Page Last Updated 01/15/2012

 
             
 

 
             
             
 

Welcome to our

Family News Blog Archives - Page 1

 

          I am really not a blogger, however this page is setup like a Blog to bring you news and happenings and anything else we decide to place on this page.  The idea is to keep the family informed and add a few cute stories along the way.  I have added a date to the upper right hand side so you can tell if anything has changed since your last visit, also, everything new is added at the top, so everything below you may have already seen, however I have been known to add more than one story at a time, so scroll anyway.

 
             
             
             
   
       
             
 

          On Sunday afternoon, June 6th 2010, Brandon walked to the stage at the Fort Worth Convention Center and received his High School Diploma.  Brandon graduated at the age of 17.  He actually started school at the age of 4.  He did very good in school and although he didn't graduate with honors, he did graduate with a "B" average.  He will be attending Tarrant County College for the next 2 years to get a start on a degree.  He is not sure yet what he wants to go for, but he is sure it will be in the area of software engineering.  He is very interested in video gaming and the Japanese art of anime and manga.  Brandon's sister was good enough to attend his graduation, no one else was able to make it, which we expected.  Most of his family are in California, Nevada and Washington.  Brandon got a car (see below) for getting to and from school as he will be living at home while going to TCC. 

 
             
       
             
             
  Brandon's first car - 2005 Honda Civic  
             
 

          It will be up to Brandon to fix up his car.  We purchased him the car and his mother bought him some new speakers, but the rest is on him including the gas.  He doesn't drive it much because he is realizing that even though the car gets very good gas mileage, it costs money to fill it up and at this point he doesn't have a job, so he has to save his money for school.  He is scheduled to start school at the end of August.

 
             
       
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
 

Texting while driving

 
             
 

 

 

5/10/2010

     
 

     
 

Don't worry, Marisa is fine

 

The Murderer

 

The Beamer was totaled in this accident

 
            As Marisa was heading home from work, she was driving on the freeway and was coming up to a slowdown where an onramp merges onto the freeway, which is pretty much the only place where traffic actually comes to a halt, because drivers in Texas can't merge.  As she was coming to a stop she was rear-ended by a young driver who was texting on his iPhone while he was driving, he admitted to the Fort Worth police officer that he dropped his phone, reached down to pick it up and when his eyes came back to the road, there was Marisa.  This guy asked Marisa if he could leave before the cops got there, she said "I am a police officer, and there is over $1,000 damage to my car, and therefore the police will work the accident, so no you cannot leave".  He was cited by the officer for "Failure to maintain a safe speed", because there is no law against texting in Texas yet.  Also, this guy actually drove away once the officer released him, OMG - notice the wet area under the front of his car?  He didn't get far.  The officer who showed up at the scene was a guy that Marisa worked with in Irving.  He is now a Fort Worth officer, and he recognized Marisa right away.  Now starts the headache of dealing with the Insurance company.  
             
  Beamer Replacement     2007 Honda Accord  
             
             
             
             
             
             
     

First Snow of 2010

     
     

Second Snow of the 2009/2010 Winter season

     
             
            It was supposed to be mostly south and west of our area, the last week was snow and ice north into Oklahoma, but it was dry here, cold but dry.  However this time we were in the bulls eye, official totals for Keller on February 11th 2010 was 12", and that was in less than 24 hours.  It started snowing around 4:00 AM and didn't stop until after 7:00 PM.  Brandon had to go to school on Thursday but needless to say, school was closed on Friday.  
             
       
  8:00 AM Thursday 2/11/2010   Route to the High School   Route to the High School  
             
       
 

Greenbriar

 

The Back Yard

 

Spike

 
             
             
   

 

 

First Snow?

 

 

   
             
            From 70's and 80's near Halloween, to 20 degrees and SNOW!  Yes, we have had snow already, at least it waited until December.  On Tuesday, 12/1 we got a small amount of snow.  The pictures above were taken around 7:00 AM Tuesday morning.  By the time Brandon had to go to school, the snow had stopped, and by the time his first class was over, it was pretty much melted away.  I thought for sure I was going to have to shift my truck into 4WD, but it was warm the night before so as you can see in the picture on the left above, it wasn't sticking on the roads at all.  It said on the news that Texas got snow before New York.  
             
             
             
 

 

A New Driver

   
             
            With a little push from his mother, Brandon is now learning to drive.  It's about time considering he is 17 now and still only has his learner's permit.  He should have his license early next year.  He is learning to be a safe and defensive driver.  He is on track to get his license before he graduates High School.  He seems to like to drive and insists on driving every time we go somewhere.  Sometimes we wish he already had his license so he could make a Red Bull run or for food or something else.  
             
             
             
     

Another Visitor

     
 

 

   
 

Close-Up of head

 

Being held by the officer of Keller PD

 

From an article on the Web

 
             
            Mid September, after a week of some very heavy rain, on a Wednesday night, around bedtime, Brandon comes to me and says, "Dad, there's a snake in my room!".  I said, "your full of crap", he insisted that the snake was there.  I went into his room and sure enough, there was a snake up on dresser, on top of some movies, next to his TV.  It looked fairly large from what we could see, he was coiled up and at the time his head was looking out into the room.  Marisa was at work, so I called her to find out who I should call, she suggested Keller PD.  I called and they sent out 2 officers who were very knowledgeable on snake removal, they had the right tool, and in only a few seconds, he was in custody.  He was a harmless snake, we did not see any fangs but he was pissed that we had a hold of him.  It looks to be a Yellow Bellied Water Snake, which grow to 40 or so inches long, and are one of Texas' many snakes.  We are not sure when he came in, but we are sure he came in through the doggie door which opens to the backyard.  Needless to say, we are locking that door at night now, however with the great bunch of watch dogs we have here, he could have come in during the day.  They probably invited him in, and told him where the best place to hang out is.  
             
   

Even though he was non-venomous

 

He was still a scary snake

 

Not like our friend Snickers

Click HERE to see Snickers

   
 

A Web Site about Texas Snakes

     

Google Search "Texas Snakes"

 
 

Yellow Bellied Water Snake

     

Yellow Bellied Water Snake

 
             
             
             
 

School News

Theatre Tech Project of the year 2008/2009

 
             
              Back in April Brandon had a school project for his Theatre Tech class to build a vehicle that can participate in a race.  The vehicle needed to move under it's own power, (or that of a person) and carry the entire group of 5 students.  He built the vehicle in our garage, and I have to admit it was the best looking of the bunch, but they didn't win.  Their driver crashed the bike and they were unable to catch up, although many of the vehicles didn't even finish the race.

          Click on Brandon's vehicle to go to the page and see just what the heck I am talking about.  They were supposed to have 6 weeks to work on the project, but it turned out to be only about 3 weeks.  They did a pretty good job on it considering, but if it weren't for some of my suggestions, they may not have even got it to the starting line.

It kind of reminds me of some of the things I built when I was his age...

 
             
             
             
            I don't know why but it seems like spring came later this year than last.  We were considered in a drought since last fall, a minor amount of rain fell between then and now, then all of a sudden, we get a soaking.  Then another, and then things started to pop.  Now I can't keep up with the lawn, I have 6 months worth of bushes to trim, and we are thinking of removing half of the shrubs around the pool, so we can see we have a pool from the house.  I received some pictures from my brother in Washington State, and then some from my other brother in California, so I thought I should take some of my own, although it's not quite blooming time yet.  As soon as the sun peaks out, we will have glorious color, but for now, here are some spring pictures from Texas;  
     

May 4th, 2009

     
 

 
     

Click Here to view Spring in Texas

     
             
             
             
             
     

Another Web Site

     
     

2/22/2009

     
 

 
            Most of you know that Marisa is a Cop, and those that didn't know do now.  I was asked by the Chief of Police for her department to fix the Web Site.  Their Site was just thrown up and wasn't done too professionally.  I have done a couple to commercial Sites and thought to myself, "yea why not?".  Well they are very busy at the Police Department and getting information to post on the Site is like pulling teeth.  But I was able to replace the Site with a much nicer main page, and a common theme which is the first step, at least they can now say they have a Web Site, and I don't feel bad linking it to mine, check it out, Pantego Police Department's Web Site.  
             
             
             
 

Another Visitor

 
     

2/5/2009

     
 

 
            One evening we hear the big dogs outside start barking, then the little shit dog, "Spike" slams through the doggie door, and joins in.  Cassie who is now too fat to get through the doggie door, (that's ok cause we have a larger one to install this spring), wants out.  I let her out to join the group, and now all 4 are running out to the back fence barking.  We don't let our farm members make a lot of noise for long, I was interested in what was making them bark this time.  It couldn't be a cow, they are on the left side of the yard, and the guy behind us doesn't have a dog.  I look out the window after firing up the spot lights, and I see the glow of 2 beady eyes, what is it I'm asking myself.  I jump out the door and locate the ugly creature on the fence sitting there playing possum.  I stood there taking several pictures, he didn't move at all, thinking maybe this was his moment of fame, well here you are buba.  
 

 
             
             
     

I hate the cold

     
     

11/22/2008

     
            I'm sitting here on the couch on a cold Saturday morning watching old re-runs of Hogan's Heroes and snuggling in a blanket.  I am not a cold weather person.  I don't like it to be real hot either, but I would rather do with hot weather than cold.  Sometimes I can't get warm, no matter how much clothing I have on, I find myself wearing a sweatshirt inside the house.  We keep the house at 68 degrees in the winter, which is plenty warm, any warmer and when you get up to do anything like laundry or cleaning, you start sweating, so 68 is a good temperature.  Today is one of those overcast days where the outside doesn't look very inviting, although it should get up to 65 degrees today as the high, and the low for tonight is supposed to be a warmer 45 degrees.  The week ahead is going to be up and down, we will see lower 70's and then mid week just before Thanksgiving day, another cold front will come through.  I wish the Canadians would keep their cold air, or at least not send it so far.  I never minded the snow in the mountains of California because I was always dressed for it and expected it, and when it snows here it is nice and seems not as cold.  It's only these cold dreary days that chill me to the bone.  
             
             
 

THE FALL IN TEXAS

 
             
 

     
 

Cloie (the oldest of the farm animals)

 

A view from the back yard

 

Rosie

 
             
            The leaves are just now starting to turn.  The leaves are still mostly in the trees and it's just a matter of time until we have to start the annual leave pickup.  It's cool that our lawnmowers vacuum up the leaves, all we have to do is blow them out of the flowerbeds and them mow the lawn.  The hard part is all of the bags of leaves we haul to the curb.  This spring I am starting a garden, some of those leaves will make their way to my garden.  I don't know where the garden will be, I only have a few areas in the yard that get enough sunlight, however where ever it is, it will have to be fenced in, because several of the farm animals will most certainly dig up what ever I plant.  When Cloie was very small, I planted a garden at our Folsom home, I planted some corn, and when the ears were real small, Cloie found out what they were and pulled up a plant to chew on the ear of corn.  I had fenced it in but she was as I said, very small.  This time I have to worry about Spike.  He is very small.  
             
             
 

The Wild Critters are Hungry

 
     

11/20/2008

     
 

            The other night the outside was cold, the big dogs who normally stay outside in their houses on the patio, were in the house.  They sleep next to the door, and Spike sleeps with them in a pen that keeps them from checking out the rest of the house during the night.  There is a small doggie door in the back door that Spike is able to go out during the night but the big dogs are stuck until one of us lets them out in the morning.  And must I mention where Cassie sleeps, we won't go there.  I went to bed early, Marisa is on night shift so she was at work.  I was laying there starting to drift and all of a sudden I hear this noise like something was in the doghouse.  It being pretty constant, I got up and peeked out the window, and I see this Raccoon trying to get into the Dog Food storage bin which is next to the doghouse.  We keep it there because it makes it easier to feed them.  I didn't get a picture, but the guy on the left could pass as his twin.  This was a big Raccoon; I don't think I have ever seen one this big and I used to have a friend that kept them as pets.  I turned on the light and he ran away; not thinking I went back to bed.  Several minutes later, I hear Spike diving through the doggie door and out to the back chasing this critter which is  
  5 times his size.  I heard the Raccoon run into something, then he probably whet up one of the trees.  It was too cold to go outside to find out, I called Spike back into the house and locked the doggie door, and we all went back to sleep.  I don't think the Raccoon came back, and if he did, I didn't see any evidence of him getting into the food bin.  UPDATE (11/28/08):  The Raccoon has been back, one night he did get into the food bin, but no more, now there is a nice heavy weight on top which he cannot lift, at least I don't think he can.  Also, the last time I saw him he was a younger raccoon, thinner and smaller, looking like a teenager.  I am trying to get a picture, because they are good enough to pose for me, but if Spike hears him, all hell breaks loose.  Next there will be several working together to get to the food.  He just looks guilty doesn't he?  
             
             
             
             
             
 

Do you need a way to make extra money to make ends meet?

 
             
 

 
             
 

The perfect pastime for a down economy

 
             
            We were never really into clipping coupons in the past.  We have used a few here and there, to save a $1 on 2 packages of butter, or 50 cents on a jar of mayonnaise, but we never seriously collected coupons.  Here in Texas, Albertson's and Kroger food stores offer double and triple coupons everyday.  I didn't think much of it at first, I thought is was too much work for too small of a payback, however Marisa is working with some friends at work, learning how to organize and sort and purchase items using the coupons.  
             
            It's not just about collecting and redeeming coupons.  The idea is to get everything for FREE!  That's right, I said you try to get everything for free, and of course that is real difficult if not almost impossible, but it's not impossible.  In fact if you shop with that attitude, you will walk away just about every trip paying less than half of the total bill.  
             
            Start with collecting and clipping.  Clip every coupon, then during the sort process, eliminate those items you will never buy.  Save the ones for product brands you have never tried, and of course everything for items and brands you buy everyday.  Purchase the newspaper on days when the coupons are most available.  In California, the Wednesday paper was the best for coupons, however Sunday is great also.  Here in Texas, they have coupons in Saturday's paper and then they sell them in a bundle of 2 papers, so you get double coupons.  We purchase 2 bundles which gives us quadruple the coupons.  In the stores you can use up to 4 coupons, so the key here is to purchase the smallest item, then purchase 4 of them, the coupons are doubled or tripled (depending on the value) and you come away with a large amount for a very small price.  For example if you have a 35 cent coupon for a 12 or 20 oz item, the 12 oz. item will be cheapest, the store will triple the 35 cent coupon so now you have $1.05 off the 12 oz item, buy 4 of them and you have 48 oz and the overall cost is less than 2 20 oz items at regular price.  And if the item is on sale, it's even better.  Avoid coupons that have a small amount for multiple items, for example, 50 cents off when you buy 3.  The value is not what you are looking for, remember the goal, everything must be free, or as cheap as possible.  If you can pass up an item this week that's not on sale, next week it may be on sale.  Coupons on sale items gets you the best possible deal.  
             
            Look for In-Store specials.  We just purchased some meats at Albertson's "Buy one get 2 free", and took advantage of it, buying ribs and chicken.  We got over $70 worth of ribs for just $24.  The ribs were kind of expensive at the normal price, however at the sale price, it was well worth it.  Another offer we took advantage of was the $10 off a $100 purchase.  Marisa handed the coupon to the clerk before she handed the handful of coupons which took the total below the $100 level.  In all our first trip to the store under this plan, we purchased $200 worth of food and spent only $84.  
             
            Organize the coupons using a large binder and baseball card collecting sleeves.  The card collecting sleeves have 9 pockets on each page and you place one coupon (type) in each pocket so you can see the coupons by flipping the pages.  You can organize them any way you want but keep it simple and try to be creative.  Marisa has organized her collection to start with by placing similar items found along the same isle in the same section, but stores are different, so we may need to modify it a little as we get more familiar.  
         
  Here is how she started the categories, getting the information from her friend Chris' daughter  
         
  Breads   Breads, buns, rolls.  You could include other in or near the bread isle like chips  
  Condiments   Mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings  
  Baking, Gravy & Seasonings   Flour, sugar, salt, gravy mixes  
  Refrigerated   This would include Milk, creamer, cheese, eggs, yogurt, butter, etc.  
  Cereal / Cereal Bars   Cold cereals, hot cereals, granola bars  
  Boxed Meals / Side Dishes   Macaroni and cheese  
  Canned Veggies & Fruit   Canned corn, beans, chili, canned pear halves  
  Frozen Foods   Frozen corn,  
  Snack Foods   Pizza rolls, frozen pizzas  
  Juice / Beverages   Gatorade, grape juice  
  Household   Cleaning items, dog food  
  Health & Beauty   Hair shampoo, soap, toothpaste  
         
            You just have to play with it to figure out what is best for you, some items may not fit under one category, or may fit under 2 or 3 categories, whatever you will remember is best way to go, it's all in remembering what coupons you have.  As time goes by you will want to arrange them by expire date.  You don't want to be in the middle of ringing up a handful of coupons and have them stop to give one back to you because it has expired.  
         
            Make a shopping list and then go through the coupons and mark a "C" next to the items that you have coupons for, remove all of the coupons from the pockets that you will be using and place them in a holder.  A pencil holder that fits into the binder and has a zipper and a clear side works well for this, it keeps everything in the same place.  An envelope also works fine as well.  Go through the store ad for the week and look for items on sale.  Use the coupons for purchasing items on sale, this way you get the best possible deal on the item.  We purchase items that we don't have coupons for from Wal Mart because they have shown that you can actually save by shopping there.  A good example is a pound of Starbucks Coffee is $9.54 at Albertson's and is $7 at Wal Mart.  
             
     

How well does it work?

     
             
            We have collected them for a week now, Marisa has her binder, so we put it to the test.  We went to Albertson's food store.  We purchased over $200 worth of food products, nothing we wouldn't have purchased anyway.  We had some store coupons along with our clipped ones, and we walked out of the store paying $84 total.  We saved $116 using coupons.  But that is not just it, and it does take some extra time to clip and sort, but it didn't take us any longer to shop.  That is where I thought the extra time would go, but no.  All of the extra time was spent clipping and organizing.  Marisa went to the Kroger store earlier in the day, purchasing $50 worth of groceries and only spending $19.  Total for one day's shopping, we spent $100 for $250 worth of groceries and we didn't buy anything we won't use.  We have probably spent 2 maybe 3 hours on this project so far, making it a good return on our time.  It's kind of like a part time job.  
             
             
             
             
             
 

 

Halloween has come and gone!

          Halloween has come and gone, but we had fun.  Check out my haunt for this year.  Click on my vampire picture on the left and then select 2008 to see what we did this year.  Also check out the pictures of our neighbor's home, they too got into the spirit of the season.

<<<--- Click on me to see

 
             
             
             
             
   

About Ike

          With Ike long gone, things are nice and clean here.  We didn't loose power, or any trees.  We got a lot of wind but nothing like I've seen here before which was from a normal cold front storm.  We got a lot of rain, but officially the amount was only 0.6" because officially they measure for the area at the DFW air port.  I really think we got more than an inch and closer to 2".  We spent the whole week worried that Ike would be the storm of the year, predicted to move to our west, we were looking at severe weather.  But at the last minute, 24 hours before the predicted landfall, we were told that Ike was moving north along the Gulf coast, and would not move to our east, meaning we would be spared the severe weather.  After everything, no one, except those in Galveston and Houston, (and surrounding areas) faced really severe weather.  Damage on the coast was heavy, but everywhere else was just wind, rain and a lost tree here and there.

 
             
 

It's a good feeling to have other's worrying about you!

 
             
            I was driving home on Friday, (the day Ike was scheduled to hit land) with dinner; we decided that no one wanted to cook so Brandon and I went to Panda Express for take out, when I got a call from my sister, asking if we were alright, and if we were going to get any severe weather from the hurricane.  She also mentioned that my Aunt Pug, my mother's youngest sister, and the only female left of the 9 kids, had called to check on us too.  I mentioned to my son that since Grandma had passed there was this empty feeling because Grandma always called to check on us during severe weather.  I was feeling good that my Aunt was taking over that responsibility, making me feel not so empty.  My brother Mickey called last night and said Aunt Pug had called him also and he gave her my home phone number, and then he said he was calling because if she was concerned, so we he.  I told him what I had told Brandon on Friday and he said Linda, his wife, had said the same thing.  Aunt Pug called me last night (the night of the storm) and made sure everything was ok.  She is the best!

Thank you all for thinking of us, it makes us feel so loved!

 
             
             
             
     

Use this Web Site To Communicate

     
     

or the Newsletter to report

     
             
            As I mentioned in the last newsletter, I am offering any of my family, whether you are a McCann, a Bennett, a Castleberry, a Dickson, a Newton or a Malone, the use of my Web Site to show pictures, report family news, educate us on a subject, or just have fun. The same goes for the newsletter.  I usually try to send out a new edition of the newsletter every month, so if you have a story that you want added to the newsletter, send it to me with pictures, it will be added.  I mentioned that you can have your own Web page, or whole section or even a sub-web.  (A sub-web is another Web Site attached to the-mccanns.com, like brandon.the-mccanns.com which is Brandon's Web Site).  You don't have to be a Web developer, know html or php or any Web language, because I will do the work for you.  However, if you do know html, I can give you ftp access to the Web Site for you to upload your pages and images.  Or you can create the page, send me the pictures and pages and I will upload, possibilities are open.  Just contact me and let me know what you want to do.  You can even advertise your dart machine company, Josh.

Give it a try!  What can it hurt?

 
             
             
             
      Mildred Louise McCann 1925 to 2008      
     

added 9/5/2008 by Gary

     
            It has been a really long 2 weeks since my mother passed away.  Things were really off last week when we were dealing with her death.  We are not experienced in this at all and then it is thrust on to you.  I think we did ok though considering.  My brother's and sister were very supportive and we worked together to get everything done, as far as making her final arrangements.  I say it was off, meaning strange, not real, and I'm still having a tough time.  I wrote the newsletter to help me cope, it did some, but there is still this disbelief that she is gone forever.  I had the same disbelief when my dad passed away, and my grandmother, my grandfather, a few aunts and uncles, and I was especially surprised about my cousins Rose, Craig and Harry.  They were not ready to go, but mom was.  Some died of natural causes, and some died of disease, some by accident, but all were tragic.  I have created a page to honor her passing.  We gathered at the funeral home to greet and morn and remember the good times.  Click Here to view the page.  I hope everyone stays in touch with each other, I am thinking this Web Site along with the newsletter will help.  God Bless ya'll...  
             
     

Spring's Gone - Summer's Here

     
             
 

They say that as you get older, the years go by faster;

 

          This year seems to be going by way too fast; it's already half gone.  Spring here in Texas is really nice, because Winter is brown and ugly, once Spring comes around, everything turns green, flowers grow, birds chirp, and people are outside doing their yard work.  Most of our neighbors do their own yard work.  Only a few pay someone else to do it.  Most are like me, they get joy and exercise out of doing the lawn and flowerbeds, trimming the hedges, bushes and trees, planting the annual flowers, some additional plants, and whatever else needs to be done, like the pool.  Working in the yard a week ago, we were fixing a section of fence that Spike seems to be getting through; this has to be the 4th or 5th time we had to work on that area.  Marisa was standing next to a flowery bush, one that grows out of control every year, but it's in the area of the yard that doesn't get as much attention, so it never gets trimmed in the fall.  A small bird flew out of the bush and startled her.                                                        I took a peak and this is what I found --------------->

 

 
     
             
     

Pain in the Gass

     
             
            The gas prices are high because of one thing, supply and demand.  The only way we as a country can control the price of Gasoline is to reduce our usage (demand).  Carpools, staying home this year, don't fly, don't drive, eat at home, telecommute to work if possible.  Eventually we will see some relief but not if we don't reduce our demand for the stuff.  I have posted an article from the Associated Press about why gas prices are high right now.  It's a good article, gives you the bigger picture.  Go Here!  
             
             
 

Shawn is back in Iraq and Rachel Graduates College

 
             
            Shawn called from Iraq on May 23rd to tell me he was doing good and that he has a desk job in front of a computer with Internet Access.  He also has his own room.  Much different than his last tour there.  Rachel his wife graduated college with a BA in communications.  The commencement was held at Arco Arena in Sacramento, the home of the Sacramento Kings.  I don't have any pictures because I didn't get to attend, although I would have loved to be able to, just couldn't swing the time off or the cost of a flight and hotel.  I am hoping to received some pictures from a family member who attended, maybe her father.  Read more about Shawn and Rachel on their page, click here.  
             
             
 

Another Family Reunion

They seem to come and go as fast as Birthdays!

 
     
            In a couple of weeks is the McCann family reunion up in Oklahoma.  I say up in because it is north of us, however many of our kin folk drive down from towns in Oklahoma, like Paden.  Paden is a very small town east of Oklahoma City, not located on any major highway.  I don't think Paden is much larger than when my parents lived there as children.  Our reunion is at a camp site at Buckhorn campgrounds on Lake of the Arbuckle's, in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.  The camp sites are real nice, all of the sites we get have electricity and running water.  We don't have an RV, yet anyway, maybe some day we will.  The facility also has showers at the main restroom building.  We haven't seen much of the lake but from what we did see, it looks like a fairly large lake, I didn't really see much beach but the boys did go swimming at a small beach at the south end of the lake the first year we went.  This year will be our 3rd time going, and I hope to see more of my cousins.  When we lived in California, we went to my mother's family reunion, the Bennett's family reunion.  It too was an annual event, of course we haven't been for a few years, I hope they are still having them.  You can see some pictures from our Bennett Family Reunions Here!  Some previous years McCann reunions Here!  Make sure you make it this year, you never know who will be there and who you will miss.  Friday May 30th, some family members will arrive, Saturday May 31st we all gather for a group lunch, and Sunday June 1st. everyone packs up and leaves for home.  
             
             
             
 

 
            We went to another Taste Addison Festival last weekend.  They had some great bands again this year, the Black Crowe's played Saturday night.  We missed it because Marisa had to work, but we did go Friday evening, getting stuck in traffic near Dallas.  Gavin Degraw and Switchfoot played.  Addison is just north of Dallas and just east of Farmer's Branch.  It's a small city that has it's own air port, (small planes) and is known for the number of restaurants in the area.  Taste Addison is a festival about food, where many of the local food vendors set up booths and serve small servings of some of their dishes, giving visitors a taste of what to expect if they go to the restaurant.  We had a good time, ate a bit, checked out the crafts, etc.  There was one vendor there, she had stuff made of driftwood, but it really wasn't what it seemed.  I looked closely and found that they had cut off the end of the drift wood (the rustic looking section) then attached a nice piece of wood which they carved into a shape like a duck neck and head.  It looked good from a distance, but was junk close up.  I tried to get a picture, but I was told I couldn't.  I know my rights and I could have taken that picture, however she acted like she was going to jump me, so I got away from her.  If I see her again, I will get the picture.  Other than that, it was uneventful, except for some good food and the beer.  See the pictures here...  
             
             
             
 

 

 

New Officer joins the

City of Pantego, TX

 
            Marisa has joined the City of Pantego Texas as a commissioned officer.  Pantego like Keller is a small town, unlike Keller though, the city of Pantego is mostly industrial.  They have a residential district, and a downtown area.  They are bordered on the north by the city of Arlington, and to the west by Dal Worthington Gardens, another small town not too many have heard of.  She really likes all of the people she works with in Pantego.  She said she misses the people in Irving, but she doesn't miss the job there.  She was working in the jail in Irving, because their training program was not good enough for Marisa to feel that she was ready to go out on the streets on her own at the end of her training session, she tried to quit but the Assistant Chief of Police in Irving told her she couldn't.  I think she is now in the right position with the right department.  The department just replaced their fleet with new Dodge Chargers (photo above), she told me once she caught up with a Corvette with ease, the Corvette was going around 81 MPH, nothing to it she said.  Stay safe my wife!  
             
  Check out my NEW section on COPS.  A blog dedicated on informing you about Cops, they are people too!  Go Here to see  
             
     

Community Yard Sale

     
            Last weekend we had our first annual "Community Yard Sale" in our neighborhood.  It was kind of a short notice, one of our neighbors is moving to a condo and wanted to sell a lot of her belongings.  She lives alone and needs to have something with no yard and less of a house, she probably has close to a half acre.  I ran around the house scrounging up all kinds of things to sell.  I put out Brandon's old motorized scooters, which are too small for him now.  His BMX bike and lots of Brandon stuff.  We had the sale on Friday and Saturday, instead of Saturday and Sunday.  We asked one of our neighbors across the street, "why Friday?", she said that Fridays are the biggest day because all of the flee market sellers go to yard sales on Friday, then sell what they buy at the flee market on Saturday.  Made sense to us.  Our neighbors next door had a house full of furniture on their driveway.  I asked him if there was anything left in the house, he laughed and said this was all in the garage, 2 dinning room tables, 12 chairs, a sectional couch, several small tables, etc.  I said wow!  You should be able to park both cars in the garage now.  It was an ok sale, we still have most left for another day.  See you all next year...  
             
             
 

Easter Lilly

 

     Lilly's Grandmother Angela, sent me these pictures, taken in her Day Care class.  She was determined not to smile.  They are sweet pictures but you can tell she is not happy.  I don't think her mother was there.

 

     To the left is Easter Lilly, to the right are her Birthday pictures

 

Lilly's Birthday

 
 

Easter Pictures of Lilly

 

Click on Lilly's picture to view all pictures

 

Birthday Pictures of Lilly

 
 

 

 
     
 

We moved to Texas almost 3 years ago

 
             It's been almost 3 years now since we moved from our home in Folsom, California, the the town of Keller, Texas.  We sold our home just-in-time in Folsom, packed up all of our belongings including out farm of animals, and moved over 1,700 miles to the Midwest.  We ended up in the Great State of Texas, in the cool town of Keller.  Our trip was all but uneventful.  We ended up spending 3 nights in Albuquerque New Mexico because of some minor damage to the Beamer.  All I can say is that if we owned anything other than a BMW, we would have spent many more nights there, believe me.  
     
     
 

Click on the image below to read the story and see the photos taken along the way.

 
     

     
             
             
     
 

6th of March and Old Man Winter will not leave!

          It is now the end of winter and almost spring and we have snow, in fact we had snow twice this week.  Today is Thursday, and last Monday night it snowed about an inch and a half, but by the morning it was gone, so I didn't get an pictures.  Today however things are different.  This morning it snowed quite heavy, and accumulation was fast and deep.  By the time Brandon got out of school, I was driving in 4X4 and it was slow going.  We have had over 3" so far and it is still coming down.  We are expecting it to snow for another few hours, then strike 2 tonight, so by tomorrow morning, we should be doing fine.

 
             
             
       
  10:00 AM   2:30 PM   House Next Door  
            It was a week ago that it snowed about 7 inches in about 6 hours.  It wasn't that cold so what stuck melted slightly and we had a mess on our hands.  Standing water in the middle of the roadway, and the way people drive around here, driving too fast is a guaranteed accident for sure.  Well it only been a week and today the temperature is supposed to reach 75 of better.  What a change in weather in a weeks time.  What a roller coaster ride we have had lately in the Great State of Texas...  
     
     
 

It is not only about the weather...

 
 

          I mostly write about the weather around here because that is usually the news.  Besides the massive amounts of crime in Dallas, and the deportation of illegal immigrants in Irving and Farmer's Branch, and several other local cities, not necessarily in the news, the weather is the main topic, however lately it has been a lot like California, the same thing every day.  So for now I am going to try and find some interesting things to say about Texas.

 

          A little weather news, we had a rain storm Monday morning, October 15th, around 6:30 AM and lasted about 40 minutes.  During that 40 minutes, we received an estimated 2 and 3/4 inches of rain.

 
             
             
  It's also about the community...  
            We have been in this house for 2 years now.  We are getting used to the climate more, and the bugs, and the humidity.  We don't feel so closed in as we started to feel in Folsom, the town was growing so fast that land was being built on to the point you had to go out of town to view an open field.  Here they are building but at a slower pace and they aren't as limited in land to build on, for example, in Folsom, they had the lake on one side, highway 50 on the other, El Dorado Hills to the east, and Lake Natoma to the West, so pretty much with the exception of the stretch up Auburn-Folsom road, and a newly annexed section south of U. S. 50, that is just about it.  And with every major store and restaurant in the town, there wasn't any room for more customers for those businesses.  Keller Texas is larger land wise than Folsom, we don't have a lake at our back door, but we have one a couple of towns to the east, and one directly north.  It's a small town feel, in fact it has country feel.  
             
 

and it's about the surrounding towns and cities...

 
           The city of Irving, (some of you may know it as the city uncle Keith lived in many years ago, in fact his daughter, my cousin Sharen still lives in Irving) is the center of some controversy, well according to the Mexican nationals, some Mexican activists and all of the illegal Mexican's who are in Irving because the city is handing all persons arrested in Irving who have a question about their citizenship, over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for verification and ICE is deporting all of them that they find here illegally.  I have created a new section called "Local News" that will feature some headlines from the surrounding cities and counties.  Check out the new section here.  
             
 

Here's something more interesting

 
             
   

          Brandon is in Theater again this year, he hopes to be doing something in the media after graduation.  He has always had an imagination every since he was very small he would act out scenes from things we had never heard of, so I'm sure they were original.  When he was around 3 years old, he had an imaginary friend named Joke.  At first we thought this is weird, but we never thought he had a problem or was in some way defective in the brain, he seemed to us that he knew Joke was not real, and we joyfully played along and a few years later Joke left.  This year in Theater, Brandon is required to attend a couple of stage shows, so we decided that "The Lion King" would be an interesting one.  I have to admit I have never been to a real "Off Broadway Stage Show", or a musical play anywhere, but I thought it was one of the best shows I have ever seen.  The lighting was spectacular and so colorful, the costumes were very good, the actors were exceptional especially the children, and the stage was setup good.  I am not a stage show critic, but if I were, they would be happy with my review.  Now it's Brandon's turn.  He must write a review of the show last night as part of his class grade.  He enjoyed the show as much as Marisa and myself.  We thought that we would run into a problem with parking because Fair Park is where the Texas State Fair is currently going on.  The State Fair here is a month long, unlike California which is about 2 or 3 weeks at the most.  If you have a chance to see "The Lion King" musical stage show, you must go.  You will not be disappointed...

 
       
     
       
     
 

 

 
             
  Brandon Win's Award

         Brandon received an award this school year for a test he took for his Algebra class.  He scored a grade on the test that put him in the top 1%, the award is written like this; Letter K Award recipients have earned a grade average that places them in the top 1% of the course, exhibit good citizenship and have an interest in pursuing the coursework.  Brandon has always been good in math, something he gets from his mother.  I was never good in math, especially Algebra.

 
             
       
  May 21st 2007       Letter K Award  
          for Outstanding Achievement  
          Algebra I  
             
  Shawn McCann and Rachel Henderson Wed August 4th, 2006  
 

           Shawn and Rachel McCann are now husband and wife, and are living the married life.  The Wedding was beautiful and I have posted some of the pictures on this site.  Click on the picture below to see those pics and don't miss the story of our trip.  You also get to see Brandon in a Tux!  Great stuff......

 
 

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Shawn McCann

   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
             
 

Recent Pictures

 

Animal Pictures

 

Family Pictures

 
 

 

          I have posted pictures of our pets on the Site.  Our pets are as much a family as anyone.  See the pictures of our family past and present

 

          I have posted some pictures of the family, mostly old pictures of the McCann family, click on the picture above to view the pages, there are 5 pages so far, More to come!

 
             
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

McCann Family Reunion 2007

 
   

          It was fun, it was fast, and I didn't get to see enough of my family.  Many were not there, couldn't get a camp site, had other things going on.  I did get to see my 2 Aunts, and one Uncle which was the main reason I was going.  Aunt Claudia is getting old, at 89 she is frail, but she seemed to remember me, I hadn't seen her since I was 19 or so.  Aunt Hettie looked the same as when I saw her last.  She was at Aunt Louise's Memorial Here.  Pictures of the reunion are here.

   
 

Camping at Buckhorn Lake Camp Grounds

Reunion 2006

  Click on the Reunion Pics to see more!  

Lunch time at Buckhorn Lake Camp Grounds - Reunion 2007

 
     
  Don't Forget, it's time to think about this years Family Reunion!  
   
 

          Thanks to my cousin Sharen and her hubby Keith, we are scheduled for another annual McCann Family Reunion.  It will be at the same lake as the past few years, in Oklahoma at the Buckhorn Campgrounds, this year it is along loop C.  She has scheduled the reunion for the weekend starting Friday May 30th and going through Sunday June 1st.

 

          To make reservations at the campgrounds, go to www.recreation.gov, or call 1-877-444-6777 and tell them you need to get a site in Loop C, and choose from available sites from site 30 to site 42.  The cost is $27 per night per site, which includes a processing fee of $5 per night.  If you have a Golden Age passport, the cost is half the nightly fee plus the $5 processing, so it's about $16.

 

          If you want Sharen to reserve a site for you again this year, send her the fee, and once she receives the money, she will reserve a site for you and notify you of the site number.  As time is getting short, if you need her to make your reservations, give her a call and let her know so she will be ready when she receives your money.  If you don't know her phone number, Email her Here!

 
             
             
      Our Home      
   
 

          We had purchased this house within a few months of our arrival.  Our friends Tim and Karla were good enough to let us stay with them while we shopped.  In turn, we took our time to find the right place.  To see updates to the house, news inside and out, click the picture below;

 
             
             
      The Visit of Shawn and Rachel      
   
 

          Shawn and Rachel were in Arkansas attending the wedding of Shawn's step brother.  They had a long layover here at DFW airport so I went there early in the morning and picked them up.  I brought them to the house so they could see where we live, then we took them to lunch and back to the airport.  They said they had a good time and we enjoyed their visit greatly, even if it was for only 4 or 5 hours.

          Later on in the year, they came back to stay a few days.  We traveled to California on our annual trek to visit family and friends and on our return flight, they were with us.  They stayed until Sunday when they had to return to California because Rachel had to take some finals at school.  We enjoyed their stay and hope they can come and visit again real soon.  Maybe when Shawn gets back from his second tour of Iraq.  More about Shawn and Rachel on their page Click here...

 
             
             
             
             
             
   
             
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