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Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Becky and I drove over to Cape Girardeau last Saturday to a Powerlifting Meet which the Don Rockenbach (AKA Rocky) Foundation helped with funding. There were three young people participating who are Special Olympics lifters and some from our West Plains Gym as well as some from the Cape area.

Rocky’s trophy was presented to Brianne Chavez as the winning lifter for the State of Missouri in her class. It was quite an honor after all her hard work to top her own personal record. We were proud of all three who made a good showing.

One of our regulars from the gym in West Plains (where Rocky trained) has been invited to lift at the Mr. Olympian weekend in Las Vegas. It’s quite an honor and we’re very proud of Jared.

Training and staying in shape makes all the difference to those who perform in these meets. It’s always inspiring to see the dedication and sacrifice the lifters maintain for their sport. With their herculean size and intensity it could be intimidating……but this is not a team sport, each man is competing against his last lift and hoping the next will be his personal best.

The picture is of Rocky in his early days of lifting.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Napoleon has had a good summer. He was more beautiful than ever and has a larger territory to enjoy. With the new houses across the road and another under construction he made the rounds and checked in every day. He is a nosey old guy and likes to know what’s going on.

He didn’t spend as much time calling for a mate in the spring. My guess is he’s getting older and figures it’s never going to happen so why lose sleep over it. Of course that’s just “my” guess. We have had one of the hottest summers (on record) so he found lots of ways to cope. With the abundance of bushes and trees in the yard he had a wide choice.

He’s getting a little cranky at times which is not like him. If he sees the cats eating he bullies them away from their food and eats until he’s satisfied. It’s surprising because the cats have been his companions forever. It only happens once in a while so I figure we can put up with a moody boy when he gets an ornery streak.

Speaking of cats, the white cat that always chased Callie up a tree in the front yard has suddenly disappeared. He hasn’t been here for about a week which is not like him. He was always hanging around to ruin the day for the other cats. Very mysterious….the thing with outside cats is they are prone to a lot of dangers. If they have been in a fight with another cat and are seriously injured they usually just go off and die somewhere. I’m happy he’s gone but afraid it wasn’t by choice.

You can see Napoleon has lost most of his feathers. Soon they will begin growing back and he will be gorgeous once more. Nature has a way of keeping things looking beautiful and reproductive….. even if we have to lose our feathers once in a while.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, September 15, 2011

TIME TO..... 

Hard to believe I’ve not written a blog since August 30th. It isn’t only me but everyone is wondering where time goes. I wonder who started the counting of time? Day-time, night-time, bed-time, Fall time, Spring time, Winter time, Summer-time, time to eat, to go, to do, to have. Our lives are run by time but where has it been and where does it go?

One doesn’t feel any difference from the last day of the previous year to the new one just arriving. But time says we are a year older. In the reality of one day we separate one year from another. I read something that made sense but can’t remember who the quote belongs to. It went something like this, “Today is the oldest I’ve ever been…..but younger than I will be tomorrow.” Today is the only day we can count on. It’s been written many ways and many times.

I used to panic in the 6th grade. We had a teacher who was high on “timed tests.” I knew the answers but found myself unable to finish because I kept looking at the clock. The TV show “A Minute to Win It” is akin to the way I used to feel when Mrs. Browning announced another timed test.

She was a good teacher and kindly…..I thought she was ancient but looking back she was probably in her early 50’s. Women back then dressed “old” and thereby seemed much older than they were. Every morning we stood at the beginning of class time and recited the Preamble of the United States of America. It followed the Pledge Allegiance to the Flag. The preamble was written on a blackboard higher than the standard one we used and with beautiful handwriting.

It’s sad that handwriting is no longer part of the curriculum because all of the electronic gadgets have ruled us. Times have changed dramatically. We don’t have to learn arithmetic because the calculators do it for us….printing and writing are much the same……done on computers. I can change fonts with a click and make my own cards, gather information………could entertain myself for hours if only I had the time.

Time to diet, quit smoking, doing drugs, to be responsible……time to get started. One of my favorite passages in Ecclesiastes, is Chapter 3, first verse through 10. It pretty well puts time in perspective. Some of the cruelest events to claim time are tornados, earthquakes, fires, floods and any of which costs time and money.

I do not know and cannot understand how others use their time……I only know what it means to me. It is fleeting and we cannot reclaim any of it. Once gone it is just gone.