May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

My Dad, James Edwin McDowell, served in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1960. He was stationed in France and Germany.

My paternal grandfather, Claude Edwin McDowell, served in the United States Navy. He was on crew with the USS Idaho from 1929 to 1931.

May 30, 2010

May 29, 2010


Good thing my kids grew up with the motto "try new things". Most kids will turn up a lip to sushi. Not mine!

May 26, 2010

A New Outlook

Our new windows finally arrived! Installation in process. The french slider arrives tomorrow.

May 24, 2010

Thanks, Tony...

The weather is warmer. The sun is shining. School has 3 days left. The Bachelorette's new season has begun. All in all, it's been a pretty good day. So, I ask my son to fix me a bowl of Rocky Road ice cream.

Thanks, Tony...but in his defense, he said the ice cream was too hard to scoop.

May 23, 2010

A Little Clapton

After a long weekend of patching holes in the walls, painting, moving furniture, driving kids around, and grocery shopping, Danny found solitude in the backyard. He lit up a cigar, grabbed one of his guitars, and relaxed under the pergola. As this photo was being taken, he was playing a little Eric Clapton. Enjoy, Danny, you deserve it! And, thanks!!!!!

May 22, 2010

Blind Loyalty

Is it a positive trait or can it be destructive? YES! A blindly loyal person will be loyal without regard to outcome, responses, and/or consequences. They will not see their leader’s negative traits and habits either, which could move to another level of blindness altogether.

We advise our teens that while blind loyalty tends to be a negative trait, it can be positive. Common sense and good moral fiber can help distinguish between the positive and the negative (we hope!).

For example, a ‘positive’ blindly loyal person can be a forever friend. No matter what occurs, this person is more likely to have a compassionate and forgiving soul. This forever friend is less likely to be judgmental, arbitrary, and self-righteously pious.

On the other hand, a ‘negative’ blindly loyal person occurs when poor or impulsive, emotionally charged decisions/actions are made. Instead of exercising common sense, the loyal person tends to go along with their leader without regard to the wayward path or hurtful results, thus deepening grudges, conflicts, and miscommunications.

Strive to be a forever friend. Use good judgment, be humble, show your compassion, and draw upon your forgiving nature.

May 19, 2010

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

This book was recommended by one of the families that I worked with. Very nice recommendation from this person...a compliment to the work we do in hospice.

"Ray Bradbury's moving recollection of a vanished golden era remains one of his most enchanting novels. DANDELION WINE stands out in the Bradbury literary canon as the author's most deeply personal work, a semi-autobiographical recollection of a magical small town summer in 1928.

Twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding knows Green Town, Illinois, is as vast and deep as the whole wide world that lies beyond the city limits. It is a pair of brand-new tennis shoes, the first harvest of dandelions for Grandfather's renowned intoxicant, the distant clang of the trolley's bell on a hazy afternoon. It is yesteryear and tomorrow blended into an unforgettable always. But as young Douglas is about to discover, summer can be more than the repetition of established rituals whose mystical power holds time at bay. It can be a best friend moving away, a human time machine who can transport you back to the Civil War, or a sideshow automaton able to glimpse the bittersweet future.

Come and savor Ray Bradbury's priceless distillation of all that is eternal about boyhood and summer."

May 12, 2010

Forgiveness Is The Word

'Forgiveness is the sending away and removal of resentment, indignation, or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. What a challenge Jesus gave us when He said to forgive each other as He has forgiven us! It is a sure sign we are walking by the Spirit- when we have fellowship with one another.'

Thanks for this, Tammie. I feel pity for those who hold onto baggage as that is a heavy burden and expends an exorbitant about of negative energy.

May 9, 2010

To Be More Joyful

To Be More Joyful

This is a nicely written post from 'Life As A Mom'.

May 8, 2010

May 5, 2010

Remembering Ivy May

Today, we remember our best dog ever, Ivy May. The kids adored her and miss her greatly. A couple of years ago, Ivy became very sick and had to be put down. It was heart breaking. We miss you, puppy!

May 2, 2010

Home Improvement

It's the last year to receive the tax credit for replacement windows. So, we are having all our windows replacement, including a french slider back door. In preparation for all this 'home improvement', we've decided to swap our living room and dining room. As with all swaps, this includes pulling down old wallpaper and repainting. New living room furniture is also just around the corner.

Amazing how one thing leads to another. I've got 'before' pictures, but with all the shuffling, I can't find the cord to upload them. So, you have to wait until later to see the mess we've made. I know this mess will be worth it once the installs and such are done.