Duane Slocum: Kansas Plowboy


We Survived New Years!!

Filed under: — Duane @ 4:12 pm

January 2, 2011

I’ll download some pics from Christmas, which was very quiet for us.  No pics from New Years as we were in bed by 10 p.m.  Didn’t even watch the ball drop and there was no fireworks on the top of Pikes Peak.  Too cold, windy and cloudy.  It was -4 at 6,200 feet.  No telling how cold up at 14,110 feet where the Add A Man club hiked to for their Jan1, 2011 fireworks show.


These two pics are of the cave/grotto on the Isle of Patmos where John supposedly wrote the book of Revelations.  They were sent to me by one of the people in our group during our cruise.  This was quite interesting as was the entire island.

  This is one of our Christmas pics of us with JJ, Camryn and Anna and of course, Abbie, our springer spaniel.  She stays close by wherever we go, inside or outside.  Camryn and Abbie love each other and Camryn enjoys letting Abbie lick her face; even though I yell at them to both stop.

January 6, 2011

It is so easy to get side tracked, especially this time of year with the holidays, trying to get things done to start the new semester, reports for the Exchange students  and having our first big snow storm of the year.  The storm was bad enough that they were unable to shoot off the fireworks from the top of Pike’s Peak at midnight, Jan. 1, 2011. 

Now we are worrying about our newest great=grandchild, Riley,  who is in Holland with her parents.  She had a series of seizures that wouldn’t stop.  Riley turns 1-year old this month.  Ryan & Samantha have kept the family appraised of the happenings with all the tests and brain scans.  Medication has stopped the seizures.  There seems to be a small lesion on the brain which is likely the cause.  Here is a pic I got this morning of Riley in the hospital.  Ryan is in the Air Force and stationed at a NATO base in Holland.  The LDS Missionaries have been to the hospital and given Riley a blessing. 

  Samantha says Riley is looking and feeling better, but not very happy with all the poking and prodding and testing happening in her life.  For us in the States; all we can do is worry and pray for her recovery.

School starts back up today (Jan. 6th).  I have a half-day assignment on Friday, which is unusual, as most teachers need to be there to handle the first couple of days of school; to get attendance and all the switching in and out of classes.  I’m going to work every day I can this semester.  We are going to do some updating of our home as 2011 is not a time to buy a new home or sell this one.  Replacement windows,  granite countertops, some tile, a new bathtub in the master bathroom and window coverings.  Don’t want to take money out of our savings.  Plus, I would like to get a newer truck than my ’98 Tacoma.

Also need to make a decison soon about continuing as a Coordinator for Exchange students.  There is a little money, but not much.  When there are problems, like this year; it can be time consuming.  However, the other side is enjoying the interaction with host families and the exchange students.  We had a couple of problems in my first year; both with Columbian girls.  One was sent home and the other is on Probation.  Well, all my students were girls, which generally was a positive.  All of them have done well in school.  The big negative is they all come well-to-do familes, who can afford to send their child to the U.S. for a year.  As a result, many are not used to being in a family setting, which requires interacting and functioning as a family.  Both Columbian girls were an only child and they had housekeepers rather than ever doing any chores themselves.  I will make that decision by the end of January as the new season begins, especially finding host families.



Filed under: — Duane @ 11:37 am

December 25, 2001

I’m too tired to stay up and write any coherent thoughts at this time.  I’ll finish it and send some pic on Monday!

Sunday morning, bright, clear and sunny.  Not like a day after Christmas.  Getting ready for church and the prison today.  Bobbie is sick, threw up three time from something.  No problems with me.  Must be something she ate or caught from too many activities around the young ones.  Here are some pics.

DSCN2402  This is Bill and Andrea with their two; Ethan and Noah.  They came to visit us Friday afternoon as they weren’t going to be at our annual Christmas Eve gathering at Tami’s home.

DSCN0020 This is Emery, a great-granddaughter, who is Mary, in the skit the kids put on at our Christmas Eve annual function at Tami’s home.

DSCN0015  Here are some of the little one in their version of Mary and Joseph & the 3 Wise people.  Emery & Trey (Mary & Joseph) with Troy’s kids, Janelle, Camille & Dean, as the three wise men.

DSCN0029 Troy with his wife, Lisa, and their children, Dean, Janelle & Camille.

DSCN0026 This is Scotty & Lindsay with their kdis, Emery & Trey.  Lindsay is now pregnant with their 3rd child, due in mid July 2011.

Monday, Dec. 27, 2010

I better get this finished.  Sunday was long as Bobbie was really sick with the flu or food poisoning.  She threw up three times and was generally sick all over.  She is up today as there is something needing to be returned at Penny’s for one of the grandkids.  Oh well, you can’t keep a woman down when it comes to the Mall and sales.  I did Church and Prison alone yesterday.  Went to the YMCA this morning to work out.  Now to get this finished and prepare to watch the AFA/Georgia Tech football game this afternoon.  We live near the Academy and our grandson, Taylor, attended one year there before going on his mission in Jun 2010.  He likely will return to the AF Academy in June 2012. 

Also have one visit today with an Exchange student from Columbia, who is struggling to follow rules.  She is on Probation and needs to get her act together or is going home like the previous Columbian girl who was sent home last month.  I am the bad guy is making that decision or recommendation to Mary Kay.


Time to Get Back to Writing

Filed under: — Duane @ 12:09 pm

Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010

It’s the shortest day of the year and the beginning of winter.  We are still waiting for winter in Colo. Springs, although the mountain areas are getting deludged with snow; up into the feets rather than inches.  I worked out at the YMCA this morning early, helped Jason finish installing a new dishwasher and sent off my request for an energy rebate.  Lot of paperwork for $50.  That is assuming the dumb Gov.’s office knows what to do with it.  Dems have been running Colorado for years and it is in sad shape; physically and financially.  Over a Billion dollars in debt!! YUK!!

Here are some pics just to make it interesting a few days before Christmas.

DSCN2242   Bobbie in her Joy to the World shirt and me in my Bah Humbug shirt at the mall on a Sat. afternoon.  Camryn just loves Christmas!

IMG_0439  Four of the exchange students with some of the other kids in our group.  Our Christmas 2010 gathering for fun and food.

DSCN2232  Funny story with this pic.  We got to the Mall and the Santa was going to lunch at 2 p.m.  No more kids were allowed in the line.  Bobbie talked to the young lady elf helper, she whispered something in Santa ear and he came over to stand beside Camryn for me to take this picture.  That was a true Christmas gift as we had to be home before Santa returned from lunch.

DSCN0242  This is a pic of us on the Isle of Patmos, where we stopped on our cruise to the Holy Land.  It was a very nice clear area with nice friendly people.

DSCN0004  I ordered a Bonsai Olive tree for Bobbie, Terri and Tami, as a Christmas gift and memory of our trip to Israel and the Mount of Olives.  This one did not look very good.  They asked for a picture of it to see what I was mumbling about.  Today, Hirt’s Gardens in Ohio notified me they will replace it with a different tree.  The other two trees looked really good.  That is 1st class Customer Service.

I struggled more with issues with a new dishwasher we bought from Lowe’s.  Had to go back 3 times to get everything right and finally installed this morning.  Jason did the installing around his schedule.  It is running the first load through which will be the real test of how it works.  It is a Whirlpool, which we have had good success with over the years.  It is in the dry cycle now and am anxious to see the results.  Bobbie doesn’t need anymore stress in her life.

I wrote a Christmas letter rather than us mail cards.  Sent it to people I have email addresses for.  We will send a few cards for those we have lost track of on the computer.  It is hard enough keeping track of the family members on both sides.  Had a very nice time at a Progressive dinner for resident living on our street.  We had 10 couple treking from house to house for the 4 courses.  Fun evening!  Well enough of that for now.


I’m Taking the Day off from Subbing!!

Filed under: — Duane @ 12:22 pm

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010

Final exams begin today in Dist. 20.  That means there are few Sub teaching assignments as every teacher needs to be at school to administer their test and submit final semester grades.  I could have done Spec. Ed., but needed a day’s rest.

This will be mostly pics I have saved on my desktop and want to clean them off, but have them preserved for someone.

The pic below is a recent one of Bobbe & me.  I use it as my thumb nail on Facebook.  The next shot is of Bobbie at Effecus in Turkey.  It was a wonderful tour of a very old city where John and Paul travelled in Christ’s time.  The next is a canal in Venice, Italy.  The next one is of Dolly Brown and me sitting on the rest rooms of the day in Effecus.  No wall or stalls.  The next pic is of the six of us; Terri & Dave, Tami & Scott and Bobbie and me.  We were together on this cruise.  The last two pics are of Hinako, an exchange student from Japan and her host sister, Naomi.  Last is a pic of Sue, who is hosting Laura, who is an exchange student from Columbia, S.A.  I am the Coordinator for five young ladies from different places around the world!

Bobbie & Me  DSCN2022DSCN0056 DSCN2098  DSCN2105  DSCN2367DSCN2217

I put the pics in before the description.  Hope they make sense this way.  I’ll do better the next time.  Need to get Abbie, our spring spaniel a bath, then go to Discovery Canyon and finally to finish a purchase of a new dishwasher from Loew’s.

No snow since fall and winter started.  I’m going to turn on the sprinkler system so we don’t lose plants and lawn.  It record dry for this time of year.  It was 66 yesterday and will get to 68 today.  Where is the snow??


More on our Cruise to the Holy Land!

Filed under: — Duane @ 6:08 pm

Dec 6, 2010

Went back to work again today after having nearly a month off from teaching. Decided I needed to do a better job; so here are a couple of older shots when we blessed our youngest grandchild and the family gathered in our chapel for the event.

Our Family at Blessing  Great-grandparents with baby This was several months ago before Ryan and Samantha went to Holland for Ryan’s next military assignment.

DSCN2098  DSCN2105  This is Dolly Brown and me showing how the bathrooms worked in the time of Paul and John.  No gender bathroom, only these holes to sit on as water from the stream run underneath taking the material to the sea.  No privacy!  About 10 of these stools in a row. No walls either!  The other is of Terri and Tami with their husbands, Dave and Scott.  It was enjoyable travelling with our two daughters, plus they took care of us more mature folks.  Even moreso after Bobbie tripped earlier in Croatia, fell and cut her chin, requiring treatment by the ship’s doctor including some kind of glue and butterfly strippes.  More later with a few more pics.


I am Still Alive!!

Filed under: — Duane @ 5:34 am

Nov. 30, 2010

Yes, I really do still exist, even though I am 74.5 years of age.  The last month has been a whirlwind with preparations for a three week cruise, having problems with some international exchange students and Subbing every day to earn money of the trip and the holidays.  We are home (Sat. evening), had church and prison on Sunday, then had a Sub assignment Monday and today.  We are trying to get the house restocked after being gone that long.  Here is a pic of the 6 of us on the ship.


Our two daughters, Tami & Terri with their husbands, Scott and Dave.  What a fun and educational time we had!!  I’ll post a few other pics over the coming week, but Christmas is here and all that entails.  We have problems with one exchange student that is requiring her to go home.  I will have to see what needs to be done to make that happen.

DSCN0052 This is the two of us in Venice, Italy with Nancy Richardson and Dolly Brown.  Nancy’s husband Joe took this shot.  We spent the day trekking through Venice with them, while Tami and Terri were off doing other things.  We loved Venice and it was not dirty and smelly like some people said.  Of course, we were there in Nov. when it was colder.  We both loved the city, the canals, the art work and old buildings.

Dec 3, 2010

I better send this or I will never get it done.  I have had Sub assignments every day this week.  Also had to drive to Woodland Park to pick up an International student to get her ready to be sent home.  One of the sad aspects of this job as Host Family Coordinator.  It is hard to know what makes a young person tick; especially if they come from another country and are not used to a typical family setting.

Here are a couple more shots from Venice, Italy.


DSCN0056 I loved this shot of a canal in Venice.  It has all the qualities I never seem to get in most pics.  The other one is of Bobbie doing a self potrait  using a store window.  Nina Smith taught her this trick; now she does it wherever we go.  Enough for today.  To the airport now!


A Beautiful Quiet Sat. Morning!!

Filed under: — Duane @ 9:41 am

DSCN0063 As usual, I somehow messed this up by putting this pic first.  This is Emery Hollister on her 1st birthday.  She is one of our 19 great-grandchildren.  Remember, we had 5 granddaughters all pregnant at the same time last year.  Now those new babies are turning 1, with Emery being the first one.  Next will be Amanda’s baby and then Andrea’s baby, who was born on Bobbie’s birthday; Oct. 30th.  The family gathered at Tami and Scott’s home to celebrate the occasion.  It was a madhouse noisy event with little critters everywhere.

Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010

 Things have changed re: our schedule with having Camryn on the weekend.  For years, Camryn came Friday afternoon when school was out.  We had her Friday night and he went home Sat. afternoon.  Now that Karen is working and Camryn is on a different therapy session with a CNA, we get her Sat. afternoon until Sunday afternoon.  That get juggled around, depending upon whether we go to the prison on Sunday afternoons.  So, it is a bit of a hassle now because the schedule is constantly changing.  We, along with Camryn, don’t like the uncertainty of not having a set schedule.  But we do what we have to do and take what is available.

So much time has passed, the last pictures I posted were of Camryn’s 11th birthday in August.  We have been to an AF Academy tailgate as part of the Air Force Academy – BYU football game and have been horseback riding with the exchange students.  Maybe a couple of pics from those times would be appropriate and interesting — at least for me.

DSCN0207 Sarita & horse

The top pic is of Emily Zhang from Hong Kong.  The other is of Sarita Martinez from Madrid, Spain.  Both of these pics were taken during our horse riding adventure.

Gabi with gun fighters  This was on a trip by the Smith family, who are hosting Gabriella Lopez from Columbia.  This is Katie, Gabi and Emily, as they posed with gunfighters at a site in GlenwoodSprings, where they were visiting.  Katie and Emily are from the Smith family. 

Three of my exchange girls  This is Emily from Hong Kong, Gabi from Columbia and Hinako from Japan.

Besides International students, I continue to be a sub teacher most days.  I’m trying to get in all the days I can as we will be gone most of November on our cruise. Jason will be staying at home to take care of Abbie and watch over things.  Oh, any bad guys; you should know we have all kinds of guns in our home and we all know how to use them, plus a mean dog.

I finished a story for the newspaper on Camryn’s early days as a pre-mature infant.  It is supposed to run next week.  It will be interesting — at least for me — to see how they display the info and pictures.  It was an attempt to show that miracles happen all the time and they occur all around us.  Next Wed. in the Gazette.  I’m now working on a story about what its like being a host family for exchange students.  Interesting challenges and changes within a family occur.

DSCN0080  This big 6 pt. mule deer buck was in our yard yesterday afternoon.  I got within about 10 feet before he decided to get up.  There are deer everywhere in Colo. Springs.  Abbie and I are always chasing them out of our yards.  Darn things!!

DSCN0098  This is Robb Wirthlin with Bobbie and Camryn at the AFA tailgate event.  Robb stayed with us.  We also attended his wedding in the Manti Temple, which was performed by Elder Wirthlin, his Grandfather, way back when.

DSCN0109  This was at the Devotional Sat. evening after the football game.  That is Brock Oaks, son of Elder Oaks of the Seventy, along with Bobbie, Camryn and myself.  This was a fun weekend as AF beat BYU handily and meeting so many former cadets and friends we have been close to for so many years.

Enough of all that.  I need to get dressed and ready for the day.  I have some projects to do and we want to go movie this afternoon to see Secretariat.  I am old enough to remember that event.  It is not supposed to be as good as Seabiscuit as I have read the book and seen the movie.


Where Does the Time Go??

Filed under: — Duane @ 12:01 pm

Saturday, Sept 25, 2010

I really need to retire so I am bored and looking for something to do!!  Last Saturday we had Camryn’s birthday party in our back yard.  It was a huge water slide; about 20 feet high with an undulating slide down to a big pool of water.  WOW!  It was a hit of everyone, including neighborhood kids who couldn’t resist the temptation.  Pics galore with about 25 young kids from school, the neighborhood and church.

DSCN0165  DSCN0164

DSCN0158  DSCN0146

DSCN0145  DSCN0846

Those are just a few of over 50 pics I took.  Bobbie and Karen took lots also.  The last pic was a couple days earlier of Camryn and Reagan, a girl who couldn’t come and lives next door to us.  The two of them play together sometimes.  Yes, I went down the slide several times so I could catch Camryn at the bottom and pull her out of the water, which was pretty deep.  Nobody needs to see a pic. of that sagging ole body.

MTC group heading for Japan  Here is a pic of the graduates from the Missionary Training Center (MTC) of new missionaries getting ready for their next adventure; going to Japan to serve their Mission.  The guy on the far right i Taylor Hollister, our grandson. He is going to Nagoya, Japan.

I am still involved with the Exchange students.  It seems like there is always something coming up that needs some attention.  Today we are going horseback riding at the AF Academy.   One student is struggling with English in her biology and science classes.  It is hard to understand the technical terms.  Another one is having problems with the other teenager in the home.  I will spend this week talking to each of them to determine how they are doing.  I also have to do an interview with the host parents, combining all that into one report on each family.

This past week, I was a Sub every day; four days at one school in P.E.  I already have assignments in Oct.  A grandson, JJ, and I are going antelope hunting next Sat. morning.  It is also General Conf. time in the LDS Church.  We will need to be home in time for the Priesthood session at 6 p.m.  I’m already looking forward to our cruise in Nov. which will not require me to be responsible for anything.  Enough for now!  Honest, I will try to post some pics of the horseback riding event today plus we are trying to attend the Farmer’s Market today with Camryn.  It has been over a month since our last visit.


9-11, 2010

Filed under: — Duane @ 6:54 am

Sept 11, 2011

I started this last night, the anniversary of  9-11, a difficult day in the history of this country.  The the twin towers in New York were hit; this began a series of events that are still with us today.  I wonder how long it took this country to get over Peal Harbor; December 7, 1941.  We are 9 years later and it still isn’t over in our country.  While the country became united in a common cause and against a common enemy; now we are bickering and very divided in most aspect of our lives.  We have a President who has contributed to that great chasm among the American people.

No more politics.  It has been another busy week and there is no end in sight.  Three major events have consumed most of my life lately; International students, helping put the AFA/BYU football game and Devotional together and being a Sub teacher! 

The best part was finally getting all the paperwork done with moving Gabriella Lopez Ortiz to the Smith’s home in Woodland Park.  It was difficult getting the Counseling Dept. to find time to process everything and them wanting notarized documents coming from Columbia, S.A.  Finally, on Friday, it was done.  I collected the last two forms from the high school and Mrs. Smith took in the form they needed.  So we had a dinner Friday night to celebrate Tanako Tamura’s 18th birthday with the Bishop and Smith families.  Lets see if I can make this work with  pic.

DSCN0045 DSCN0038  This is Gabriella with the Smith family in Woodland Park.  The other is with Gabi, Camryn and Bobbie dressed for Church the Sunday before we took her to Woodland Park.  I didn’t take my camera to the dinner, but will post a pic of Hinako and her birthday!

The tailgate and Devotional are always great fun.  Former singles and former cadets come to attend the tailgate, football game and our evening devotional.   Over 100 showed up at the tailgate.  Jason Forest and Brock Oaks did wonderful jobs in getting it all put together.  To make it even better, the AF Academy won the game 35-14.  Our Jason and his son, JJ, used my tickets from Morgan Mackey to attend the game while Bobbie, Camryn and I left before the game started.  Here are a couple of pics.

DSCN0104 DSCN0109  These are just a couple showing the tailgate and Brock Oaks with Bobbie, Camryn and me at the fireside.  I’ll post some other next time.  It was just a great time.  Robb stayed in our home last night and we finally got to bed a little after midnight.  Today is Church time and Robb has to go to Denver about 10 a.m. to catch a plane to Calif. for a military assignment.  Brock is out of the Air Force and living in Wichita, Kansas.  Jason Forest is still in the AF and stationed in Las Vegas.  It was fun to see some former singles.  I’ll try to find a way to post the entire group of pics from the weekend.  It nearly 8 a.m. and I need to start getting people up to have breakfast ready at 9 a.m.


It’s Labor Day Weekend

Filed under: — Duane @ 8:03 am

DSCN0087 What did I do wrong to get this pic at the beginning??

As usual, I have done a terrible job in keeping current with my postings.  I haven’t even had time to do much on Face Book.  School has started and I’m up to my eyeballs working with International exchange students.  So lets do pics!   DSCN0045 This is Gabriella Lopez Ortiz from Cali, Columbia.  More on her later.  With Gabi is the Melissa and Darryl Smith family who live in Woodland Park, Colo.  My readers are all smart enough to know who is Gabriella and who is in the Smith family.

DSCN0038  One more pic of Gabriella with Bobbie and Camryn

Terri & Bobbie  I love this pic with Bobbie and our oldest daughter, Terri, when we were at Terri’s home in 2009 in Maryland and they were baking all kinds of things.  Maybe one more!  Well, that one more is at the beginning of this post and I can’t seem to get it in place.  

It is September, 4, 2010

School in the Academy District started Aug. 18th.  I didn’t have an assignment the first 3 days, but have been busy ever since.  I agreed to shadow a student who has epilepsy seizures.  I just go to class with him to be there in case he has a seizure.  It starts at 11 a.m. until 2:10 p.m.  Kind of boring at times and ties up my entire day.  I told them yesterday (Friday) I couldn’t do it anymore.  I only get paid $50 for doing that rather than $90 for a full day.  It is really a para’s level position, but they couldn’t find anyone else to do it at Air Academy High.

Today is the opening football game at the Air Force Academy.  I have two tickets, but nobody to go with.  Both my older grandsons are gone somewhere; one, JJ, even has a broken finger from playing ultimate touch football. Dumb!!

I am responsible for 4 International Exchange students as their host family coordinator.  Some of it has been fun and some a real pain.  Gabriella has been the biggest problem as she couldn’t mesh with her original host family.  She was raised by grandparents, who let her do pretty much as she wanted.  There was no family structure and she could come and go as she pleased.  Her host family had two small children and was used to doing lots of things together, eating together and going to church each Sunday.  Gabi didn’t do well in that setting and conflicts began.  After several weeks, I had to removed Gabi from the home and bring her to our house.  She would have liked to stay, but our lives are not ideal for a teenager.  I found her another home with the Smith family in Woodland Park, Colo.  Their picture is at the top of this post with Gabi.  Aspect Foundation isn’t happy with me as all this was done without proper paperwork done in order.  So I have gotten a bunch of emails telling me to get my act together and do things right.  Reminds me of being a Mormon Bishop again, when I did what was best for people and the paperwork could come later.  Gabi is now in school even though the School Enrollment form has not been sent to me yet.

Camryn continues to be a joy in our lives and she is now a 5th grader.  She is going full time rather than being home schooled plus has changed schools to Discovery Canyon Campus, where JJ and Anna attend.  JJ is in the 9th grade and Anna is in the 1st grade.  Two of  Troy’s kids are in Challenger Middle school; Dean in the 8th grade and Camille in the 6th grade.  Janelle is alone in Elementary school in the 3rd grade.

Lots of other happenings as Taylor left the A.F. Academy to enter the Training Center to learn Japanese before leaving on his two year Mission to Nagoya, Japan.  Oliva is a senior at Air Academy High and has decided to join the ROTC unit at school.  She is a Flight Commander and wants to attend the AF Academy next year.  Her three brothers are all in the Air Force.  Ryan now in Holland, Scotty in Ala., finishing his Officer Candidate training and will be sent to Qutar when her returns at the end of Sept.  Our grandson-in-law has been transferred to Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii, where is is a medical doctor.  All of this has happened this summer.

All five of the new great-grandbabies have arrived safe and sound.  That gives us 18 great-grandchildren to go with 20 grandchildren.  There are no more grandchildren coming, so the greats will soon pass them in numbers.  However, we have nobody pregnant at this time.  Katie and Matt are both married, but are waiting until education is complete.  Kyle, Matt and Christine are all at BYU working their degrees.  Katie has already finished and is teaching school.  Brooke and Brian are old enough, but not married.   Brooke has her Master’s degree and is working as an Adoption Counselor.  Brian is attending BYU-Idaho.  I know this is a bit confusing if you don’t know who belongs to who.  Looking at this pic will even make it more confusing.  This was taken at our 2009 summer reunion in Maryland at Terri’s lake house.  About half our family was there.


Jason is still living in our home, however he has started attending school in hopes of getting his CNA and LPN and then becoming a PA in the future.  At least he is on some kind of a path.  Medical issues continue to dominate most aspects of his life.  O.K. that is enough for now.  I’m going to the AFA football game, even if I go alone!

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