Sunday, January 31, 2010


February.  It has a reputation, yes it does.  And, it's not all good.  Folks around these parts say it's cold and dreary and hangs on too long.

I love February.  It's not only the month of my birth, but it's the month of my son's birth.  John was born on a cold February morning on Valentine's day.  Two weeks early.  That makes a special holiday even more special!

Hope you enjoy the February header on "This is Z Life" this month.

Meanwhile, it has been a little cold and dreary.  Tim and I are headed out for parts warm and sunny today. Our internet access will be very limited.   I'll be back here on "Z life" next week.  See you then!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow, Beautiful Snow!

Here's another "wayback" snow picture in honor of our snowfall here in central Arkansas.  Here's my little boy digging in the snow with a big spoon.  I remember he had his Tonka dump truck and had so much much fun "excavating" in the snow.

What a difference time makes.  My boy called me last night and told me he and some friends are going sledding this morning on a hill where his friend says they can get up to about 45 miles an hour.  Is that possible sledding down a big hill?  I don't think I want to know.

Snow is fun for us in this area of the country because it's so rare.  It's a magical event.  During the five years I lived in Kansas as a young bride, snow lost its magic for me because it was a part of daily life from November to spring.

I remember the first day it snowed when I began teaching at Cessna Elementary in Wichita.  Outside my classroom window that morning huge snowflakes began falling fast and furiously.  As they continued to fall and the snow began spreading a thick, soft blanket on the ground, I waited for the principal to get on the intercom and tell us that school was being dismissed.  It didn't happen.  It snowed all day.  School was dismissed at four o'clock.  I trudged through the drifts, struggling to keep my balance.  I remember using a broom to sweep the snow off my car.  I don't even remember where I got the broom.  I'm sure a co-worker had compassion on the naive, young teacher from the south.  I finally got settled in my car and slowly started across the parking lot, only to lose control and began sliding dangerously.  I remember that when I got stopped I burst into tears and said aloud to the empty car, "I don't know how to drive in this stuff."  Somehow I made it home that day, and over the course of the next few months I learned to drive in that "stuff."

When John was a toddler, I ran a home preschool program out of our house.  Tim traveled on business most of the week, and I was home alone with a house full of kids.  Couldn't get out.  Too many kids for one car, and the weather was bad so much of the winter. We had a chunk of ice in a shady area in our front yard that stayed there from about Thanksgiving until the following spring.  I would look out and see that ice and wonder if spring would ever come.

To those of you here in central Arkansas, I hope you make some wonderful memories in the snow today.  Or, if you prefer, just curl up with a good book and have a cozy day as you look out at the magical white world.

Friday, January 29, 2010

White Stuff/Way Back

In honor of the white stuff coming down here in central Arkansas, I interrupt the series "The Blog Posts in my Head" to bring you a "way back" picture from more than twenty years ago.  

John was four years old.   We got a big snow, which is rare for this area.  Then, if I remember correctly, it didn't snow again in central Arkansas for seven years.

That white stuff coming down out there is not pretty, fluffy snow.  It's ice.  But, maybe there will be some good sledding :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Blog Posts in My Head, Part 2: Scott's Graduation

These pictures are from the trip we took last June that I actually DID post about.  After we left NYC, we headed out for Pequannock, New Jersey, about 40 minutes away, where Tim's sister and her family live.  Tim's dad and stepmom were there too, and we all had a great time together during Scott's high school graduation weekend.  I like the picture below, on the football field after the ceremony, because Tim's dad is with both of his children and all of his grandchildren, which is a pretty rare occurrence. 

Three generations of good looking Zimmerman men:)

Our darling niece, Christina, and her bunny with Grandad, the night before graduation, when Jane and Steve hosted a family party for Scott at their home.

This is Tom, or Pop-pop, as Jane and Steve's kids call their other grandfather, Steve's dad.  We love Tom.  He's always fun to be around.  Upbeat, well-read, down to earth.  Great conversationalist.  

It was chilly, so the guys built a fire and we sat around it and sipped on hot tea and coffee and had a cozy chat.  John and his cousins got online to look for good deals on cars.

On graduation day, we went outlet shopping.  Christina and I had fun finding some bargains.  I love this little girl.  She is so sweet and so girly.

After graduation, we all went out to eat at a "diner," as they say in "Joisey."  We southerners have never been able to figure out that "diner" thing.  We have diners, but NJ diners just look like regular restaurants to us.  Things are just different in "Joisey."  It's definitely not the south.

But, we love our NJ kinfolks!   Here's Scott, with his sibs, Brian, and Christina.  

That's all for now, folks!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Blog Posts in My Head

January is a month for reflection. A time to look back over the previous year and remember the blessings, the challenges, the special times with family and friends. A time to think about what I did right - and what I need to improve on. Big list, that second one :)

Along these lines, I also thought January would be a good time for a little catching up on this blog. You see, I have blogged a lot this year. Lots and lots. You wouldn't believe how much I've blogged. Why, I'm almost up there with The Pioneer Woman in the number of blog posts I've created! Why don't those posts show up on my blog? It's because they're in my head.
So many pictures I can hardly organize them, so many great times, so many inspirations for posts. And I've written a bunch of them in my head. I just didn't get around to writing them down.
Tim is a different story. He started a blog after I did. It's a private one, really a journal, a diary, if you will. I love reading it; it's a great record of what's going on in our life, and I'm able to see what he's been doing related to work. But, Tim operates differently than me. He gets things done - fast. He put a blog ap on his iphone. At the end of the day, he uploads pics he took that day with his phone, writes about his day, and posts. He keeps it simple and doesn't turn it into a big project.
Me - I want to crop and enhance my photos, then write a story about an event. But, that takes time, and I'm a pretty busy gal, so I think, "Oh, I don't have time right now." And I never get around to it.
So, the point of this post (and perhaps a couple more) is to do a little catching up on 2009 and to promise myself to keep things simple in 2010. KISS: Keep It Simple, Susan
Here's some pictures from those blog posts in my head:
Tim and I started fishing at the farm in early March.  Nice largemouth bass in the pond below the house.  We bought a paddle boat from our neighbor and christened it "The Minnow Bucket." It was perfect for fishing in the pond, and Nick enjoyed coming along for the ride.

Hauling our fishing gear to the pond

My cousin, Joy, came for a visit, albeit a brief one, in April. For those of you who know Joel, Joy is his sister. Her mother was my mother's beloved baby sister, Devonna.  Joy plays the bass fiddle for the Sullivan Family, which is a gospel bluegrass group. Pictured here with me are Enoch and Margie Sullivan, Joy, and Joel. It was so good to see Joy! I don't get to see her often, and it was a real treat to get together.
Spring is also the time for turkey hunting at the farm.  This gobbler was strutting his stuff.  That's a decoy in the foreground.

The gobbler wasn't strutting for long.  Tim bagged him.  My hunter looks pretty happy about that!

Tim and I with Tim, Lauren, and baby Gabe in Tulsa in April.  I might add here that John and I ordered so much food at the Cheesecake Factory that they couldn't get it all on our table.  We ate most of it though!

Rylie holding Gabe.  In case you didn't know, these are two of my favorite kiddos in the whole, wide world!

In May, Tim and I traveled to Magnolia, in south Arkansas, to celebrate my Uncle John's birthday. My sweet cousin, Jane, always goes all out with a pretty table and a special meal and birthday cake.  She and her husband, David, live near Uncle John and Aunt Ordell and are such a big help to him in caring for my precious aunt, pictured below with Jane and David's adorable grandaughter, Caitlyn.

Aunt Ordell is my mother's only surviving sibling.  She still has the same sweet spirit that she's always had.

Memorial Day brought fun on the farm with friends.  Fishin', four-wheelin', and food!
Check out Mike's and Rick's fishing poles :)

Even little Ray-ray fished - and caught a bunch!

Everyone who fished caught lots - and threw them back.  

Come on, Sterling!  Reel it in!

It just doesn't get any better than this!  Tim and I love having friends at the farm.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Makeover Underway

This poor, pitifully neglected blog is finally getting some attention.  A makeover is in the works.  Please check back this week.

Thanks to those of you who have encouraged me to continue blogging.