Pool time!

When we swam Sunday evening it was chilly. Ammon
enjoyed the pool. She would swim for about 30 seconds or a minute then she
would say, “I need to get out.” She would then sit in our lawn/pool chairs for
a few seconds then say, “I want to swim!” , so then she would run back to the
pool steps where I awaited her with open arms. Carter stayed in the pool for
two minutes, swam to the side and firmly stated, “I’m cold, and I want to go

However, on Wednesday when it was warmer and the pool water
was warmer, our friends, Lizzy and Gavin, came for a visit, and they played
soccer (thanks again for the net help, Gavin) and swam with Carter and Ammon.
They had a ball! All four enjoyed the swim, and Carter finally decided that he
liked the pool. Good start to our pool season!

Our Pool!

Busy, busy!

Vacations can be so enjoyable and relaxing, but preparing
for them can be exasperating. Before
listing what I have to do, I have to say that I am so glad we have our
dear friend Guy to come and house sit while we are gone (the animals appreciate
it too). We are also so grateful that my mother and my sister come several
times a week to check on things as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now,
leaving home for a vacation is better in the winter when we do not have as much
yard work to do, but mercy, mercy: The mowing (13 acres), the weeding, the push
mowing, and spraying Round Up. If we didn’t do the before mentioned things, we
would come home to a jungle with copperheads and rattlesnakes running through our
yard. We also have the cleaning, the washing of clothes, the carrying out of
trash, making sure the four hound dogs have plenty of food, making sure the
cats are taken care of, making sure the dachshunds will have all the exercise
they need, and a whole list of things I am forgetting. If it isn’t bad enough packing
my own things, I have to pack Carter and Ammon’s  things too . You all who are parents know whatI’m talking about! Oh, me, it will be so nice when we are finally on that plane
to London this weekend and all this preparation is over! Wish us luck and pray
that we have a SAFE and enjoyable trip.

luggage 1


Folks, I love the color YELLOW. I have also been known (with
frequency) to have rooms in a house painted yellow. Yes, it is bright and helps
my mood index. The color makes me happy. Now, I cannot wear shirts that are
yellow because with my ruddy complexion the two colors really clash. However,
if my shirt has a yellow stripe, I can “pull it off” LOL (Dolce and Gabbana are
going to read this and BEG me to be a fashion editor for them!)

The summer before Ammon and Carter were born was the last
summer we had the bird feeder going “full force” (before the squirrel debacle
where they broke our bird feeder). We had a multitude of goldfinches coming to
the feeder. I remember the summer vividly because the parent goldfinches taught
their babies to fly in the back of our house where our pool is. I could tread
water on my back, look up to the sky, and watch goldfinches zip above. It was
such a treat!  Well, they have started coming back again since the new feeders are up, and it is amazing how the whole yard around the feeders LIGHTS UP when there is a goldfinch  perched there: It brightens the area, and it brightens my soul.

Happy Monday/ Exciting News

Has anyone heard of, have knowledge of, studied about, or
been to Waltham Abbey in London, England? Well, I plan to visit it during my
upcoming visit to England. The family and I are doing a round-trip cruise of
the British Isles. It will be our first with Princess Cruise Lines. It will
Ammon and Carter’s 7th cruise! Okay…back to the Abbey

Folks, this abbey will probably be dum, dum, dum,… the
setting to Haven Caylor’s first novel! I will divulge pieces at time between
now and publication (probably late autumn), but the time is late 12th century (approximately A. D. 1190) and the majority of the setting takes place around an abbey. Now, Waltham Abbey will only be a physical plan because my setting is fictitious. My novel is historical fiction. The story-line itself is about life, love, friendship, and our relationships with the Lord Almighty.  The novel may take place in the Middle Ages,
but it’s themes are timeless and 100% pertinent to the 21st century.

Please, if you do have some information on Waltham Abbey or
have friends/family who are Medieval Times buffs send some comments/help my

Okay, Hummingbirds…come on!

I feel kind of bad. I just read where I should have put out my humming bird feeder in March! It’s almost June! I hope they forgive me! Oh, well, assuming that they do forgive me there should be some humming birds any day now. I hung the feeder from the front porch eaves Saturday but none came (I’ll bet those hummingbirds didn’t come that evening because they were waiting for Jesus’ return and the end of the world…LOL).  But seriously, the feeders are up, and I am ready for those little stinkers to enjoy their sugar-water nectar! Sippin’ time! Come and get it!

Update-Monday May 23, 2011: As I was typing on the front porch swing on Sunday night, a hummingbird visited the feeder. I was pleased, and I think he was too.

I brake for squirrels….

….but I am shooting their butts off our bird feeders with the BB gun.

I’m so tired of squirrels eating all the birds’ food. Right now we have the pleasure of seeing purple finches, gold finches, indigo buntings, brown thrashers, chick-a-dees,  tufted tit-mice, cardinals, and many more adorable birds, but the dang squirrels keep eating their food, and the birds don’t want to come around to empty feeders.

Gray Squirrel (Sciurus caroliniensis)

It’s best when we have our dachshund, Buddy, or our mother coonhound, Katie, to run them off, but neither of them is out at 6:00 in the A.M. when the squirrels begin their dining terrorist acts. Those squirrels broke our last bird feeder! At one point during the past 7 years, I had a stove pipe around our shepherd’s hook where we have the bird feeders, and the squirrels jumped from the nearby magnolia trees to on top of the feeders. The squirrels have PLENTY of trees and nuts (hickory, black walnut, etc.) as well as scraps I throw away (far from the house), so I know they have other food sources. So, I am back to using the BB gun. I get some good target practice, and the dogs start their fun and excitement as soon as they hear me cock the rifle. Wish us luck.

Mowing with Barn Swallows

No matter how hard I try, there is about a month every April and May when I don’t get the fields mowed. It’s usually because we have so much rain in those months, and the tractor would bog down in the mud (well, it’s a good excuse anyway!).  During those two months, the fescue grass grows rapidly and reaches over 3 feet! When the ground gets dry enough, I begin to mow, and it takes about a month to get the grass back down to a decent height. Although it takes the mower about twice as long and the mower pushes half the grass down instead of mowing it, there is a fun and enjoyable event almost a tradition if you will: The barn swallows mow with me.

Barn Swallow

It happened last year as well, and I had forgotten until Thursday. I was mowing, and suddenly I saw a barn swallow zipping past me to the left then dipping in front of the tractor. In a few seconds, I saw two swallows flying around. In about 15 minutes, I counted four swallows circling about. It was like “Barn Swallow Circus”. The best thing I can hypothesize is that my cutting the tall grass stirs up all sorts of insects and as the insects begin to fly, the swallows begin to feast! Several times, a particular swallow came within 10 feet of the tractor in a playful manner as if to be saying “Thank you!” It was so cute, and I enjoyed mowing with my avian buddies.

Call me “Dr. Daddy”;o)


In all seriousness, the best title I could ever want is “Daddy”. On Wednesday, I was reminded that I have an Educational Doctorate. Any person that has left the upper echelons of his or her profession/occupation to answer to the summa operis called parenthood knows what I mean. We kind of “lose” who we are professionally. Will I ever be called back to the world of español in the classroom whether it be in a high school or in the hallowed halls of an ivy-covered university? Will I do useful, longitudinal action research studies on the effects of computer-based technology that will appear in both prestigious foreign language journals and technology journals? Will I be sought after and paid to share my research and data? Woo hoo! Oh, the dreams of a Spanish professor!

A Haven-lead personal triumph: My Doctoral Dissertation


All the above stuff could happen; however, I’m Daddy right now and loving it. It’s where I need to be. When I “Googled” my name (really looking to see if it was associated with my “Haven’s Ideals”), my published, doctoral dissertation popped up on the search, and it brought to mind the things I thought were so necessary to my life in July 2006 when I defended and obtained my doctorate. Five years later, I have two necessary things: Ammon and Carter. My Haven-led Educational Doctorate was a personal triumph, and it was great. However, my God-led blessing of being a father to Carter and Ammon is the BEST!  I am also blessed to be writing and to have you all reading and sharing with me.  

God-led Blessing: Being a father to Carter & Ammon

Lego Blocks

During the past two months, somewhere in some room in this house, there lies a Lego block or two! Carter and Ammon are CRAZY about Lego blocks. It all started about two months ago. As I walked into Mamaw’s house to pick up Ammon and Carter from their play day with Mamaw, I was greeted by Carter who happily shouted, “I build house!”. He then ran to Mamaw’s playroom where she keeps all the grandchildren/great-grandchildren’s toys. I followed him, and there in the middle of the floor stood several “houses” made of Lego blocks. Ammon sat comfortably in the middle of the Lego rubble, looked up, and said, “Hey, Daddy!” and continued with her Lego creation. Mamaw (for late-comers, this is my mother) said, “They have occupied themselves with these blocks for several hours today.”

Several days later, we bought Carter and Ammon their first Lego set for here at our house. We then bought another set for them to play with while Nana baby sat them in our New York hotel.  The blocks are very light, so they pack well and are not heavy for luggage. The two sets we now have are a zoo and the alphabet. Carter loves to build “houses” tall. He also enjoys making different cars with the blocks especially if the Lego set has that wheel base Lego piece. Ammon will build “houses” that are wide and symmetrical. She built one on Tuesday that had an awning in the middle of two perfectly symmetrical columns. Truthfully, I had no idea they would love them the way they have. Thank you, Lego, for your research and production of blocks and sets that challenge the imagination and creativity of youngsters! They really help out when I need to get a few chores done!