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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In Memory of Matt-Man and his Great-Granddaddy

Yes, I'm back and it's not even Christmas yet. Did I manage to learn Hootsuite? Um, well, no. Did I look at it? Yes. Did I feel a little overwhelmed by it? So far, yes. Am I going to give up on it? No.

On another note, with more holidays literally around the corner, I found myself reflecting on the great fun we had this past Thanksgiving. You see my cousin and her husband threw the greatest Thanksgiving bash and we got a chance to attend it along with a number of other family members. My brother was there with his kids, we got a chance to spend time with one of our daughters and her boyfriend, and then there were the magical flight logs. I don't recall laying eyes on those since very early days of my childhood. Those and the flight jacket - the one that my dad used to wear everyday during the winter when I was little. I barely remember getting into trouble one time when I was rather small and just wanted to look through those pages. It became rather apparent that those were very special "books" and we kids were not to touch them. Four books made of black leather filled with the amazing story of flight time that my dad spent, first as a civilian,  then came the entry, May, 1942 - Army, and then what appeared to be some kind of dare-devil training. What were some of the words he used? Stalls. Dives. Then came the entry, July, 1942 - Army again, and then a seemingly endless list of airplanes - different manufacturers, models, engines, flights across the United States, flights overseas. You know the movies about time travel? For a few magical moments I could recall my dad in his flight jacket. How he loved that jacket. As I remember, my mother had to make a big deal out of giving him something else to wear one Christmas in order to try to get him out of that old brown leather jacket. I was grown and raising my own children before I realized the stories behind that jacket. For that matter, I think my dad had already passed away before I knew why my parents had lived in Sweetwater and Brady, Texas. My dad had been one of the training pilots during WWII. He was 20 years old in May, 1942 when that first entry for the Army was made.  He trained some of the WASP'S (Women's Army Air Corps pilots) at Avenger's Field and he was attached to the Army Air Corps. Later, in '43, he trained some of the male pilots at Curtis Field. Even later, there were flights overseas until 1945. I think the thing that really soaked in this Thanksgiving evening was just how many different planes he flew and how very many hours he flew. As a kid, I remember him talking about flying by instruments only, and watching the lightening dance up and down the wings of the airplanes. I remember him talking about Greenland and Iceland and the Bermuda Triangle. He even had an entry in his flight logs for Casablanca. It's funny how much more meaning history begins to take on as you get older yourself, and you wish that you could help the younger generations understand, and you wish that maybe you could understand, yourself.

And so, it is good to know that although all of our individual lives have their ups and downs, at least for now our country and many others like it enjoy relative peace this Christmas Season.

So, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone. Merry Christmas, Matt-Man. Give baby Jesus a kiss on your first Christmas, and enjoy the endless stars with your great-grandaddy! I know that he will enjoy the adventures with you.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Christmas is around the corner, the days have finally become a little cooler, and I am sitting here trying to figure out what to say. A few people have suggested lists, and I am thinking, yeah, lists! Do you really want to hear about me and lists? Have you ever heard the stories about best laid plans of mice and men? Even when I have plan A, B & C, it usually ends up being plan Z. I often wonder why we make plans when we usually have to "wing" it anyway.

At this moment, my plan for my blog is not to have a plan. That will probably change to plan A, B, or C, and you already know that will probably eventually morph into plan Z.

Right now, I am just trying to figure out what to do with my art. I create art because I love it and the artistic process, but the confounding question that all artists must end up asking themselves eventually is, what do I do with "this" (the art) now that I have created it (wonder if God has ever asked that question)? And so, that is where Cafe Press and Fine Art America came in, and I am really having way too much fun with them. There are days when my own limitation with computer knowledge, knowledge about photography, and even knowledge about painting, drawing, and art in general leave me pulling my hair out - well maybe that is stretching it a little! But even the frustration is fun in the long run (with the exception of people not answering the phone when you have a question).

So, I am continuing to learn what I can, and enjoying the journey as some people would say. My next project? Hootsuite!

And now, since the holidays are creeping up on us quickly and your days are continuing to become busier, I will keep this short by ending here. You will get my "list" blog later on, or maybe never; I have never been much for lists anyway. To those of you who will be too busy to join me before the New Year, I will take advantage of this blog to wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. For that matter, although I intend to try to be back next week, I might not be back until after the holidays myself.

If you are still searching for gifts, try checking out Fine Art America and Cafe Press.

And may 2013 be a blessed and prosperous year for everyone!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ever Feel Like You Are In The Middle Of A Bamboo Jungle?

Ok, I'm back and my head is reeling! As I said before, thank goodness my kids are patient and they know about such things as Google, and HootSuite, and tags, and flash, and ... well, I think you get my point (by the way, is there a difference between a tag and a label)? I'm thinking that in my day and time a tag was something that hung off of your clothing if you were lucky enough to get a new outfit, a label was paper with gooey stuff on the back of it that you either wrote on with a pen or typed on with a typewriter, and the greatest worry you had was whether you accidentally forgot to cut the tag off of your clothing or sat on the gooey side of a label, and thus had it attached in an unwanted place to your clothes.

I'll admit that it might not be difficult to discourage me, but how many people even know the vocabulary that goes along with most of this stuff, much less the definition, so that they can even hope to formulate a question in order to get an answer? And the more that I search? Well, we won't even go there.

Then there is the fact that yesterday I already managed to mess up my site by trying to add something to it, and of course all I managed to get was a big mess. So then today, I had to try to straighten that out. I seem to have succeeded. I keep thinking, "Thank goodness the computer has become user friendly."

Right now, my grand-kids know more about this than I do, but I am determined to right this wrong. So next week you should see me back with you. By then I might have a better understanding of labels and tags (and hash tags?) - I don't even know if I am spelling that one correctly. The only thing I understand about hash tags is that they have something to do with Twitter. So, until next week, thanks for tuning in, or subscribing, or whatever it is that you do with a blog post!