Monday, December 31, 2012

Final Blog of 2012

Sorry I have not kept up on blogging during December.  It has been a strange month!  It seems as if each month is becoming a little more interesting in our lives.  It is obvious that the destruction of the world did not happen as predicted by the Mayan calendar on December 21.  (Well the Mayans knew that and you would think our modern scholars would not advocate the possibility that the day would end our world as we know it!  I did wait until the 23rd to pay our bills!)

On that weekend of December 21st, Sarah and Jeff took the boys to Snowshoe for a skiing trip.  This is a beautiful mountain ski resort.

Nate is the novice.  He did fantastic!

Both the boys enjoyed the skiing experience.  They also went tubing down the mountain.  Weather was snowy on Saturday then the sun came out Sunday.  Temperatures were cold, but one expects that and dresses appropriately.

Sister Judy and Bill went to visit relatives in South Carolina during Christmas.  Grandma Meads stayed with us in Glenville.  We were going to have a quiet Christmas on Van Horn;however, due to a medical condition, we had to take the good wife on Christmas eve to the Emergency Room at WVU in Morgantown.  We dropped Grandma Great at Sarah and Jeff's house and headed North.  The visit turned out well so we returned to Bridgeport and shared Christmas with Jeff, Sarah, Sam, and Nate.  It was exciting to see them get out of bed on Christmas day to see if Santa had visited the Dodson household.

Yes, Santa was good to them and to the new family member, Rusty.

Oh my, Santa brought Nate a drum set!

The sounds of Rock Star Nate traveled throughout the house.

Grandma Great found a way to survive the experience and slept during drum practice!

We stayed with the boys this past weekend while Jeff and Sarah traveled to New York City for the WVU and Syracuse game (Pinstripe Bowl).  Not much of a game. 

Sarah and Jeff were able to see a show while in the city.  They saw the play - A Christmas Story.

Hope the best for you all in 2013!

Friday, December 07, 2012


Venus the two-faced cat is currently the most famous feline on the planet. 

The three-year-old tortoiseshell has her own Facebook page and a YouTube video that's been viewed over a million times, and appeared on the Today Show last week. 

One look at this cat and you can understand why: One half is solid black with a green eye—the other half has typical orange tabby stripes and a blue eye.

How does a cat end up looking like that? Leslie Lyons, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who studies the genetics of domestic cats said she's never seen a cat exactly like Venus.
"She is extremely, extremely rare," Lyons said. "But you can explain it and you can understand it."

Is Venus a Chimera?
Many reports about Venus refer to the cat as a "chimera." In mythology, a chimera is a mishmash monster made up of parts of different animals. A feline chimera is a cat whose cells contain two types of DNA, caused when two embryos fuse together.

Among cats, "chimeras are really not all that rare," Lyons said. In fact, most male tortoiseshell cats are chimeras. The distinctively mottled orange and black coat is a sign that the cat has an extra X chromosome.

But female cats, said Lyons, already have two X chromosomes so they can sport that coat without the extra X. That means Venus is not necessarily a chimera.

To find out would require genetic testing, said Lyons. With samples of skin from each side of the cat, "we can do a DNA fingerprint—just like on CSI—and the DNA from one side of the body should be different than the other."

Cat's Blue Eye Another Mystery
If Venus isn't actually a chimera, then what would explain her amazing face?

"Absolute luck," Lyons said. One theory: perhaps the black coloration was randomly activated in all the cells on one side of her face, while the orange coloration was activated on the other, and the two patches met at the midline of her body as she developed.

Cat fanciers who are transfixed by Venus's split face may be missing the real story: her single blue eye. Cat eyes are typically green or yellow, not blue.

A blue-eyed cat is typically a Siamese or else a cat with "a lot of white on them," she explained.
Venus appears to have only a white patch on her chest, which to Lyons is not enough to explain the blue eye.
"She is a bit of a mystery."

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

 American Mountain Theater 

We arrived in Elkins in time for the beginning of the Christmas Show at the American Mountain Theater.

Here is a blurb from the AMT website.  "From Christmas classics to contemporary favorites along with side busting Christmas comedy, audiences delight in the variety and festive performance of this show. Our outstanding cast and crew, highlighted by sparkling lighting, sets and costumes, make this holiday treat a must see. The concept of AMT’s Christmas show originated at the theater owned by Kenny Sexton in the Ozarks. That theater was the first to stage a Christmas show of this type in 1983, and now every show in Branson has their version of a Christmas show and so does the American Mountain Theater."

Above is the Sexton Trio that often performs their original gospel compositions.  Below is Kenny Franks at the keyboard.  His sons, Joe and Jeremiah Franks, are an important part of this theater.  Kenny is amazing at the keyboard.  What a talent! 

A major part of the show is comedy along with quality music.  The Christmas Show was no exception.

Jeremiah does a skit where he plays the toaster.  It is so clever.

We leave our blog on the Christmas show with Kenny Sexton dressed as a poinsettia!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Buckhannon Craft Show

On Saturday, November 24, Judy and I got the idea to go to Elkins and see the Christmas show at the American Mountaineer Theater.  We had tickets to the 2:00 matinee.  On our way we stopped in Buckhannon to check out the craft show held at the Armory and the Middle School.  Our friend Debbie had her booth setup as wonderfully as always. 


Judy decided we needed one of Debbie's sheep pelts.  The sheep skin now graces our rocker in the living room.

Friend Jeane Kennedy (left) is showing her friend the throw that she knitted.  It was a gift for the lady on the right. 

As we left the armory, we saw this fine group.  It was the Spurgeon ladies of Jane Lew.  Lisa (on left) was one of Sarah's roommates during college days.

Judy and I bought a pepperoni roll in Buckhannon and headed to Elkins.

Monday, December 03, 2012

 From Thanksgiving to Christmas

After the Thanksgiving feast, Judy had the idea that she wanted to decorate the Christmas tree,  It was important to have the kids help in this process.  Jeff brought the tree from the basement.  It did not take long before the boys got into the decorating mode.

I think that Judy picked the ornaments that could "bounce"  It was a joyful time!

Another great holiday with family!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

 Thanksgiving Meal

The kitchen was a flurry of activity.  The good wife did freeze some items such as stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and sour cream mashed potatoes.  Sarah had fixed a wonderful roasted turkey which she prepared in her roaster  The marinade of various herbs was super.  

Friend Diana arrived around noon and was put to work making the turkey gravy.  She did a marvelous job!

Here are a few photos of our meager offerings - ham, turkey and gravy, stuffing, cranberry salad, spinach salad, green beans, baked corn, sweet potato casserole, sour cream mashed potatoes, stewed apples, pickled beets, yeast and pretzel rolls, plus a variety of pickles, olives, cheeses, and relishes.  Twas enough to satisfy everyone's appetite.

Our friend Debbie joined us for the day. Deb is a retired art teacher and you can see how super she is with kids.

Grandma Great had no trouble eating and enjoyed the meal.  She is such a blessing at age 88.

Diana is also such a special friend.  She is a wonderful potter and did share with us a beautiful pot that she made in her new electric kiln.

The boys ate as if this was their last meal.  Sam devoured so much of the cranberry salad that I would not have been surprised if he turned red!

There were many desserts.  We did eat this cake.  The birthday cake was to honor Lucy's 6th birthday.  Since she was not able to join us, we will have to supply another one later.

It was certainly a wonderful family celebration.  Hopefully next year it will be even more wonderful with every one being able to attend and all being healthy.

Saturday, December 01, 2012


Well, it is about time that I catch you all up on what has happened in our lives.  On Wednesday, November 21, our grand kids were to arrive in the evening  Our Thanksgiving meal was planned for around noon!  Rachael, John, and the gals called and said that they were ill and it would not be able to be with us.  We certainly understood.

Sarah, Jeff, Nate, and Sam came on Wednesday and stayed the night.  In the morning you would never guess what they wanted for breakfast.  Yep, Grandpa had to make rainbow waffles!


Aunt Judy and Grandma Great arrived Thanksgiving morning around 10.  Judy, of course, had a puppet that was certainly appropriate for the occasion.

 Grandma Great looked super!

Grandma Great surprised sister Judy with a gift of a new Kendal  Fire. Grandma wanted to do something special for her since Judy is so good about checking on her, providing meals, and a plethora of other tasks.

Before the meal - Judy, being a retired elementary teacher, was asked to give Sam a private lesson on how to tie his shoes.  Sam caught on really fast!

Tomorrow - the meal!