Friends And More Friends

Happy Birthday to the best sister in the world! My sister Ann is kind, giving, so hardworking and a joy to me. Happy Birthday Ann!

My niece Niki–Ann’s daughter came up with this gorgeous photo of her mother and me–oh my!! Taken in 1992–1993.

Monday afternoon the Cowboy and I had just retired to our respective couches for our after lunch sit down when we heard the noise of those loud type motorcycles approaching–and close–Harley motorcycles if you are unsure which ones are the “noisy ones.”😁😁 It was Montana friends Larry and Rocky. Larry has inherited a place near Douglas, Rocky drove down with Larry and will fly back soon–they were out enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. We sat at the dining table for a couple hours and solved the world’s problems.

Tuesday we had more visitors. John and Pam who have given up full time RV living and have purchased a home in Boulder City, Nevada are in Tucson for about a month. Jodee and Bill have purchased a home in Tombstone. They all arrived about noon and we did the house tour–they were all here two years ago when the main house was still a structural wreck–they were impressed with all our progress. Jodee brought delicious beans and Pam provided a fabulous Cesear salad to go along with the brisket and potatoes I cooked. Dessert was one of those decadent flourless chocolate cakes–YUM! We spent the entire afternoon catching up and solving those world problems! The dogs–Tessa and Emmi–tolerated each other.

We don’t answer calls from numbers not in our contact list. We get those annoying calls from our Montana area code which make you think it’s someone you know but have learned–don’t answer! Last week I got one of those calls from my OWN number!! Well, today the phone rang twice before I could get to it and then stopped ringing–this message appeared on my screen–

The phone number had too many digits–maybe even an out of country number. Thank you Verizon!

Pam has quite the reputation across the nation among the dogs belonging to friends–she is known as the Treat Lady. Tessa has had more experience with Pam and knew exactly who she was–Emmi learned fast!

Wednesday I started painting–the ceiling and a short wall in the living room area. The Cowboy continues to hang drywall and spread drywall mud.

Geri posted this photo on Facebook today–made me homesick for all these people. This ATV ride was out of Brenda, AZ in 2016.

Tuesday morning it started raining and by the time the storm ended over a half inch of rain had fallen. Wednesday morning the storm clouds were still hanging around making for nice photos– And, one last thing–the finished shower–well, except for the grab bar.

Not Much Going On

We welcomed the rain on Thursday–only about three tenths–but it cleaned the air and made the desert smell wonderful. While Emmi and I were walking Thursday morning the sandhill cranes were on the move–three large flocks flew overhead chattering away.

I tackled the shower cleanup on Thursday, cleaning away the remaining grout powder and then sealing the grout with some nasty, smelly stuff–about did me in! The Cowboy is working on the mini-split install. Everything is harder in an all ready existing structure with almost no attic and lower ceilings than most houses have.

After the rain Friday dawned with mostly sunny skies and some fog–the hills rising out of the fog made for a cool shot.

Friday afternoon we headed to Douglas with a mission in mind. I’m swearing off reading reviews! We chose a restaurant that had nothing but four and five star Yelp reviews–it was absolutely awful–the worst Mexican food we had ever eaten! On to the Walmart store for a couple things where we were most definitely the minority!😃And finally to the nursery where we purchased ten more trees for our yard–three foot fast growing eldarica pines. The trees we purchased from this nursery two years ago as one foot trees have grown to six feet–abundant sunshine and water.

On the way home from Douglas we made contact with our friend Larry and his driving partner Rocky. They had driven from Montana through awful snow storms and were very glad to be in the sunshine and 68 degree weather. Larry owns a place near Douglas.

Saturday I sewed–nothing exciting–patching a pair of Michael’s jeans and attaching a backing to a wool piece of my sister’s. Sunday afternoon I attached the binding to the same wool piece–now for the hand work. My sewing machine gave me fits Sunday–it was a used Pfaff when we purchased it and a piece of junk! The bobbin thread kept breaking, time after time. What should have taken me 30 minutes took two hours! My sewing machine in Montana is a Pfaff Tiptronic and it will sew anything–I love that machine!

Saturday evening we enjoyed a delicious prime rib dinner at the VFW hall with Dan and Louanne. The people sitting next to us looked familiar–at least the wife did. I began talking to them and discovered it was Ken and Verna–Canadian friends of John and Brenda’s. We’ve met Verna before–just not Ken. They too are loving the sunshine and warm weather!

Sunday we were couch potatoes–I went to church, made us lunch and except for the sewing machine debacle, I laid on the couch and read becoming so relaxed I forgot to publish the Sunday night blog–so here it is! The Cowboy watched a documentary about how country music started and parts of the football games.

Life is good.


What A Day

When we spent two months in Mexico back in 2008-2009, one of the things we noticed right away were the free ranging, crowing, obnoxious roosters. Those colorful, strutting things were everywhere and noisy! The roosters didn’t just crow at dawn, they crowed all night. Friends who came to visit also noticed the roosters and were not impressed.

The Cowboy has been saying he hears a rooster crowing in the wee hours of the morning. My husband has no hearing issues, he hears very well except when I’m talking to him asking him to finish some task!😝Sometimes I think he hears better than I do and my hearing is really good–my Dad used to say I could hear an ant crawl across the floor and I’m thinking I can. As a result of this perfect hearing I sleep with ear plugs and I’ve not heard this rooster. I must admit I doubted the Cowboy–so we took a drive Monday evening. Low and behold someone over in town has a rooster and coop full of chickens. In town! Most towns which allow chickens also have ordinances against roosters. If I neighbored this rooster, he would have to depart.

While out and about on our rooster searching mission we spotted this big guy–Emmi and I saw him Monday morning but he was too quick for me and the camera. Monday evening it was getting dark and he was moving fast–

Our heating and air conditioning mini-split system arrived Monday–it’s simply amazing what you can purchase on Amazon!! This install is something new for the Cowboy and his brain is hurting–he was on the computer for most of Monday afternoon researching and then researching some more. I’m absolutely no help except to keep him fed!😋

We were both running older Toshiba laptops with Windows 7–for Christmas I got a new laptop with Windows 10 and surprisingly didn’t notice any deal breaker differences. We both read an article about being able to download Windows 10 for free and decided to give it a try on the Cowboy’s Toshiba. We started the process at about 9am on Tuesday and when we left for Tucson at 12pm the laptop was churning away. Back home at about 9pm we found the laptop had successfully installed Windows 10 and the Cowboy was also successful in using the new operating system right away.

Whew–that was one busy trip to Tucson on Tuesday! Our main goal was to retrieve Dan and Louanne from the airport at 7pm. We didn’t want to spend a lot of time at the airport just waiting so we planned our day, departing at noon instead of our usual much earlier time. Emmi had a routine veterinarian appointment at 2pm which went well–she didn’t think so–but it did. We then started our errands. Returned a bunch of stuff at Home Depot and purchased more then enjoyed a burger at Five Guys.

I made a run into Target looking for “work” jeans. I’m down to my last pair of jeans to wear for working on the house, painting, gardening, etc. None of my good, expensive jeans are ready to recycle into work jeans. Before we left Montana I stumbled upon some great fitting, long, skinny jeans at Target–for $24!! The day I stumbled the jeans at Target were on sale for $15!!. Tuesday they were on sale for $20 but that particular Target didn’t have any sizes in “long.” So, Wednesday morning I ordered two pair online for the same sale price. Cool!

A Hobby Lobby stop, Costco, a Walmart grocery pickup and we were on our way to the airport waiting a mere 30 minutes for Dan and Louanne’s plane to arrive. The trip home was uneventful despite the efforts of all the wildlife!! I was driving, it was dark of course and every critter in Cochise County Arizona had a death wish last night. I think we saw three owls who swooped at the truck, two buck deer–one on each side of the road, a javelina and best of all–a bobcat with a rodent of some sort in his mouth darted across the road in front of us. It was a zoo out there last night!

Wednesday morning this red-tailed hawk let me get so close before taking flight–


It’s That Time Of Year

People at church have colds, the lady behind the counter at the post office coughs, we spoke with friend Larry and Geri–they both have colds. Even though I sat beside a snotty, coughing young woman on the plane to Arkansas I managed to avoid her germs. When we are out among people I am constantly telling the Cowboy–“don’t touch the door handles.” I go through bottles of hand sanitizer and packages of antiseptic wipes this time of year. I repeat this mantra when I am out in public, “don’t touch your face, don’t touch your face.” Many people in our church are out with illness of some sort. I thought I was coming down with something Thursday night but Friday morning I was feeling fine. Thank goodness–I’m way too busy to be sick! It’s that time of year!

This week I hung the last of the insulation–we don’t think most people insulate inside walls but we did in some areas–one of our bedroom walls shares a wall with the refrigerator in the kitchen. On both ends of the country we have noisy refrigerators and so we insulated that wall. We also insulated all the way around the bathroom. Glad to be finished with that nasty insulation stuff!

The Cowboy has been busy as usual hanging drywall, building ceilings, laying shower floor tile–that man is always on the go! Our mini split heating and air conditioner units should be delivered on Monday.

Saturday evening we enjoyed the company of friends Lyndon, Lisa, Janice and Kevin who came for dinner. We had grilled tri-tips, Brenda’s cheesy potatoes, Boulder River Ranch salad and TWO desserts! We were to have been eight people but one couple–Wayne and Patty (RVing friends of Lyndon and Lisa’s) had to make an unexpected trip back to Colorado. The pressure cooker cheesecake is small and I wasn’t sure it would feed eight people so I made two desserts–lemon cheesecake and Pioneer Woman chocolate pie. I sent our guests home with leftover desserts–the Cowboy and I don’t need those extra portions!!

Church this morning and the Cowboy began grouting the shower. It’s a picture perfect day in Arizona–one of those why we come to Arizona in the winter time kind of days.

Thursday night and Friday we had some spitting rain and on both those days we were treated to gorgeous sunsets–

This little guy was chirping at Emmi and me as we walked one crisp morning.

Friday morning storm clouds.









My Brain Hurts

Monday was another grouting day and by days end the walls of the shower are grouted and we were exhausted! All those other activities I talk about (laundry, bed linen changing, etc.) were also accomplished plus cooking.

The floor will be those small tiles which form the border.

Thanks to all of you who left suggestions about loading Lightroom onto my new laptop–the suggestions were much appreciated–but unfortunately didn’t work. The DVD player idea is a great one and I ordered an external DVD but my Lightroom disc is in Montana. The suggestions about the serial number were also good ideas. I eventually found my Lightroom serial number by signing into Adobe and finding my purchased products. That’s when the real trouble began.

Moon coming up over the Chiricahua Mountainswith the sunset reflecting on the clouds.

We don’t make payments. All these subscription services for iCloud, Microsoft, Adobe Lightroom, etc. are payments and we chose not to make payments. The day is coming when companies will force us to make those payments but we are resisting as long as possible!

In 2019 I purchased from Adobe one of the last remaining hard copies of Lightroom 6 knowing that updates would no longer be available and the product would not be supported by Adobe in the very near future. Those facts didn’t concern me. I’ve been running Windows 7 for a long time without support or updates.

What bothers me about the hard copy I purchased is this–Adobe no longer has a direct download link for Lightroom 6 on their website. They don’t support the product, they don’t sell the product in DVD form so no download link. On the Adobe website it’s as if Lightroom never existed. There are many links to Lightroom CC–their cloud based version for $10/month. They don’t care that I paid about $160 for that hard copy and have the rights to use it. They are going to force me into using their Lightroom cloud based version.

No they are not–at least for the time being! I sat at my two computers yesterday for literally hours searching for ways around Adobe’s robbery. Finally yesterday afternoon late I found a website which provided a direct download link for Lightroom and it worked!! Lightroom is now installed on this computer and working smoothly. I managed to transfer my catalog, presets and preferences along with all my photos.

The lesson I just learned was SAVE the download link from any product you outright purchase! While I’ve been glued to the computers the Cowboy has been hard at work installing drywall, running electric wires, etc. I did help him yesterday afternoon–we moved about 15 sheets of drywall from the garage into the house–uffdah!! We load it onto the flat bed ATV trailer and from there into the house–still uffdah!

As for the new computer, a Dell Inspiron–I’m loving it. Two things I’ve noticed–when you click “shut down”–it shuts down, instantaneously! My older Toshiba took forever to shut down and power up. The second thing I noticed was when backing up Lightroom–it’s also instantaneous, happens in a few seconds. The Toshiba churned a bit when backing up and the process would take longer. Windows 10 and I are playing nicely.😆I haven’t been brave enough to fold the Dell into tablet form–maybe soon??😯

Anyone else tired of “lettuce recalls”?? We planted lettuce–our weather hasn’t been cooperating so the lettuce makes a trip inside each night and back out into the sunshine during the day. It may be a while before we have lettuce!




Not One But Two Snafus

It’s grouting time for the shower and I’ve been helping the Cowboy. He uses a tapered canvas bag filled with grout to fill the grout lines. I come closely behind him with a rubber trowel, forcing the grout more firmly into the lines and smearing away the excess. It’s definitely a two person job as the grout starts to “set” rapidly. We are more than halfway finished after two days of grouting.

You would think two people could grout a shower in less time but all the other activities/jobs in our lives have to be done also. Walking the pooch, cooking, laundry, happy hours, blog writing, etc. The Cowboy ran some more wiring and even spread more drywall mud.

It’s been sunny and a bit warmer with daytime highs in the upper 50’s. With the abundant sunshine that feels warm. It’s disheartening when I open the weather app on my phone and find it warmer at our Montana home than it is in Arizona. I know the warmer temps in Montana won’t last and there is that white stuff that falls from the sky, but geez could it warm up a bit!

We’ve researched lots of destinations for warmer weather but if you don’t like bugs and humidity Florida and south Texas aren’t options. Too many people in southern California so Arizona it is! There are a few slightly warmer places in Arizona but not enough warmer to matter.

There is always Mexico and we know people still go to Mexico but we just aren’t comfortable with the idea. And it’s not as if we haven’t been–we spent two months in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico one winter. We have friends who own homes in Mexico and they are comfortable. We have friends who are spending the month of February in Mexico. Our friends Beryl and Ainslie are in Alamos right now. Are we missing something?

OK, weather whine over as Sunday our temperature was 72 degrees!! Forecast is for sunny days in the 60’s and by Friday we are back to 49 degrees and rain–so it goes. And by the way, citrus trees don’t grow in climates where it freezes every. single. night!!

So–I bought a new computer, one with Windows 10. Due to this stupid knee of mine, I spent most of Saturday on the couch and used the time to set up the new laptop, a Dell. Last night I was going to be brave and install Lightroom 6 using the DVD when I discovered that the DVD is probably still in Montana. I haven’t searched the motorhome thoroughly but will today–I am fairly certain the DVD is still residing in Montana.

But that wasn’t the only snafu! I bought a computer without a DVD player!!! Walking back into the living room after the DVD search I suddenly had that sinking feeling, picked up the laptop and yep, no DVD player! We purchased it from Costco for a reason–returnable–so back it goes and I am so disappointed on all fronts! I will just keep using my trusty Toshiba with Windows 7 until we head back to Montana where the Lightroom DVD is residing then I will purchase a new laptop, maybe even another Toshiba.

After church the Cowboy, Emmi and I decided to take a well deserved day off after all that grouting! Our first stop was in Bisbee for late breakfast/early lunch at the Bisbee Breakfast Club–always a treat! I had huevos rancheros and the Cowboy had a burger and fries–imagine that!

Always so cool to see these cars parked along Erie Street in Bisbee. And here’s the story about Erie Street–

“Visiting Erie Street is like walking into a 1950s post-apocalyptic landscape. From all that is immediately apparent, it could have been abandoned in a hurry and forgotten for half a century. Rusting cars, trucks, and an old Greyhound bus sit deserted along the street as if their passengers had suddenly vanished (or worse). 

Erie Street is most of what is left of Lowell, Arizona, a mining town incorporated into Bisbee in the early 1900s. Much of the town’s residential area was demolished to widen an open pit copper mine. Losing most of its residents caused the commercial district to struggle, and many businesses failed as a result. Today, the street’s special curiosities include a Harley Davidson repair shop with a now-defunct gas pump and Sprouse Reitz Co., a department store that is nearly empty except for a few appliances and a whole pile of mannikin parts. 

Despite appearing untouched since its decline, further investigation reveals that Erie Street is continually restored by a vibrant and passionate community of residents and volunteers who want to remember a different America. So although you can no longer see a show at Lowell’s movie theater or pay $0.22 for gasoline, the Lowell Americana Project has made it possible to experience the street as a living snapshot of another time.” From

We took the long way around to Sierra Vista so we could visit Carr Canyon. There are always so many gorgeous photos of Carr Canyon Falls on the Cochise County photography Facebook site. Well, we could see the falls–what remains of the water flowing from the storms over Christmas week but we didn’t get very close. Road was closed for…………….snow/mud/ice!!! We will definitely go back on a warmer spring day and not on Sunday–it was a bit busy to say the least.

The falls were in the shade of the mountain, thus my photos look washed out. It’s a popular hiking destination–the base of the falls and to the top to look over the precipice.

After a quick stop at Home Depot and Culvers for milkshakes we pointed the truck for home. A spectacular day off from house labors!

This photo was shared from the Cochise County and All Its Wonders photography Facebook page. Taken by Arizonan Yeti and shared with permission. The photo was taken on November 30 after all the Thanksgiving week rain.



Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all our family and friends. May the new year and decade bring you much health, happiness and prosperity. Our little Arizona community started a new tradition on New Year’s Eve–fireworks–and the fire department did a fabulous job using monies donated by our community. We watched from inside the warm house before heading off to Lisa and Lyndon’s for a New Year’s Eve party.

Friends and neighbors gathered in Lisa and Lyndon’s garage and enjoyed games and all the food everyone contributed. They have a pool table and ping pong table plus other people brought various games. The Cowboy and Lyndon won almost all the pool games–they were on a roll which is amazing as the last time the Cowboy played pool was on New Year’s Eve, 2019!

A serious game of dominoes!

We managed to stick with the socializing until about 10:30p–came home and managed to last until midnight–unusual for us!

Monday was a day of travel with my sister dropping me at the airport early while on her way to work. In Houston the plane had mechanical issues for a while then we were moved from gate B7 all the way to gate B79 so United could put us on another plane. The Cowboy and Emmi were so glad to see me as I was them. Emmi almost wiggled out of her skin when she caught sight of me. We had lunch and purchased some grout at Home Depot before heading down the road for home.

New Year’s Day was spent taking down and putting away all the Christmas stuff then cleaning the house–the dust bunnies had taken over while I was gone. Emmi and I took a couple walks and played with her Christmas present–a new nubby ball. The Cowboy received a new Samsung tablet–he’s not an Apple fan and the iPad handed down from his Dad is on its last legs we are thinking. My Toshiba laptop running Windows 7 is about eight years old and has started to act irrationally at times. So, Santa (aka the Cowboy) brought me a new Dell laptop with Windows 10. I haven’t even turned on the new computer–can an old dog learn new tricks???

On New Year’s Eve we went to Benson to sign some papers at the title office–we’ve purchased two lots which border our existing land. We enjoyed lunch at Mi Casa. It’s not the Cowboy’s favorite place to eat but when in Benson, it’s where we go. I on the other hand LOVE Mi Casa. I had the special and it was delicious!

Sunrise on New Year’s Eve


Back And Forth

Ann loves her chickens–she has a very colorful rooster who guards his hens carefully!

Christmas is over, the decorations are being taken down, a bit of after Christmas shopping is being undertaken and we are still eating. No one ever gets hungry on Barnes-Hill!😆

Thursday Mom and I made a trip to Little Rock. We left paperwork needing completion at the office of Chuck’s primary physician. We took the opportunity to have lunch at PF Chang’s and do a little shopping. Thursday evening I grilled a couple prime sirloin roasts. My sister Ann and her husband had asked the butcher at a Kroger store in Little Rock for tri-tip roasts. At home when unpacking the groceries I realized the roasts were not tri-tips but sirloin. I had never cooked a sirloin roast on the grill but forged ahead, marinated it as if I were cooking tri-tips and slapped them on the grill. The meat was absolutely delicious! Juicy, tender and very flavorful–so good!  Niki made Pioneer Woman potatoes and beer bread; Ann contributed a salad. We ate well that night!

Friday Ann, Niki, Leah and I once again traveled to Little Rock to do a little after Christmas shopping. It was a gray, rainy day so shopping was a good activity. We enjoyed pizza for lunch to fuel our shopping. My sister Ann had never been to Trader Joe’s so that was one stop we made–it was busy! I had never been in an Ulta–makeup–which I love, so that was a stop. My 15 year old great niece Leah was wearing a mascara that made her eyelashes look miles long and wasn’t goopy. So, I needed a 15 year old to tell me what new mascara I needed to try!😘 I love shopping in the “big” city with my family! Elizabeth had plans on Friday and had to work on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday I spent time with Mom and Chuck–researching various VA home care programs, visiting and feeding them–as I’ve said, we eat well on Barnes-Hill! It’s another gray, rainy day–common winter weather in Arkansas.

Sunday we enjoyed a huge pot of jambalaya Danny and Ann concocted and it was so incredibly good–that recipe is a keeper! We spent the afternoon going back and forth between the two houses visiting. My cousin Mary Ellen and her Dad, Uncle Frank Lee stopped by to see Mom and Chuck.

Monday morning bright and early I board an airplane and fly back to the Cowboy and Emmi. I’ve had such a good time in Arkansas and so appreciate my sister and her husband putting up with me for this long. I have the best family without a doubt. 😍😍

The house where I grew up. I was 12 when we moved to this house. My sister and her husband built a house across the road 31 years ago. The rest of the family live within less than 2 miles of these two houses.

My last Arkansas sunset for a while.

Merry Christmas

Wishing all our friends and family a Merry, Merry Christmas. We haven’t slowed, not one bit except for this afternoon. We are typing blogs, surfing the internet, sending Christmas wishes and relaxing. Whew–we’ve been busy!

My sister Ann has a stitching project this afternoon.

Monday was spent with more cooking, cleaning and visiting. Our Chuck’s (Mom’s husband) health is extremely precarious at this point in time so we’ve been spending lots of time with him and our Mom. Niki and I made a trip to Benton–oh my was the traffic horrendous! We just needed a couple things and it was a quick trip.

Christmas Eve during the day we cooked and readied everything for our evening celebration at Mom and Chuck’s. We enjoyed a delicious ham gifted to Danny and Ann by a 90 year old church member who still works almost full time at the local Walmart. The ham was smoked by a local restaurant and we accompanied it with various sides and desserts. Everything was so good! There were 15 of us gathered together.

Chuck also had surprise visitors on Christmas Eve morning. In 2013-2014 the Cowboy and Chuck worked for Rollie in south Texas. The Cowboy on the oil rig being constructed and Chuck drove a van which transported workers from the offices out to the rig. Rollie and Gina were visiting their daughter and family who live only about 45 minutes from my family. It was so good to see them and Chuck was very surprised and also very glad to see the two of them. When we met Gina and Rollie in 2010 they had no grandchildren. Now nine years later they have nine grandchildren.  Gina and Rollie’s two daughters and families were together for Christmas and their seven beautiful children are pictured with Gina and Rollie. The other two beautiful kiddos belong to Gina and Rollie’s son who is a state trooper and because he had to work over Christmas couldn’t join the rest of the family.

Christmas Day morning we traveled about a mile and a half to the home of my niece Niki–she is Danny and Ann’s only child and we love her and her family to pieces! Niki and gang had made breakfast for us–lots of breakfast–we do eat well in our family! We watched the family open their Christmas presents and just enjoyed being together.

Santa brought both girls “screen glasses” to protect their eyes against the glare of the screens in which their heads are always buried!😝 Niki, Leah and Elizabeth.

Christmas Eve would have been our Dad’s 91rst birthday–he died in 2002–and we miss him greatly.

The Cowboy and Emmi had some Christmas Day visitors in Arizona and one, Linda, even came bearing food gifts! He has talked on the phone with his family and me–all is good in Arizona.

Mom called mid afternoon very excited–a bald eagle had landed just outside her yard fence–she lives just across the street from Danny and Ann. It had flown but we all jumped into the car and drove down the road to see if we could find him–and we did!! Twice!! What a wonderful sight!

Ann and I have managed to take a couple really good walks and always have to stop to give my brother Ross’ horses some treats. As our blogging friend Judy used to say, The End.




Busy, Busy Season

Wednesday night I arrived in Little Rock and stayed in a hotel in downtown Little Rock on the Arkansas River. My sweet niece retrieved me on Thursday morning. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Samantha’s and headed for home to see Mom and Chuck and the rest of the gang. My sister Ann and her husband Danny live right across the road from Mom and Chuck–there is always someone coming and going from both houses–for me a large part of the joy of being home.

Arkansas River bridge from my hotel room Thursday morning.

Bright and early Friday morning Danny and Ann headed to Little Rock for some last minute shopping. One of my jobs while in Arkansas is to help Chuck with some VA paperwork–we tackled that chore Friday morning. I also baked some for Ann–cookies and some candies we all love–some people call the chocolate, caramel, pecan delights “millionaires” or “turtles.” Whatever the name, they are delicious and addictive! My dear friend Gina taught me how to make them one year while we were visiting in Louisiana.

More Arkansas River bridges.

My brother-in-law pastors the church I grew up attending. I played the piano for many a service in that church. Being a pastor adds much to the holiday season and this year is no exception. There was a funeral Saturday and the church members provided lunch for the family which involved more cooking. Sunday evening the children’s program involves a live nativity scene at the home of Danny and Ann followed by soups and other goodies at their house. More cooking. And of course we sample all that cooking.

Sunset on Barnes Hill.

And we haven’t even started the actual Christmas Eve and Day cooking! Sunday Mom and I attended church with Danny, Ann and family–the choir performed a beautiful Christmas cantata. Back home my brother Ross and his family prepared a fine southern meal for us–fried catfish, hushpuppies, french fries and baked beans–delicious. We’ve spent the afternoon getting ready for the church youth and their families to arrive–soups, dips, cookies, and the list goes on and on. I am gaining weight just looking at all this food!

Life is good on Barnes Hill!

PawPaw and Elizabeth hanging Christmas lights.

Ann cooking the bacon outside.Another gorgeous sunset.