This page is for links to my favorite things. After you see which Internet sites I like to visit, you will know more about how I currently entertain or educate myself. Being a "baby-boomer" definitely has some advantages. Yes, I'm older and wiser, but I'm also retired, and that gives me the time to do many of my favorite things. My life has been more than interesting enough for me, but now things are slowing down, and I find that I am a much happier, contented person. My lifestyle has slowed, but for those of you in my age bracket, you know that time appears to be speeding up. A friend of my husband Al sent the following to us and I want to share it with you all, for this little written message is so true (author unknown):
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. How old are you? --- I'm 4 and half --- You're never 36 and a half --- you're 4 and a half going on 5!
That's the key. You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number. How old are you? I'm gonna be 16. You could be 12, but you're gonna be 16....
And then the greatest day of your life happens... you become 21..... but you see, even the words sounds like a ceremony... you BECOME 21...YES!!!!
But then you turn 30... ooohhh what happened there?? Makes you sound like bad milk.... He TURNED, we had to throw him out. There's no fun now. What's wrong?? What changed??? You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40... stay over there, it's all slipping away........You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, you're PUSHING 40, you REACH 50...my dreams are gone.....
And then , you BECOME 21, you TURN 30, you're PUSHING 40, you REACH 50 and then you MAKE IT to 60... I didn't think I'd make it.
And then, you BECOME 21, you TURN 30, You're PUSHING 40, you REACH 50, you MAKE IT to 60, ....by then you build up so much speed .... you HIT 70!!!!!
After that , it's a day by day thing. After that you HIT Wednesday.....you get into your 80's, you HIT lunch.. You TURN 4:30, my grandmother won't even buy green bananas.... "well it's an investment, you know, and maybe a bad one".
And it doesn't end there..... Into the 90's, you start going backwards.... I was JUST 92......Then a strange thing happens, if you make it over 100, you become a little kid again.... I'm 100 and a half!!!!!
Well, I have MADE it to 60, and I'm sure hoping for more. Here's the ABC's that link you to my favorite things.
A ANIMALS, yours, mine, or others.....any animal is a good animal in my book! This webpage was made several years ago - one of my first attempts at creating web design. Our beloved pets leave us too early, but we know that there's always a little animal needing a home and love, so we are never without their love and comfort. Below - from left to right: Rusty (yes, he thinks, this birdfeeder has got to be within reach now). Critter the Cat, Minnie aka Mouse the Cat, Jacob aka Jakey, the Black Lab, chewing something as usual, our three Quarter Horses: Sugar Dip (Mom), and her two of her many kids (Mr.) Beau, and Brandy, and Susie (who likes our bluebonnets) . Too many wonderful pets have come and gone. The only animals pictured here who remain with us are the Quarter horses, Beau and Brandy. Their "mom", Sugar Dip, lived to be almost 40 years old. She was one month shy of that age when she died last summer (2006). Frosty was a mixed breed, mostly Shephard, who was left in a box out on the street, and rescued by two fine Police Officers. Of course, we adopted her and we were blessed by her gentle nature. One of our favorite pets was Smokey Cat. We always joked that Smokey was so happy to be around anyone (dogs included) that he'd probably try to rub his little chin against a Coyote if he ever saw one. Well, we're no longer laughing about that, since Smokey was a victim of a Coyote one night. He's our little angel kitty now. We'll never forget him. Then last, but never least, the best dog in the world was our Goldie, the yellow Lab, now gone to keep Smokey company. She is pictured here as a happy older dog. You can see her as a puppy on the next page, or by clicking on her picture.
B - BIRDING is a fairly new hobby for me. One of the nicest gifts I received at my retirement party in 1996 was a wonderful tool for practicing this hobby - Pentax 7x50 PCF binocculars. Bird feeders and houses adorn my backyard trees. Each year, the hummingbirds return to my bright red feeders. Hummers are delightful little creations, but they don't like to share with each other. If you haven't been to the WBU Feeder Cam each day, and you love the birds, then you are really missing a treat. This cam is located in Indianapolis, IN. The birdfeeders are located in a 20-acre beech-maple woods surrounded by pastureland, fields and water sources such as streams and ponds. The woods are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including raccoons, white-tailed deer, opossums, chipmunks, coyotes, red and fox squirrels. Many resident songbirds come to the birdfeeders daily. During winter, bird activity in this backyard varies greatly according to the weather and time of day. And here are some other good sites.
A Visit to the WBU Feeder Cam...a favorite place to see which birds are visiting the feeders.
C - COOKING is fun. Visit some of these links for good recipes and information:
Nothing beats COUNTRY LIVING. It's the best life there is....peaceful and quite, made for retrospection (old timer's pastime).
D - DEITY: whoever you worship makes no difference, as long as your Deity teaches goodness of the soul.
E - E-MAIL.....sorry, all you postal types. Life will never be the same now that we've experienced E-mail. What a wonderful way to "meet" new friends, share information, and keep up with the the cousins!
And as a child of the 1950's...yes, I love ELVIS, the other favorite E-word:
ENTERTAINMENT - Let's amuse ourselves and enjoy life!
F - FAMILY: without whom our lives would be so empty....we rejoice in our family each day. Never forget your FRIENDS who make your life richer. Now if we just had some rich friends........but seriously, what would life be like if we didn't have so many nice people with whom we share our lives. If you are a THOMPSON/GAINES descendant from Pickens Co., SC - ask me about joining our MyFamily group for these surnames.
Another good "F" word-FINANCE:
G - GENEALOGY: if you need a one-stop spot, go here first:
GARDENING is such a rewarding hobby. My husband always helps me have a large garden each year. Usually, I plant potatoes, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and cantalopes. I like to plant new flowers, trees and shrubs each year. This fall, when it's cooler, my goal is to plant a really good quality tree in my north Texas yard. I never name my trees, but this one will be an exception. It will be called "New York", in memory of all those who died because someone hated us.
Another favorite G-word is "GOSSIP". Check out these sites if you're into learning the lastest on gossip:
H - My HUSBAND, James Alan (Al) Castleman, is a man of many talents, considerate, intelligent, kind and handsome and I love him dearly. We met at a Halloween party and nearly one year later, on October 28th, we were married. Unfortunately, his father was killed in an airplane accident at Cox Field in Paris, TX, one month before we wed. But thankfully, Al has a large and loving family of cousins. We are both blessed to have wonderful families. My sister, Ann and her family live in the Houston area and Al's brother, Ken and his wonderful wife Betty, also live in that area. We have one more family who kindly claims us - the Brown family, whose matriarch is Ma Brown. Not many people can claim two mothers, but we do! This Native American family is as close to us as any blood relatives. They are an interesting and talented array of beautiful people for whom we are indebted to forever. You see, they were responable for Al and I meeting at that Halloween party so many years ago. The Brown family remains interested in their heritage and if you've never been to a Powwow and seen these beautiful dancers and thrilled to the native drums, then you are missing an exciting view of the Native American past. And what would family be without HISTORY:
I - IMAGINATION - what would the world be like without it? I really don't want to know.
J - Just being alive! Or hearing a good JOKE! Check out Jeff Foxworthy:
K - KINDNESS is my philosophy. Simple as it sounds, I find that it's always returned; kindness has a way of making your life brighter. It's my reason to live and my "secret" to life. It's really no mystery, just be kind to someone and see if I'm not right. You'll feel better and they will too. Be kind to your earth and it's little inhabitants too!
L - LEARNING - we never get too old to learn.
And excuse me a minute if I rant and rave; would you do the job that our Police, Firemen, and Teachers do for the salary that they receive? Something must be amiss in this country if football/basketball/baseball players get a higher salary than these wonderful people do....just my personal thoughts.
M - MUSIC of all kinds. My hubby, Al, plays an electic guitar. It's an old 1957 Fender Stratocaster. He's played it for fun and sometimes for profit since he was a teenager. He's played with country bands and semi-rock & roll bands, a bluegrass band and done a lot of music with his church. Visit his music page here. We both consider ourselves lucky to have been born in an age which magically turned those pre-teenage years into a time never to be forgotten - the 1950's. Click here to visit a cute webpage with links to that wonderful old music. While we both enjoy music from the 1940's on, our lastest passion is now listening to the blues. Al has even taught himself to play the blues, and my opinion is that he sounds "awesome". Dallas has a very good radio station which plays blues music Monday through Friday in the evening hours-KNON 89.3. There are many good clubs to hear local and famous blues artists. We've seen many through the years, probably some of the best, staring with B. B. King. He's played the Dallas area for ages, and he is always excellent. If you've not heard New Orlean's Tab Benoit, go purchase one of his CDs. It won't matter which one, all of his are good. Be sure and see Kenny Neal, who's also from Louisana, in person if you get a chance....what an entertainer, plus one of the best blues guitarists around. Al's other music favorite - BLUEGRASS! He played guitar and sang for several years with a group called "The Good News Band".
N - NASA-SPACE, SCIENCE and ASTRONOMY.
O - OPRAH Winfrey, a great, inspirational lady.
P - PAINTING is a good way to relax. Oils are my favorites and I'm bound to learn watercoloring someday. But all sorts of art is fun and usually educational. I am attempting to learn to make graphics with Paint Shop Pro 5 now. Visit my own PSP links page here.
Q - QUERIES pages genealogists:
R - READING is the best way to relax. You can entertain yourself, or learn about something new.
S - All things SCOTTISH are interesting to me. Here are some wonderful sites to visit. With a Wallace in my tree, from Paisley, Scotland, it's easy to see why I love William Wallace and Mel Gibson's wonderful (if not quite accurate) movie "Braveheart".
T - TELEVISION is much maligned but I'm pretty happy with what I see, and things I don't like, I don't see them! Any DOOL fans here? Well, check out these sites:
Other Network shows I loved and really do miss: NYPD Blue, JAG, Drew Carey & his great "Whose Line Is It, Anyway" show (which can be seen as re-runs on various cable channels), and 3rd Watch. We edjoyed "Providence" and hated to see it go too. Fox's "24" with Kiefer Sutherland is one of the best new shows around. Try purchasing the first season on DVD and watching it without commercials! Another really good show was HBO's "Deadwood". We love FoxNews for their "fair & balanced" news and dislike MSNBC because of their biased reporting. Favorite local news stations: WFAA, and CBS-CH11. Cable or Satellite viewing favorites: E! Entertainment, The History Channel, A & E, The Learning Channel, The Travel Channel, Home & Garden TV, Fox News, and Discovery.
Then there's TEXAS - my home state:
U UNDERSTANDING..if you don't get it, then at least - try to grasp a tiny bit of it.
V - VISITING a place I've never been before. Even traveling down a roadway I've never traveled before makes me happy. But returning to Sedona, Arizona (pictured here) is always something we like to do:
Also, I love anything regarding the VICTORIAN era:
W - WEATHER is a fascinating subject to me. If you share this interest, click on the "cool" graphic to visit my weather links page
XYZ - A hodge-podge of interesting sites:
|My Genealogy Index | John W. Lee's Genealogy Tree | 1st Generation | Notes on John W. Lee | George Sylvester Lee | James & Lemuel Gibson Murry | Rev. Lewis Heath | Hays/Sims | Thomas Doss | DOSS Marriages | Abednigo Shelton | Jeremiah Shelton | Ralph Shelton, Jr. | Ralph Shelton, Sr. | Gough Family | Daniel Page | Civil War Page | Alton Prison Page | Our Weather-History Page | Halloween at Glamis | More Bookmarks | Visit Al Castleman | A Real Spooky Halloween Story | Christmas with the Castlemans | More Christmas | Christmas Recipes | Main Entres | Side Dishes | Soup and Salad | Desserts | Spirits/Wine | Cookies | My Favorite Christmas Graphic Sites | View Old Guestbook ||
This page was created April 14, 1998, updated Feb. 2009, and will be constantly revised.
Please return often, and thanks for coming by!
A very special "Thank You" to my STANFORD Cousin Sylvia Smith for sending some of these great links.