My poor mom was a victim of COVID. Although she had asymptomatic COVID at one time during the pandemic, that isn't what I'm talking about. She was a victim of the lockdowns. She was in a facility in Northwest Arkansas where she had enjoyed regular visitors. Mama was very social and all about family. With Alzheimer's, family visits were her best medicine. But when lockdowns were implemented, no one was allowed in to see her.... Read more →

2014 in review

The end of 2014 is days away. It doesn’t seem possible. 2014 yielded some wonderful things, one of which is Jubilee in the weight department. Since August, I’ve lost 30 pounds and still progressing. I’m thankful for my friend Sarah’s weight loss and for her success having a powerful impact on me. She introduced me to U Weight Loss which has been the instrument used for my success. 2014 delivered me my job at Alberta... Read more →

july's 12 in '12

July's 12 in '12 This is my July 12 in '12 collage. As I wrote here, for the remainder of the year I am journaling each month in picture. This picture is loaded with signficant and meaningful stuff irrespective of how insignificant it looks. 1. St. Francis of Assisi is one of the great mentors in my life. I read something in late June that sparked a desire to re-read some of the things I've... Read more →

temporary empty nest

Hannah's first painting in a long time. Home is so calm, uneventful and quiet this week. Hannah is in detox, Deborah is at Gull Lake Camp and, of course, Rachael hasn't lived here for weeks. It's just Gordon and me. The break is welcome. I don't know if Gordon shares that viewpoint. PChAD, I think, seems radical to him. I think he thinks I'm half crazed in pursuing it. Weeks ago when I told Hannah... Read more →

court-ordered intervention

2004, Hannah's first experience with the ocean, Florida Monday I went to court to get Hannah's PChAD (Protection of Children Abusing Drugs) order. I had to prove why I thought Hannah needed the protection of a court-ordered detox program. It was hard revealing these gross things to strangers who didn't know Hannah prior to drug use tainting her. The reasons I gave for the application: She was caught using pot at school. Her diary indicates... Read more →

letting go

Rachael, 2010, 10 years old Today is Rachael's first training shift at Superstore. I'm so proud of her for getting this job. Last week she had a day of orientation and was so cute as she relayed some of the things she learned. The owner/boss told stories and anecdotes that interested Rachael and she took notes - the only new hire doing so. That's her mom and dad coming out in her. The following day... Read more →

mindi makes me laugh

Mindi Rae It has been almost a year since Deborah and I went to Arkansas in hopes that the family would be able to move there. (It didn't work out but that's a different story.) On our long drive down, we stopped in Iowa to visit my special niece, Mindi. I commented on her cute decor and style. She said Dustin called her style "kindergarten granny." Dustin has more traditional taste than Mindi. Whereas Mindi... Read more →


People ask why I'm not blogging much. I use to have so many things to say. My kids were angelic and oh, so very cute. Writing was easy because I had great subjects to write about. My kids ceaselessly delighted me. Now, I'm not so easily delighted by them. To blog about their lives these days would make me very vulnerable, like opening myself up to judgement. I don't want everyone knowing the jungle I'm... Read more →

a wee safari adventure

One of the highlights of our visit in Arkansas was a trip to the Wilderness Safari. Here are some pictures from there. My favorite is the one with Roman covering his eyes. He wasn't comfortable with all the animals traipsing around the car so he covered his eyes. Surely, if he couldn't see them, they couldn't see him! Avery couldn't get close enough and is standing in the window not wanting to miss a thing.... Read more →


I really suck as a mother to teenagers. I'm really, really bad at it. I don't understand how I trained them so diligently to do xyz and now that they're teenagers they don't do xyz. I've been known to pitch hissy fits, I'll admit. But more than fit throwing, I tend to be a melancholy reflector. I sit for hours wondering what I did to make it all go wrong. Why don't they do xyz?... Read more →

2010 christmas letter

December 2010 Merry Christmas from the Gordon Dykstra Family! I say this every Christmas, but it bears repeating: I love this time of year. One of the things that make it special is hearing from you and learning how the year was for you. We’re not the greatest at keeping in close contact with all our friends, but I try to connect at least once a year just to communicate that we still think of... Read more →

memaw's passing

(Memaw, left and Uncle Kelsey, 1917) Elsie Eason Piearcy age 94 of Mena died Friday, September 17, 2010 at her home. She was born on Tuesday, June 13, 1916 to James Lonnie and Llewlyn Moore Ross Keen in Binjin, Arkansas. Elsie was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She was married to her first husband, Red for 50 years and raised seven children. After Red’s passing she married Bill Eason and was married 6 years... Read more →

me tootin' me up

Due to the overwhelming sales of my book, I'm working on volume two. The previous line is of course baloney. Stacie, mocking my sales numbers, said, "I better hurry and get mine before they're all sold out." I am seriously working on volume two. In the process I ran across these sweet greetings I received many moons ago. You all know I'd rather walk on my lips all day long than toot my own horn.... Read more →

michael's hemorrhoid commercial

It's a holiday Monday here in Alberta. Instead of being at work I've been busy, busy cleaning my office/sewing/hobby room. Here is a little something I came across during my organizing from my brother Michael. He wrote: Every month I meet with a group of men for leadership training. This month is a retreat and the topic is public communication. Our homework has been to write a couple of 30-second commercials that we will do... Read more →

colorful speech

One thing I miss about Arkansas is the picturesque speech. Actually, it's not that I "miss" it, rather when I'm around it I realize how it's absent in my life. The colorful speech that I grew up with is very effective and efficient in summing up emotions. When I was in hard labor with Christopher, Mama said, "I feel as useless as tits on a boar hog." My mom doesn't usually talk like that, but... Read more →


(Grandpa and the girls) Eight years ago today my father-in-law passed away. He was 67. It was a hard time for our family, but I have some sweet memories from that time that I cherish. We told the kids that Grandpa was very ill and that he would get to go to heaven soon. Deborah was nearly three. Rachael was nearly seven, Hannah was nearly six. Each of them processed it very differently. Rachael acted... Read more →

my kids are... ?

(Precious Rachael and Hannah, in 2000) Because I'm getting wiser with age, I resisted the urge to title this post, "My Kids Are Idiots." That was noble, I think. In the 80's I loved watching The Cosby Show. In one episode Dr. Huxstable comes home to find Clare seething. She hisses, "I want you to go upstairs and kill your son." More than once I've said that to Gordon. Unfortunately he never watched The Cosby... Read more →

happy birthday, stacie

(Stacie and me) Today is Stacie's birthday. I spent time this morning thanking God for such a dear, dear sister. She is everything a sister should be, everything I want in a sister. (Diane is too, but this is Stacie's day.) I love Stacie so much and cannot imagine life without her. We are 2500 miles apart, but she's never more than a phone call away. We always pick up right where we are with... Read more →

thursday thirteen

I love Thursday Thirteen. It's a great way to catch up. 1. I've been kind of sad/contemplative/nostalgic lately. I've been busy scanning pictures from the days before digital photos. I've got a lot done, but still have a ways to go. Anyway seeing all those pictures of my little people, . . . Now they are so big. It's enough to make a mama weep. A couple are grown. A couple morphed into a different... Read more →

stacie, hammin' it up

Life has had me by the tail ever since I got home from Arkansas and I've not captured many of my memories from the trip. I told about the photo shoot my sibs and I had with my dad. Before we had the opportunity to have a group picture made, my hammy sister, Stacie, captivated all the cameras. She is a ham-dinger. I wish I'd gotten a little more of that gene, but I didn't... Read more →

michael, the farmer

I've been gone. I was negligent. I was overwhelmed. But I'm back, with bells on. Well, not really, but you get the idea. Life is good. My new job schedule is starting to gel and I'm getting the hang of my work. I told Gordon that until my probation is up (3 months) I'm going to be afraid of the boss saying, "this just isn't working." It's never happened before, but this job is the... Read more →

roman, the main man

It was wonderful to see Romie Boy again. I was a little "too present" for his comfort, especially in the beginning. He liked me in small doses but would be overcome with rudeness when he got up in the morning and I was still there. He took his time warming up to me, but he finally did. Not before I'd said, "well that little t-u-r-d," a few times though. I said this rude comment when... Read more →

lil' miss avery claire

Howdy Y'all. I got home Monday morning after a glorious little holiday to Arkansas -- where I met my first granddaughter Avery. Needless to say, she stole my heart with her sweetness. She kind of liked me, too. In grandmotherly fashion, I have a few pictures to share. I'm the first to admit this little picture isn't the hottest, but it captures Avery on the rag quilt I made her. Truthfully, she didn't seem too... Read more →

my summer holiday

This little cabin was home for the week. We've been away on holidays. For the first time ever, we went to Family Camp with almost everyone in Gordon's extended family. Gordon and the girls had a fabulous time; definitely a highlight of the year for them. I crashed and burned and am quite embarrassed by the whole week. I pride myself on being laid-back, easy going, well-adjusted, fun-loving, and a myriad of other positive things.... Read more →


I'm sure you all well remember that I'm a basket case in my own appealing way. Which reminds me of the sitcom from the '80's called Designing Women. Once Julia went to bat for a demented woman -- I don't remember the details -- but in the end Julia got in someone's face in a polite genteel sort of way by declaring, "Here in the South, we are puh-roud of our crazy people." My family... Read more →