Sunday, December 24, 2023


 Unbothered. Moisturized. Happy. In My Own Lane. Focused. Flourishing. 



Has been a million years since I saw this gum on the shelves. A staple in my youth. Black Jack has a distinct taste, if memory serves. But I have forgotten the flavor of Beeman's. Will try that. History repeats!

Can you name the movie?

"Hey Ridley, got any Beeman's?"

"Ya, I think I got a stick."

"Loan me some, will ya, I'll pay you back later."

"Fair enough."


Hello from Gracie and a Merry Christmas too. 


Because life happens:    An hour after this photo was taken and shared, Gracie suffered a heart attack and passed in the care of her loving family. 

Gracie was a good girl. God Bless.


Christmas Eve Day in east Texas, 2023


Jalapeno Ranch. Not pushing the brand. 


I have taken to the flavors and heat of Jalapeno Ranch dressing over the past several months. Happened on it at a local pizza joint in Mt. Vernon and have been hooked ever since. 

After a few months searching, the bride came upon this brand this past week and brought me home a surprise. Chicken Cesar salad that night as it should be. An all around dipping sauce, too. 


Something to be said about very good friends!

I admit, there a few folks in my life with whom I would hook up with on this adventure. 


Christmas Day 1950

We always opened presents after dinner on Christmas Eve. Mom insisted that the kitchen be cleaned up and that the dishes washed, dried and put away. My job was drying the dishes from the rack as mom washed. Once the kitchen was in order, into the living room we would go, presents opened. The waiting for that day and moment is as strong this season as it was in the growing up years. 

Although now, the bride and I open one present on Christmas Eve and the remaining ones Christmas morning. A marriage of family histories. 

Presents in those early years were always some kind of model log truck with trailer and logs to load. Building blocks from which I could build worlds.  The toys were heavy duty and would withstand the demands from the sandbox and running loads of logs down the gravel driveway. A quick trek up the back hill would find real stick logs to load and unload. Real sticks were added to the building blocks and my imagination was the only limitation. 

I remember adult friends coming to visit on Christmas Day and I would be most content and lost in the new worlds I was building from those Christmas Eve presents. On one such Christmas Eve, I was given a logging sled on wooden runners. There was a boom and motorized winch. I would load logs by swinging them through the air to the toy trucks and I would skid the loader along the rug from one living room wall to the other. Dad soon learned that motorized toys for his son brought with it the need of extra batteries.  Did not take but one day for a restriction being placed on daily construction limited to one set of batteries. Not even a minor setback on the building of new worlds.

And yes, a BB gun came one year. I shot many a bad guy in the hills behind our house. Then the single shot .22 rifle. Safety and use taught to me by my father. Many a floating log was shot as it floated down the south fork of the Willapa River running past my grandparent's ranch. One box of .22 shells was my quota on those weekend visits so every round was thoughtfully spent. By design. 

Many hours exploring river banks and fields.



Gladness and Silence Amid Chaos and Violence  Another good read from the Burning Platform. 

BabyMetal from VOX DAY

Worth reading and watching. I have watched several times. New to me. They have been around for awhile; established; talented. Can draw a crowd. Have a large following.  Loud and visually entertaining. How refreshing in this day and age.


Presents all delivered. Visits with friends, hugs and the from-the-heart exchanges of good tidings. Smiles and handshakes.

To all who have visited here this past year, a most wonderful Merry Christmas wish to each and every one. God Bless!!




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