And some races are too long or run for nothing, sorta like this post. Jim

Where Are We? A copy cat idea from Matt Lauer.

I'm asking about the Billy and Karen picture below.
If you think you know geographically, tell.
The next question is what were they doing at the time?
Billy and Karen can't answer--I think they know. Jim

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

This is Karen, Jr.#5 and Billy.
They are a couple of my kids, well kid and son-in-law.
I don't have pictures of all them together so every now and then I will post one.

The Family

My family all are pretty good back seat drivers, er critics.

These kibitzers most times are very helpful. Mrs. Jim keeps me in line a little bit. You may have noticed a few of my blogs have changed after being written.

Here is a little about them. I don't use their names unless they give me permission. I have five kids, four kids' spouses and one wife. Also have a mother-in-law, a Father, and a sister. My sister and wife's bother and sister are all married so there are three more in-laws. Sister also has a daughter with husband and three kids living in the area. And we have four grandchildren. The grandchildren can go by birth order also, the oldest being GC#1.

We all get along pretty good, but we don't see each other very often. All the kids live in the Greater Houston area. Here goes.

Mrs. Jim -- We have been married almost 33 years. She doesn't want her name to appear here, at least not yet. I asked if I could call her 'my roommate.' She didn't like that and said Mrs. Jim would be just fine. Mrs. Jim is a retired social worker, working in hospital and school settings. She retired at an age a lot of people would envy.

Jr.#1 -- Son. Married, is a recreational corodinator for a local suburban city. He thinks I get too carried away. Does not post. Bloggers have a name for this kind of readers?

Jr.#1 -- Spouse. Is an accountant, doesn't post, I'm not sure she reads the blog.

Jr.#2 -- Son, Mitch. Married, is a number cruncher and big wig for a venture capital company. He posts and is a good critique of ideas.

Jr.#2 -- Spouse, Carmen. Is just finishing up on BS in Communications at Houston Baptist University. Her last internship is with FOX Channel 26 here. She posts. She really likes Adi as she doesn't have a dog. They do have a new betta. His name is Blue Azul Hov... and per Carmen, he's a precious fish.

Jr.#3 -- Daughter, "anonymous" to date. Married, she does post. She is a homemaker and music composer.

Jr.#3 -- Spouse, 'Jr.3 Spouse.' Is an administrator for Harris County Schools, teaches math part time at a community college, and has several business things going. He is having heart bypass surgery this Thursday, in two days. I think he has been too busy to read the blog but may now that he has to recuperate.

Jr.#4 -- Newly single son. Is a boatman at the Port of Houston. He reads and posted once to see if he could do it, as 'anonymous.' I removed his post as it just said "Test. Test." His reading is in the catchup mode as he is very busy also.

Jr.#5 -- Daughter, 'Kraren, Jr.#5.' Married, is a financial analyst for British Petroleum Co [BP]. She is a Baylor graduate and likes to travel. Is the real owner of Adi and Amber. She likes to post.

Jr.#5 -- Spouse. Billy. Is a data base manager IT/IS person. He and Jr.#4 keep our computers going in the right direction. He advises me some on blog etiquette. He wants more coverage of him, says that the animals get more light than he does. Well Billy, I will try, but I think it will average out. Remember the blog is new.

Sister -- 'Sister' gets listed tonight because she complained that I didn't have a blog for today, Tuesday, December 13. In an e-mail, mind you. She doesn't post. I think she tried but stopped before finishing. She lives in Iowa and is just a few miles from Dad who lives in a nursing home.

GC#3 -- Grandson, single--I don't think he reads the blog. He lives in Houston and Louisiana. He has at least two businesses, a PR company using local professional atheletes he has signed on and a Pizza Parlor.

GC#2 -- Granddaughter--A junior business administration major at a school I didn't use to even say the name of, the University of Texas at Austin. She is single but has a pretty steady fellow. She did an intership at NASA last summer, this summer will be at Caterpillar Co. She may be too busy to read my blogs. We will talk about it at Christmas time.

GC#3 -- Granddaughter--A senior in high school at Deer Park, Texas. She works a lot in an uncle's pawn shop. She is finalizing her college plans. She too, has a pretty steady fellow. My blog is not cool for her [my thought, as I don't think she reads it].

GC#4 -- Granddaughter--GC#4 came into our lives with Billy. She is eight, has a Yellow Belt in Karate, likes to read [was reading before kindergarten], always asks for Adi to come when we visit her, and I had better stop for now. Everyone wants equal billing you know.

That is enough for tonight. From time to time I will brag on each of these and tell of the others not mentioned tonight.

Don't want to be very much of a boor , just wanted to introduce the family tonight and put them in prospective. Jim

Monday, December 12, 2005

A . . .
.M. . .
. .B. .
. . .E.
. . . .R
. . . . .
. . . . .
Hi, my name is Amber. I am a very pampered cat! I can't wait for 6 PM every night. That is when I get my Fancy Feast! I talk up a storm when it gets around that time(just to remind everyone that I am waiting)!


Sunday, December 11, 2005


Amber belongs to Karen, Jr.#5. She is getting ready for a nap in this photo.

Amber is a mature cat who belonged to another lady where Karen, Jr.#5 worked. It turned out this lady could not care for Amber anymore and was looking for a new home for her.

Karen, Jr.#5 and Amber fell in love with each other right away and the adoption was made final. Amber is not young and has a very calm and loving disposition. She loves to climb and jump up on things. You might find her on the refrigerator or the table just as well as on the couch.

Amber's favorite place in the afternoon is on the TV room west window sill. She just loves, I think all cats do, to sleep in the sunshine. We have not done any babysitting for Amber but Karen, Jr.#5 always wants Adi when we leave. Adi and Amber are good buddies. I might find a picture of them together one of these days.

By the way Adi likes to stay with all the kids except Jr.#3. She probably would like that too but the offer to keep her has never been made. In fact the other four argue to keep her and try to make sure Adi gets equal booking for all. Jr.#1 and #4 have both cats and dogs so Adi gets to play a lot. Jr.#2 has never had a pet of his own at his own place, but both he and Mrs.Jr.#2 like to have Adi.

Maybe Karen, Jr.#5 will post about Amber as I have run out of things to say about her.

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