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Beau's Journey » 2009 » December

Archive: December, 2009

December 26, 2009: Christmas

  We spent Christmas at Deena’s this year.  I think everyone had a great time! 


Mariah and Dylan



Mother made me some gingerbread men cookies!!!!!!!!!!!!!


December 26, 2009: MERRY CHRISTMAS! In the new house!

  Well, I have been busy unpacking.  So, no posts!  But, my sister said I should post.

  What a journey!  From the start to finish – it has been about two years.  We discovered our farm was for sale on Christmas Day of 2007.  And now – we were able to spend Christmas here!  It has certainly been an amazing journey. 

  I am sure Tony is glad the project is almost finished.  Him and everyone else – it has been a long two years.  Lot of phone calls – several hundred 🙂 – but it is almost finished.

  Finally got a few photos worked through.  Still getting settled into the house.  It is coming along, though.  Another few weeks and we will be done with all of the major stuff.  Daisy has not been up here yet.  She might come back in a week or two.  Unsure.  Still need to work out a few more things before she returns.

  I am enjoying waking up to the views.  The foggy mornings are nice – just seeing the Oak tree and a little bit beyond on the extremely foggy mornings.  🙂  Then the wind – it is always blowing.  We had several days of 30+ mph winds.  Fun to listen to it roaring.

  It has been very windy up here.  During the last three weeks we have had numerous gusts over 40 and 50 mph.  Cold, as well.  Most of December was cold.  Still no snow.

  Had a great time at Deena’s on Christmas Day.  All of us went there to eat and hang out. 

  Dylan and Tyler stayed up here earlier this week.  Dylan is home from Oklahoma for a couple of weeks.  Then my mother stayed here Christmas Eve and Christmas night.  I think she enjoyed being up here.  Could have used a little more snow, though.  🙂

  Looks like VERY cold weather ahead of us.  Bitter cold – is in the cards.  But – will it snow?  That is the question.

  Some photos from the last few weeks

IN THE MOVING VAN – Looking up the drive!  First load.


Putting paper down on the floors a week ago – getting ready for all of the movers.

Living room – kitchen – dining room area.  Papered the floors for all the traffic.

Jason and Jess Darnall – Jason working on cameras and OEM

Bears on the third floor

Jason Darnall – working on the cameras for the new web-site

Kitchen – without all the paper on the floors 🙂


Neighbors dog looking in at me 🙂

Library – this was fun to unpack 🙂

Unpacking clothes

The weather room is fully operational 🙂


Third floor

Living room

Dining Room

Weather library


Living room

Foggy morning – sun room

Weather library


Third floor – family room

Fenced area out back – Daisy’s area

Third floor – bears


Daisy’s fence area

Foggy morning – off the weather room

Second floor sitting area

Third floor

Weather room

Weather room


Moving 🙂

Third floor – family room

Third floor




December 15, 2009: First glimpse at the new weather center :)

The weather center here at my house is almost complete 🙂

Thanks Jason and Jess for alllllllll of your help!!!!!

Weather center to cover OEM events.  Top monitors are for ABC/CBS/NBC – bottom are GEMPAK – main computer
and radar/satellite/OEM and NWS Chat


OEM radios to cover events.


December 10, 2009 – Holy cow batman – it was cold! Packing!

  I recorded 10/11 degrees this morning on the mercury.  That is extremely cold for this time of the year.  Pic below – the black area is the low (you have to go to the top of the black line).  Brrr

  Packing up the OEM radios!



December 12, 2009: WE HAVE A MOVE-IN DATE!!!!

  The movers arrive on Wednesday, December 16th.  I have a presentation in Graves County that morning – then we move!!!!!!!!! 


December 7, 2009: Tony Weighs In – From The Spectators View

  Well – the final version of what happened Saturday night.  Tony – who watched the parade has sent me his version of those events.

  Here it is 🙂

Waiting for the parade to start, I am excited as I know what a tremendous parade that Mayfield had, and can only imagine that Paducah’s will be 10 times better.  After the cop car, 10 trucks, and a few thrown together floats, I am sorely disappointed at the lackluster effort put on by the parade participants.  However, I know that the Dippin’ Dot’s float will soon be coming down the street and since they are a multi-million dollar company with a work force of hundreds, I can only dream about the awesome display of retail goodness that will soon pass by.

As I stand hunkered down with only my eyes bared to the wind, I hear someone say, “Here comes Dippin’ Dot’s!”.  The excitement within me warms me to the point that I pull my hands out of my pocket and unzip my coat a bit so I can scream and cheer with the rest of the crowd. Even at that moment, as cold as I was, I knew that those dippin dot samples would hit the spot and I couldn’t wait!

Then as I looked out into the street, there it was.  Dippy the Dot was standing high upon the float waving to each and every child, even the kids at heart.  The lights of the decorations along Broadway gleamed as they reflected off of the brightly colored dots on the float. Almost like a dream, I stood staring in awe and amazement, unable to take my eyes from the float until I then heard a voice beside me scream out “DIONE!”. 

My attention returned, I looked beyond the float to see my sister-in-law, Dione, rushing about like ol’ Saint Nick trying to fill all the stockings of the Duggar kids on Christmas Eve.  As she went from kid to kid, handing out candy and coupons, you could see their faces light up with joy and happiness.  Then, as if on cue from ol’ Saint Nick himself, she turned to look towards where we were standing and gave a nod of her head, a hearty smile, and a twinkle of the eye.  She just as quickly turned back to her calling of joy-maker and moved on down the parade route. I laughed from within as I knew the sheer happiness that she must have felt making all those kids feel joyful and alive.

Quickly, I turned and begin to search for the next member of the Dippin Dot crew that was my brother-in-law Beau.  At first I wondered how I would ever find him among all the Dippin Dot’s employees that would be working the parade with the same pride and vigor as Dione, but I soon realized it would be easier to find him than not.  No worries I thought, this will make it easier to get those Dippin Dot samples that Beau would surely be handing out, as Dione was focused on candy and coupons.  I holler out “Beau..Beau…over here!” but to no avail.  Beau was a man on a mission.  The mission of handing out candy and coupons to little kids.  I chuckled at the thought of this wealthy and semi-famous man which I know all too well reaching out to those he knew not with only the thought of bringing joy and laughter to their hearts.  Good Cheer to you Beau, I thought, as he passed on his way down the parade route. Surely he would be blessed for all he had done this wintery night. A little saddened by the lack of Dippin Dot samples, I let not my heart dwell upon that which I possessed not, but instead upon the grand scene which I had surely just stolen from a Charles Dickens’s novel.

The street quickly emptied as the Dippin Dot float moved on down to the next group of waiting and anxious souls. Oh how they would dance and rejoice with glee as the float brightens their holiday spirits. As quickly as I had finished my glad tidings for those good folks, I began to wonder what happened to my other brother-in-law Joey.  I knew he had committed within his heart and mind to participate in this joyous event, and why not of course as the blessings bestowed that night would be many for those who gave so freely.

“That’s IT!” I exclaimed as my shivering mind brought forth the only logical thought it could. Joey has the samples!  Oh how my heart leaped for joy as I knew the answer I had been searching for was just given to me, much like the prayer of Mary upon that star lit night so many years ago in Bethlehem. I stepped out into the street, daring those who watched to stop me as I searched, no, longed for just a glimpse of Joey coming down the street with the dippin dot samples.  Would he be pushing a cart perhaps?  Or better yet, driving a truck loaded down with those delicious delights of delectable desire?  Surely we would be put out of our misery quickly and be filling our tummies with the goodness of dots.

Seconds turn to minutes, as the hand of time passed by, with each passing tick of the clock dimming my hope that Joey was too heading our way to save the night. Then, upon the empty street, a commotion. I turned to my spouse and said, “Could it be?”  We stepped out from our warm spot from within the corner of the building and looked out over the crown, straining our weary eyes to see if it could be what we had been waiting for.

“IT’S HIM, IT’S HIM!” She said.  “It’s JOEY!”   I must admit that within that sheer moment of time, all that was around me ceased to move. Each little person and adult alike was still, and silent.  The night air was crackling and the light was shimmering off of the stars and candles that lined the street.  I knew that the time had arrived and as I stepped out to greet him, to greet the one that I call family, it seemed as if it were just he and I and no one else were around us.

But wait, something was wrong. I saw no cart, no truck, no samples of any kind. I saw only Joey looking lost and bewildered, as if someone had taken the very last Christmas tree and hidden it with only minutes to find it before it would be gone forever.  I yelled out “JOEY…OVER HERE”, but it was as if the sound of my voice was frozen in that cold night air and fell to the earth at my feet like an icicle, crashing to the ground and breaking into thousands of little pieces.  Joey did not turn to look at me. He did not stop to see what it was that I was longing for. Joey simply ran, not walked, but ran down the street as fast and furious as Rudolph himself on his very first flight.

It seemed like forever, but I know it was only seconds, and then Joey was gone. I stared after him as his white fur-lined jacket faded into the dark night of the end of the parade, and I knew then that it was over.  There would be no samples. There would be no more to come with the hope of handing out the mouth-watering morsels I had so longed for.  I gathered up my family and begin to walk towards the car.  Surely there were reasons. Surely there would be an answer as to why. But, for that night, I would leave with only the wonder of what should have been, stripped away like the ornaments from the tree after the holiday rejoicing were over.

I wish I could leave you with one of the Dickens’s classic endings.  A “God bless us everyone” or “To all a good night” but sadly, I can’t.  I can only hold onto the tiny spark in my heart that is next years parade. That spark that will hopefully one day light the fire that is to be filled with joy, warmth, and samples for all!


December 6, 2009: Joey’s Version Of The Christmas Parade

  Okay – well now Joey has weighed in with his version of the events on Saturday night – 🙂

  Ok I see that these stories are very one sided here.   I thought that it was only fair to get a third  view to the way this  event  played out .   To  get the full feel of this story we need to  go back a few hours  before the  parade.  This is when I realized  that I had exhausted all of my options and  I was going to have to do this parade because Beau wasn’t going to budge.  We  left eating lunch with Judy around 3 pm and  we are about 1 hour early so Beau decides that we need gasoline.  So we will just run over to the Smoke Shop and  then head over to meet Dione at the “police station”  (wherever that is –  am not from Paducah).   So we got some gas and killed a bit of time.  We then decide to head over to the rally point  – the time is about 4 pm.  It is a good 30 minutes before we have to  meetwe should have plenty of time.  Little did I know every street was closed and we ran into a stampede of humiliated and angry horses wearing deer antlers.  I had to coach Beau around all the horses and then we finally made it to our destination.

  Afterwe got out of the car and walked 2 blocks in the wrong direction (because Beau doesn’t know what street we actually parked on) we realize that Dione is watching us.  She is two blocks away – standing in the middle of the street and waving.  As I am looking in her direction I am looking for the  big Dippin’ Dots  float.  To my surprise it is a flat bed truck with wooden rails, one strand of Christmas lights on it, and  a Dippin’ Dots pre-pack man with a  Christmas hat on.  I think to myself it’s a recession and times are hard but how much are a few extra lights anyway?  We finally make it to the float and I see Dione with 5 stockings with candy and coupons in them.  I do some very quick  math in my head and see that it is just Me, Beau, Dione, Nancy and Luke is the Pre-pack .  This is when I found out that I would have to Juggle both coupons and candy in the parade. 

  OKAY so its go time the moment of truth we are about to get startedI have my candy and my coupons ready!  I  took off one of my gloves so I could have the best possible  grip  because it was a strict rule that we only hand out 2 pieces of candy per child.   The float basically takes off like we are in some kind of drag race.  I am handing candy and coupons out as fast as I can. You see I never had the time to look up to see where anyone else was – I was  totally focused on my task to give out candy and coupons.  I am rushing along as I hand out candy I am getting the usual response from kids (thank you and a lot of Merry Christmas’s) but when I had out the Dippin’Dot coupons I see the kids just light up and they are saying “sweet Dippin’ Dots  I think to myself  I need to hurry before they find out its only 1 dollar off  and not free Dippin’ Dots. 

  It is about  5 min into the parade when I realize that the float is getting really far away from me.  So, I start to ditch the candy as quick as I can and try to catch up to the float.  At this moment I realize that  I am supposed to be helping out Dippin’ Dots so I better hand out  the coupons and let Beau hit the kids with candy.  So I give him my candy bag and try focus on the coupons. 

  I am  handing out  coupons as fast as humanly  possible.  My left  hand is cramped and now stuck to the stocking while my right hand is frozen solidBut  I am still pushing forward  handing out coupons.   I finally gave up trying to keep up with the float and just let it get away.  I  look  up and I see Broadway Methodist church – I am way behind and have no chance of catching up.  This is when I run out of coupons right  in the middle of a group of kids.  After being  verbally abused for running out of coupons by an 8 year old kid I take off in a sprint to catch up with the float scared now that they are going to leave me.  After about 2  blocks I hear my name look back and see Tyler but I think to myself “no time for hugs or chit-chat I have to keep going”.  After another block I realize that I am at the end of the parade and I just give up and start walking.  I finally make it to the  float  to  find 2 coupons  for  a  free small  cup of Dippin’ Dots waiting for me.

  I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. 

  Dione says "see you next year" and leaves me standing on the corner – her limo pulls up and away she goes.  I walk back to Beau’s car – 13 blocks away.

– Joey


December 6, 2009: Dione’s Rebbuttal – her “version”

  Dione sent me this today – I suppose this is how things played out in "her" head.  I think the saddest part of the whole rebuttal is that we all find out Denise was never asked to help.  At least that is what I got out of it.  Perhaps tomorrow Tony will take some time and write me his version.  It is quite funny.

  So anyway – I did agree to post her rebuttal –

So I was reading my brothers blog about the 2009 Christmas Parade and there are a few holes in it that I would like to patch up!

First I never said that daddy, Jamie, Denise and Tony were going to help in the parade.  I told Beau and Joey that Deena and Danielle were going to walk with us in order to hand out candy and coupons.  This was on paper and squared away with me.  I tried to get my husband to help but he only made up excuses one after the other.  (My parents are coming down, It would be a violation of his job agreement with US Foodservice)…whatever…Then I learn that Deena has to babysit 10 5th graders or something like that so now it is down to Beau, Joey, Danielle and me.  This is still doable in my eye’s, we might have to work a little harder but still doable. 

So we are in line at the parade parked on number 31 (that is our float number).  It is now about 4:15 or so and Beau, Joey and Danielle has not shown up.  I am getting a little nervous because if anyone knows me at all, everything needs to be ready and set to go an hour ahead of anything planned.  I don’t function well on last minute plans.  So I decide to phone Beau to see where they are at and when he answers the phone he proceeds to tell me that they thought it was the Metropolis Parade and now have to get over to Paducah in 15 minutes.  (Later I found out that was a lie that they were in Paducah but just running late)  ((Not Funny!)) 

So at around 4:40 or so Beau and Joey decide to show up and notify me that Danielle has hurt her leg and will not be joining us. (No notification from Team Danielle).        I then proceed to go into battle mode which means a whole new plan on how to give out 4,000 pieces of candy and 2,000 coupons by three people.  In my mind this is still doable but Beau and Joey will have to step up their game.  I know my limits but have never been in battle before with Beau and Joey, don’t know if they will dig down into their foxholes or go cowering behind some sandbags in the mist of it all. So I have a huddle session and remind everyone that we are representing the company and now is the time to show our true colors (which are not the rainbow colors) and hunker down.  We have to divide and conquer…Joey will take the left side of the street with his coupons and candy and I will take the right side of the street with my coupons and candy.  Beau you will have to watch us and follow behind as to where we miss the kids and then back us up by giving the kids we miss candy.  Everyone got it…and oh by the way get rid of the hoodie because your gonna scare the kids.  Beau looks like the Uni-Bomber but without sunglasses just regular glasses.  I asked if he could lose those and he looked at me like I was talking Vietnamese.  So anyway you have to pick your battles and it was too cold for that anthill.  Joey is dressed in a nice down white coat with rabbit fur around his hood which is pulled over his head so you can barely see his face in the hood.  I told them the rules…(1) No throwing candy (some kid got his eye poked out) (2) When your bag is empty go to Nancy on the back of the vehicle she will have another one ready for you (3) Only 2 candies per kid…no more…no less (4) Beau make sure you watch Joey and I so you can get the ones we miss. That’s it 4 rules…you would think that these 4 things would be easy to follow…I mean for real he is building a house with 5,000 rules and regulations that has to be met everyday in order to be compliant with the laws of the land.

So the parade is getting ready to start and we watch as numbers 1 through 30 ride pass us with floats all lighted up..Baby Jesus, Red Hatters even Mickey Mouse. I give Joey and Beau a tilt of my head upwards that this is it…here we go…we are ready!!!!

As I take off jogging beside the vehicle because you know the vehicle has to get going a little bit in order to get behind the other float there we were…pulling it off.  Some may have doubted that only the three of us could pull such a thing of this off.  I had the right hand side of the street and was pulling out candies and coupons as fast as my hands could go.  The bags weren’t opening fast enough for me so  I decided to go into Light Travel Mode and drop the candies down by the feet of all the boys and girls standing there.  This was good by the end of the first block I hand it down…Give out a few coupons while jogging still..drop candies by their feet and go…I don’t know what time it is or what block were on…I jog (still) towards Nancy to get my second bag of goodies and I look around and Beau and Jeoy are no where to be found.  ((THE FIRST BLOCK)) I look at Nancy and she just gives me this look of disappointment…then points back about 2 or 3 blocks to where you can barely see a White Rabbit Fur Lines coat walking casually or maybe skipping alongside the children passing out 1 coupon per child or adult.  As I look again I don’t see Beau anywhere.  So I grab the second bag of candies and go back to my side thinking…they will catch up…they are strong men…they have to dig in dig in dig in!!!!  As the parade moves on I am ok…not great but ok…still jogging (sometimes running) (ok the vehicles are going a little fast) but the right side is ok….I work on my 3rd bag of candy and am now out of coupons…I look back to see if I can see any sign of the soldiers ( I mean team mates) and I see a distance red coat about 3 floats back.  I wave him on that he needs to catch up…as he comes running up his bag is empty and I can only imagine how many disappointed kids are on the sidelines.  (Still don’t see Joey) So he grabs another bag and proceeds to whine about the situation and as I tell him to be quiet and just go to the left side I turn and hit back into battle on the right side.  The vehicle is now about 10 or 20 yards in front of us and the children are watching as Dippin’ Dots vehicle with Nancy on the back of the vehicle with all this candy is just sitting there and they are all screaming “Throw The Candy” “Throw The Candy”  she tries to yell back to them saying they are coming around they are coming…but after about 6 or 7 blocks of this she gets mad and throws candy at some kids while shouting at them “I’M NOT SUPPOSE TO THROW CANDY BUT THERE! “

So about half way through the parade I realize it is all up to me…I can either let these kids down or give them what they came for “Candy and Coupons” …as I was now running to both sides of the street because (Beau is still 3 or 4 floats back and is now pretty much giving out candy for the Red Hatters or Congregational Holiness Church whichever float is he running alongside of now) it is up to me and me alone to work both sides of the street while trying not to be run over by the float behind me which is in no way slowing down for me.  I run to the right and (Throw…I mean Toss) candy at the feet of as many kids as I can hit.  Then I run to the left side and try to (Throw…I mean Toss) as much candy down as I could because now I’m working in groups…forget the individual kids…it is fend for yourself…if you can get to the handfuls of candy I can (Throw …I mean Toss) down at someone’s feet then go for it…May the Strong Survive!  I’m looking for clusters now…clusters of kids who I can get to while running back and forth from the right to the left and then back to Nancy for refills…I’m going and going…and then a hear a faint “Hey Babe!”…I think its my imagination…I’m hot, tired, back is sore and I’m dreaming…Then I hear it again…”Hey Babe!”…I look up and there is my husband standing near the end of the parade in a warm scarf, gloves hat and coat…I grab a handful of candy and THROW it directly at him trying to hurt the only body I can hurt without being arrested as I run by still looking for clusters of kids.  So we get to the end of the parade in which Beau now comes up and goes wow didn’t know it was going to be that fast.  I look at him with as much disappointment as Nancy had riding on the back of that cold vehicle just watching as our chances of being the best Dippin’ Dots team in history goes down the drain.  I am now walking behind the vehicle trying to catch my breath in 24 degree weather wondering what went wrong.  Where did I go wrong?  As we turn the corner to stop the vehicle Joey walks (skips, whatever) and says “I handed out Every Last One of the coupons!”  I just look at him.  I want to cry but its to cold so I just look at them and think to myself I am related to them…no matter what I’m related to them and there is no way out of this.   


December 5, 2009: The Paducah Christmas Parade

  Well, It was another successful Christmas parade in Paducah.  Several thousand spectators turned out to catch a glimpse of the famous Dippin’Dots helium balloon.  Dione was somehow placed in charge of candy distribution.  She had about 10 people lined up to hand out candy and coupons.  The list of family members participating was quite impressive.  When I first got the text a few days ago she told us that Deena, Danielle, Tyler, Tony, Tommy, Denise, Jamie, daddy, mother and a number of other people would be helping and had already signed up.  So, of course, Joey and I were more than happy to help out – since the rest of the family was going to be there.

  The biggest task was going to be making sure we had plenty of candy to go around and not to crowd each other out in trying to make sure there were not too many of us handing out candy to the same kids.

  Dione told us to be there at 4:30 this evening – and not to be late.  The parade started at 5 pm.  So, we arrived at 4:20 pm.  It was cold.  When we arrived it was Nancy and her – then Luke was dressed up in the Dippin’Dot costume.  That was it.  Apparently nobody else other than the drivers were helping.  The rest of the family said that we were tricked into believing that everyone was going to help.  Actually the word sucker was used more than once.  So – it was just Joey and myself.

  Then apparently Dione didn’t care for my hoody attire and made me put on a black ski-hat.  Said she didn’t want me scaring the kids with the hoody.  Not that anybody could see anything since it was going to be dark outside.  But, whatever – being Christmas and all I figured I would go along with whatever.  I was looking for the Santa hats that we were promised and the blinky holiday lights to go around our neck.  Those were crossed off the marketing budget, though.  At least that is what Dione said.

  Dione gave us strict instructions to not throw any candy.  Something about putting an eye out.  I remember when I was a kid we used to have candy thrown at us all of the time – and it never impacted any of us in a negative manner.  But, whatever.  Also reminded us that we were representing the company.  Even though we don’t work there.  Around 5:20 or so the parade got started.  At least that is when float number 31 joined in (that was ours).  We had stockings full of candy and coupons to hand out.  Nobody told us that the float would be moving at 30 mph the entire route and we would be expected to run a marathon to keep up with them.

  After about 45 seconds I looked up and nobody was to be seen.  There was some float with a manger scene passing me by – minus the baby Jesus doll who had fallen out into the street.  I was just about out of candy.  I looked and thought – well the float must be behind us.  So, I looked down the street.  None of this looked familiar.   Apparently our float was 2 or 3 blocks ahead of us.  I ran and ran and ran to catch back up.  I was hot by then – I had long john underwear on – three shirts – hat – gloves – and a coat.  Grabbed another bag of candy and started the process all over again.  I was determined this time to stay with the float. 

  After a couple of minutes I looked up and the float was already three or four blocks down the street – again.  I was out of candy.  These kids were looking at me with their hands stretched out and wondering where their handful of candy was.  I told them I was out.  Next thing I know I was being pummeled with rocks and chased down the street.  I finally caught back up with the float and was handed another stocking of candy.  I heard Dione mumble something about being too slow and that I would probably not be meeting my candy quote – also would probably not be asked again to help out if I couldn’t keep up with the float and candy demand.

  This process was repeated about six or seven times.  I ran half the parade route to keep up.  I still don’t know where Joey is.  I assume he is somewhere down on 34th street.  It will be a miracle if he ever catches up with us.

  After it was all over Dione handed us a coupon for a free small container of Dippin’Dots.  I guess the reward is in the smiling kids faces who received all of the free candy (especially the ones at the very end who got handfuls of whatever was left over). 


Our float

December 2, 2009: Joey’s cousin

  Joey’s cousin, Edward, died suddenly Sunday morning of a heart attack.  He was only 48 years old.  Joey’s dad and Edward were very close and did a lot of arrowhead hunting together.  The death came as a shock to the family.  He had not been sick.

  Condolences go out to everyone in the family and I hope they can find some peace in the coming days and weeks.