Archive for April, 2009

Quote: Adrian Rogers

April 30th, 2009 Comments off


                                                            God doesn’t want to give you 

                                                             the wings of a dove

                                                             to fly away;

                                                             He wants to give you the wings of an eagle,

                                                             to soar over your problems,

                                                             right where you are.


                                                                             Adrian Rogers




Music Man- John Hayter – Pocahontas High School

April 29th, 2009 1 comment

Our high school band director was a young man full of vim and vigor, named John Hayter.   He added personality and a certain charm to good ole PHS.

After receiving my recent reminder of  this blog, John wrote to me from Jacksonville, Illinois, where he has lived for the last 44 years.  He said that reading the blog made him think of his experience in Pocahontas, when he was just  30 years old.  Age was on his mind, since a couple of weeks ago he turned 80.

From the newspaper clipping of his birthday celebration it is clear that he has had a life filled with beautiful music.                                                                          john-hayter2

After serving in the Navy on the destroyer, the USS W.M Wood,  he was assigned to the US Fleet Sonar School , where he stayed on to become Bandmaster.  After the service he taught in Arkansas, Kansas, and for the US Dept. of Defense School System in Ankara, Turkey and Wiesbaden, Germany.

In Jacksonville he became the Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; was a cellist with ASU Orchestra; the UOA Fayetteville Symphony; the St. Joseph, MO Symphony orchestra; St. Benedict’s, Kansas College String Ensemble and The Ankara/American String Quartet. One summer he was privileged to study with Walter Susskind, Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Over the years he has directed numerous church choirs. John continues to  sing in the choir at his church, Trinity Episcopal.  Other interests have included being  a member of Shawnee Lodge No. 653  at Warsaw, MO; a member of the York and Scottish Rite Masonic bodies and as a  member of Ansar Shrine Temple in Springfield ,where he has been Director of the Shrine Chanters, the men’s chorus, for more than 25 years. He is also a member of the Rasna Shrine Club.

It is obvious that John has generously shared his love of music with thousands of people . I am happy that he started his long and successful career in our little town.    Congratulations and best wishes!

If you remember this man of music, then drop him a line at:

John Hayter,  3 Millwood Manor, Jacksonville, IL 62650, or

1,000 Hit Mark!!!

April 28th, 2009 2 comments

Do you hear the band playing in the background?  Do you see the camera crews arriving by the droves?  Do you see the parade assembling down the street?   It’s a red letter day !  Thank you for making it happen!

According to Google we have had  1,002  hits on this website.  I think that is amazing!

low budget fireworks ************ ******** ****** *********  *****  *  ********

In less than four months,  294  individuals from 35 states and 12 countries

have stopped by our little reading room.  I think that’s pretty cool, don’t you?

Thank you, sincerely, for being one of those readers.

Mary Taylor

Update: By Jan. 2010 We have almost reached the 4,000 hit mark!


Birds of Ballona Wetlands

April 25th, 2009 Comments off

Each year our third graders go to the Ballona Wetlands, which is a mile or so from Paseo del Rey School in Playa del Rey, CA.

In a effort to add to their appreciation, I decided to do a mural of the wetlands, including at least twenty five of the birds that live there.  

In a corner of the resource room I set up my easel and paints.  I worked an hour or two after school each day, researching and painting.  I was surprised by how soothing it was to have the birds in that small room. They were very serene.  When it was time for me to have them laminated, cut out, labeled  and attached to the mural in the science lab, I hated to let them go.  The project turned out to be a challenging labor of love.

Here are some of the birds posted temporarily in the resource room.


Hot Springs National Park

April 25th, 2009 2 comments

First posted in Sept, 2009

The U.S. Mint announced that the first in its “America the Beautiful” series of quarters will feature  Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas!  

The city takes its name from the natural thermal water that flows from 47 springs on the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain in the historic downtown district of the city. About a million gallons of 143-degree water flow from the springs each day. The rate of flow is not affected by fluctuations in the rainfall in the area.

Studies by National Park Service scientists have determined through carbon dating that the water that reaches the surface in Hot Springs fell as rainfall in an as-yet undetermined watershed 4,000 years earlier. The water percolates very slowly down through the earth’s surface until it reaches superheated areas deep in the crust and then rushes rapidly to the surface to emerge from the 47 hot springs.

In 1541, Hernando De Soto and his men first marched through the area and stayed for several weeks to enjoy the special waters.  Jean Prudhomme, the first settler of the area was also drawn to the waters.

To preserve the springs, Hot Springs was named a the nation’s first National Reservation in 1832, and was later named a National Park in 1921.

During the early 1900s hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the area .  Elaborate bathhouses were built to accommodate the great number of visitors who traveled to enjoy the springs and spa treatments.

Historic Bathhouse Row today, is a collection of eight architecturally significant bathhouses, most built between 1912 and 1923. Only the Buckstaff, currently operates as a bathhouse. The Fordyce, the most elaborate of the bathhouses, serves as the National Park Service’s Visitors’ Center.

Meet Maggie

April 24th, 2009 5 comments





This lovely young lady is a ‘Teddy Bear’  mix: from a Bichon papa and  a Shih-Tzu  mama. Maggie is two months old and weighs in at a whopping two pounds.  What a sweetie!  No doubt the Dees Family will spoil her rotten in no time. ( If I had her, I would too! ) 

 Hey Maggie, when you are full grown you should be about the same size as Sophie Hershey .  I’d like to see the two of you together.  What a show that would be!


How Did Bessie Get Her Name?

April 24th, 2009 Comments off

I asked my friend in Myrtle, MO how they named their calves.  This is her interesting answer. (Edited for space.)

“Their names usually evolve from something distinctive, like  ‘Zulu’, who had a zig-zag pattern like an African mask on her face.   Some are named after relatives, and when they have calves the offspring are named after their children.

Most of my family and in-laws were excited to have a calf named after them except for my brother.  He said, “Don’t name one after me,  just call it McDonald or Burger King ,  ’cause that’s where it’ll wind up eventually!”  

We had Lucy and Edna and Mona and Clara and Mary Margaret and all sorts of other names in our herd at various times over the past 10 or 12 years that we had cows.  

As much trouble as they can be, there is a joy  in watching them grazing and contented, and watching their babies jump and play .  If you watch them long enough you’ll see them act almost as we humans do with our kiddoes. 

There is always one momma who doesn’t want her baby girl or boy running around out there with those other wild kids who come streaking by, bucking and bouncing,  and generally enjoying life.  The baby wants to go play so badly that it will start off  after the others,  but will not get more than three or four steps before momma gives out this low sound, deep and stern.  It tells her baby that she will not let him go, so he had better get his little tail back where it belongs or he’ll be sorry. 

The baby will stand there and look wistfully after the other calves.  Momma brooks no disobedience from her offspring.  She will give a sort of  nod or jerk of her head as if to say “I mean what I said, get back here, now!”  

The calf will turn around with it’s head down and walk slowly back to momma. You can almost see it scuffing along, swinging its head back and forth, saying to itself,

“Boy, I never get to have any fun, why can’t I  go play like the rest of the kids, it’s not fair!” “


  Thanks to my friend from Myrtle, Mo who chooses to remain anonymous. 

Good Guys Save Newborn and Mother

April 22nd, 2009 Comments off

 This big boy, one day old,  is resting comfortably in his Missouri pasture, enjoying the good life.  After a forced delivery of the 80 to 90 pound bull calf, I’m sure his Mama is somewhere saying, “Never again!” 

I asked for a picture, never dreaming what a beautiful animal he would be.  I think I’m in love.  Really, he is just beautiful.

He was such a big calf that  if left unattended, I am told that it is likely that he and his mother would not have survived.  So thanks to  two ‘Good Guys’, Don and Mac, who worked late into the night to save them. You are heroes in my book!

If he gets a name, let me know so I can add it to his picture.


Update: His name is Jack-Boy after a very special grandson named Jack!100_0292

Sophie Has a New Family

April 22nd, 2009 2 comments

This is Sophie, a sweet little  MaltePoo  puppy who has moved into her new Texas home with Hannah and Devon.  She is 7 pounds of fun and they think she is wonderful.

Best wishes to Sophie,  and to the Hershey family who will love and care for her.  






Up On The Roof

April 20th, 2009 Comments off

I heard them before I saw them:  hammers producing a rat-a-tat-tat cacophony of sound, coming from a neighbor’s roof.  As I drew closer I could see a line of men on their knees, pounding away in a fast paced rhythm of determination and efficiency of movement.

They no doubt had been at the job for quite a while because the shingles and the top layers of the roof were gone. I rushed home to get my camera and immediately came back, only to find them leaving the roof, wiping the sweat from their brows.img_0659

It is in the 90’s today in L. A. but these men are hard at work at a job I wouldn’t envy in the best of weather.

Apparently they are just step one on the job.  There will be others to follow:  repairing, replacing, or totally demolishing the house.

Good luck, guys,  you lovely  ‘Men at Work’. Be careful up there!


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