Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hard Time in Retirement

So I wake up from my morning nap and my wife is leaving! I say What about my lunch?  I'm not exactly sure what her response  was but she is gone.
So I wait. A long time. No neighbor comes with a casserole. I wait some more. The school bus doesnt bring the kindergarden kids home for two more hours ( they often have leftover sandwichs in their backpacks and are easily tricked) 
I make a hard decision. I will make my OWN sandwich.
And I do...... Peanut Butter, Banannas, and Tomatoes- on BREAD!. I even got my own glass of milk! 
I'm going to enjoy it too, right after I wake up from my nap!

ps, I'm particularly fond of King Ranch Casserole!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Back to Akumal

If you remember our recent vacation to Akumal-it was different from most of our trips in that we did very little. One of the things the girls did when we were in the room for the night was read. How long I don't know because I always went quickly to sleep! The sound of turning pages was soothing music.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Knife Fights, Sonoran Hotdogs, "Physics Packages",& Saguaro Cactus!

  I was fortunate to spend a few days last week in and around Tuscon, Arizona. I would really like to emphasize how friendly and pleasant the people were!This is not just my opinion but is shared by my friend who was with me. They are genuine in their hospitality.
  So lets get right to the knife fight! If they are so nice how did you get in a knife fight? you might ask..... Maybe its me who is not nice or maybe the cactus had been drinking too much mescal, I guess we'll never know for sure!
  We visited a Titan missile silo, the only one in the US still "equipped". The hole cut in the missile is so the Russian spy satellites can see there is no "physics package" inside! That's nine megatons of total destruction for a seventeen mile radius. For someone who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis at an age where I understood just how close we were- it was sobering. And of course we are still in the same position- just more countries to participate. It would have been a little over thirty minutes after the launch keys were turned that the packages arrived at their destinations.
  I guess you could get the same results by eating a half dozen Sonoran hotdogs every day for a few years but it would sure be a lot more tasty.....grilled bacon wrapped beef wiener wrapped in a bollilo, covered in beans, mustard, chipolte mayo, tomatoes, onions, and grilled jalapenos!
  So that leaves us with Saguaro cactus. And they are enigmatic!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Working on Images

from Arizona ( this is New Orleans) and remembering the taste of the Sonoran Hotdogs!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Old Rolls of Film

Well, old only in the sense that they were taken and developed about eight or so years ago, and never printed or scanned. I found them a few days ago as I was straightening up in the shed..... a little straightening! I'm still in the do nothing month of January! So I scanned them and processed a few. I would say that it was about 2006 so that would put Hallie around 4-5 years old. And what really struck me was not the image so filled with her joy and smiles but that last one. The look so true today at 13. The look that says someday THIS is the best you'll get from me! You- Dad- don't know it now but this picture taking is going to really slow down!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Two Angels

My daughter and my grand-niece.Before they woke this morning.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Saturday

So yesterday was a Saturday, remember I still get weekends off from retirement. Renee' and I slept late, at least for her- till 9:30 and Hallie and her sleepover friend even later! It was grey, just above freezing, and raining off and on. I put in an order for banana pancakes and the cook said OK! That put me in the mood for a nap ( it was 11 allready) and the guest left with Hallie and her mom sneaking off to the movies and an afternoon sans me!

That was fine because without help I definitely couldn't change the wax ring that was leaking! I did decide to get up and start a pot of pinto beans in my special bean pot. Inspired by a Terrance Simien album, and the complete freedom to play my stereo just as loud as I wanted- I seasoned the best pot of beans ever. Granted Renee' leaving the roasted Hatch green chiles out that she had hidden in the freezer helped.

While they cooked, slowly- 4-6 hours is best, I lined up more music and proceeded to do something I haven't in far too long- Really Listen! I put this stereo together back in 1973, before even Renee'. A Marantz 1120 amp, a pair of JBL 88's and a pair of Electrovoice 100's. When I say I listen loud its not headbanging or silverware rattling but loud like the band was in the room with you. And the sound is so fine. So fine.

Well the beans got done, Renee & H still weren't back to cook the cornbread, so I had one bowl and was getting my second when they showed up. They didn't wait for the cornbread either! After the cornbread came out of the oven, hot- slightly sweet and dripping with butter we finished off the pot.

One regrets- I forgot to have a big ice cold mug of milk to wash them down!

Here's the beans starting out, finished, and the side of my head- just because!
Oh and it seems God rewarded me for helping as assisting minister at church today ! You remember that wax ring I need to change? It seems that Hallie's bathroom clogged this afternoon and the plumber has to come clean it out tomorrow!! He can change the ring!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A Different Vacation

So my family and I, if you get to count a thirteen year old daughter as a part of your family! just got back from a vacation to Akumal Mexico. We've traveled a pretty good bit in Mexico, but its been 6-7 years since we were south of the border. Why is a story for another time but I have to thank the owner of Craig O's pizza ( who is not from Mexico) for the change in Renee's disposition towards travel in Mexico!

But thats not what made the different, it was in fact because of a confluence of events I would have never expected to happen. Never.

First, it had nothing to do with retirement. As I explained early on I will continue to take vacations, holidays, and weekends off.

Second, and this counts.... I took less than 300 pictures in seven days! On a normal vacation I average 3x that EVERY DAY!

Third, we had NO activities scheduled, no boat trips- no trips to cenotes or Mayan Ruins, no long shopping excursions! While I did get in the water once with our snorkels I doubt we were in the water more than thirty minutes. I got in the pool once and Hallie & Renee' maybe three times. We spent all the time ( besides eating and thats where a lot of the pictures came in- food shots) laying in loungers under the shade of a palapa. H&R read several books each, me less than ten pages ! And if you think we just drank till we passed out-- there was no cabana service to the palapas!

Fourth, and most important! Renee' and I argued not one time! unfortunately it was a little different between Hallie and I- but like I said she's thirteen and I'm still Jim.

Fifth, the BIG ONE! None of us felt any regrets or remorse ( we'll maybe about Hallie) We had a GREAT TRIP!!

In the words of Doug Sahm, which came to me the last full day, as I pondered how this was all coming about and enjoying it so much
   "And it didn't even bring me down"

But you know, come to think of it, maybe my retirement does have something to do with it??


to be continued ( the retirement)

Tuesday, January 06, 2015