Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Bags I want (please let my husband look at this)

I have a problem.

I spend way too much time on the computer.

I am trying to stop but in the meantime I found this new totebag company and I am in love with these bags. So please tell my husband. Thank you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

See if you can smell it....

Easter was quickly approaching and the weather was growing warmer. We were getting outside more and more.

For my father that included golf. While I don't recall what Cody and I were doing I know what we were not doing. Cody and I were definitely not playing chess and probably not wasting any time with Terrible Terry Tinkle the fish. We weren't enjoying a ride in his remodeled '68 Camero either. He'd sold it. One of the hardest things he had done to date. I know because he still talks about it. I know because after a few weeks of making pies we ventured out to the Craft Fair at Duncan Fairgrounds. He took me in the Camero. Typical of early Dec. , it had been raining. I accidentally got mud on the interior door (white upholstery) and he about ended the relationship before we ever got started. It was a tense night. This was before the good night kissing started, I was on shaky ground. I was sure it irritated him, we never rode in it again. One ride. That's all I got. He sold it within the month. I was a clutz, it was too risky having me around it.

Dad on the other hand had gone golfing. It was in the afternoon when I came home that Mom gave us the news. Dad had been thrown from a golf cart and was in the hospital. Had it not been so serious it would've been comical. But he'd ruptured something and was in intensive care. Mom and my sister had been with him and come home. I needed to go, I needed to see him, to make sure he was going to be alright. Intensive care only let family go back, so I walked in to the open area on my own. There were no nurses around and several semi open rooms, I looked in a few then saw dad and entered the area. He was sleeping peacefully and I didn't want to disturb him so I walked quietly closer to the bed. He looked like my uncle Larry but worse, he'd swollen up, his face was horrid. I gasped. Then I realized it wasn't my dad. Thank the Lord he didn't wake up or that I didn't grab his hand. I was so embarrassed. I then went next door and found dad. While he was being treated for a hernia, aggravated from the fall, he was a good sight for these eyes.

Dad was released within the week. But I had other things on my mind by now. Like an all night Easter Pageant. My mom had told me stories from years ago when they would rein-act the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ at Medicine Park (about 30 miles away). They had condensed it down to 4 hours I think- progress or laziness- your call. I was excited. This was the closest we got to a movie, must've been a bad movie season. (however I did go and see Legend's of the Fall that spring with my girlfriends)I was excited about a play, I enjoyed the theater and we didn't get much around our town.

The deal with this pageant is that you sit opposite of the "stage" area on a grassy hill. In Oklahoma grass hill translates- they run buffalo/cattle/something that poops on it the other 364 days of the year.

This SW Oklahoman phenomenon was a crowded place. I had a blanket (much more conducive to snuggling) for us to sit on. So after we'd walked a ways through fields of cow poop, we found the grassy hill opposite the stage. In complete Oklahoma style they had left all the cow poop for us to sit amongst.Then the blanket didn't look like such a good idea.

Nonetheless we spread it out and tried to make the best of the night. It was dark and the show began. We knew how it ended so our gaze feel more on each other than the actors. For someone who'd slept alone for the last 17 years it was completely romantic, except for the smell of cow dung, snuggled up beside him on that blanket.

After a hour or two the physical chemistry of being so close had gotten to us. The kissing had started. Had it not been for the harsh Oklahoma field conditions and hoards of people around us, we may have remained that way for awhile. But odor loomed and the actors were shouting "Crucify Him" so we ended for then.

Just stinky memories of our first Easter as a couple.

The weeks were passing and things at home were strange, dad never does stay down long so he was on the mend. But my graduation was getting close and with any "ending" there comes stress, duty and sadness. The new and growing relationship with Cody was hopeful but I still had no idea what I was doing. Was he just a fun guy I'd had the privilege of dating a few months or was this going somewhere. Would I ever get back east? To the malls and nice restaurants. And please don't get me thinking about the ocean. Those ocean towns gave me some of my fondest memories growing up in North Carolina. And James Taylor. I hadn't listened to anything but Don Williams, Merle Haggard and Gaither Vocal Band in months. Sigh.

And while I had "chosen" to attend USAO with the Saudi Arabians (and Cody), I still didn't know what I was really going to do? And no body was telling me what to do. I had a music scholarship which required me to be in a performing group. I loved English. I'd spent the last 2 years falling in love with Robert Frost, Keats, Tennyson and Wordsworth. My parents were both English majors so this was no surprise. But all I'd really ever wanted was to marry and have kids. Just speaking my heart here. I don't think I am alone in this. And I may not be very "modern" or up with the feminist regime but my deepest desires were to find someone who loved me. The next deepest desire was to move back east, away from the cow patties.

I was in class one day at Duncan High School and had just left those favorite English writers. I was in Chemistry. True to my left brained, third child self I very much disliked Chemistry. Math and Science were not my friends. I'd be just fine if I never took another one of those classes in college. This is what kept me far from any medical field. The PA system came on, someone was going to make an announcement. Thank the Lord above, maybe it was to summon me!? Maybe my mom got me a dentist appointment or better yet it was Cody, recently done with school pulling a "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" stunt. It was neither. It was the secretary asking for blood. They had received word that a Federal Building in Oklahoma City had been bombed. It was very serious, many had died and they were holding an emergency blood drive at OBI's request. I would've rather deciphered chemical equations than deal with the fact that someone had just blown up a Federal Building in the middle of America. How had that even happened?

After a long day in class, we went home to watch the news. It was true. We saw the 9 story exposed building ourselves. Nothing this bad happened in Oklahoma. The rest of the world still thought we lived in tee-pees out here, all 100 of us. So many unanswered questions, so much sadness. I found comfort surrounded by family and Cody. Simply glad to have someone to love and be with. What we didn't realize is that was only the beginning of a terrible week. More tragedy was coming.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Screaming Photos....

Two weeks ago when I was looking through the photo boxes for pictures of our beloved and now deceased dog, Jake, pictures started screaming at me.

I should've plugged my ears and walked away but I didn't.

I decided to share them.

They aren't all bad, but they are educational.

This one didn't make the scrapbook for many reasons. Sacrificing Lamb Chop is disturbing. Pretending to do it in odd costumes is even more so. Cody is fourth from the left. Yes he was involved in the sacrifice of lambchop. Please don't tell PETA.

There are some endearing ones, like this one of Silas and Grandma Marie. We lived beside Marie for three years. All of my grandparents died when I was young so I always wanted a grandmother. I loved every minute. Marie left us in 2004. We send her balloons when we have them. Just keeping her up to date. Although I bet she has the internet and perfect skills too.

And this one, I love Roger, he's been a wonderful father-in-law. And lucky for me I'm his favorite daughter in law!!!He and I share a love for fiddles.

Then there's this...

Be prepared most of these are of my siblings- and most are at Christmas.

And sadly we are adults at the time.

Chris gave me the name giggles, it was because he made us all laugh all the time. And he didn't have to do anything to really make us laugh, it was just his way.

Forgive me for posting this one but it was being really loud, it too had been forgotten and left out of the scrapbooks.

My family loves giving gag gifts at Christmas, these were Chris' but Cody was jealous and tried them on.

That same year Cody bellyached about getting nothing but Brut and Old Spice from his grandparents. So my dad bought him 16 bottles of Old Spice for Christmas. It was hilarious seeing him all excited about all those gifts in the pile and then seeing him open them one by one- and my dad chuckling beside him. Priceless.

My uncle Larry used to tell us we came from a long line of fools. The rest of these may prove it.

My brothers have left me with plenty to laugh at.

They took lots of these kind of pictures through the years. Foolishness. I think I can hear Uncle Larry laughing.

This one too was screaming pretty loud, tried to ignore it but it may lend some insight into this...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cody's Birthday

I'd watched enough "Little House on the Prairie" episodes to know gifts from the heart were the best. I also knew I wanted to marry a man just like Charles Ingalls. My gosh, who didn't? The guy could do anything -find children in blizzards, work a field with broken ribs, keep six pack abs with no P90X.

Cody may not have been exactly like Charles Ingalls but he was quickly on his way to stealing my heart forever. He pumped gas at the Mini Mall like a pro and if they had a Mini Mall award for best windshield washer, he'd win it. Have him wash your windshield and see, he has a gift. Though he wasn't good at losing chess games he helped people in need and I bet he could find lost children in blizzards.

Which kinda makes me wonder what I was thinking when I decided to sew him a rug. What was he going to do with a rug? I guess you can never have enough rugs. Where was he going to put it?

I worked at Lane's Furniture after school during the week and loved it. They sold high end furniture. One day this incredible chair came in with fish print upholstery. I would've bought it for him had it not cost my entire year's paycheck. He seemed like the outdoors type that would appreciate fish on a chair. Charles Ingalls would've like it too.

Somehow I was able to get a hold of some of the material used on that chair. I don't know where I got the idea for a rug. I'd been trained in sewing arts so I had enough skill to sew a line and a corner but not much more.

His birthday is the last day in March. He was just hours short of April fools. As the day approached I had no apprehension about this rug- it was sure to impress. I was proving I could cook and sew, that's all Carolyn Ingalls did, surely it was enough.

And while I don't recall the look on his face, I am quite sure he never saw it coming. I am also sure he had never received anything remotely similar to this work of art. And according to my journal at the time "HE LOVED IT!!!" And he still keeps it in his office even though he had a professional decorator design his office.

I got all the assurance I needed later on when we kissed goodnight. That was getting longer and longer. And while Uncle Larry had long gone back to North Carolina we had my dear reverend mother to notify us when it was time to quit. She'd nicely flicker the porch lights for us. It was time to talk about where all that kissing was leading ...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Conflict Resolution & Mozart

So I had to put the chess game up my self. He never came back. I had beat him in chess and he couldn't stand it. Wouldn't have been so bad had I not missed the good night kissing. But I guess he missed it too cause he came back the next day.

Later on we were driving out toward our youth pastor's home and came across 4 teenagers walking on the road. We stopped and asked them if they needed a ride it was getting late. Turned out they'd come to town with some friends who then left them at a convenient store to get home on their own. One of them was pregnant. They were from Sterling (30 min away) but only asked for a ride to the other side of town. Cody ended up driving them all the way home that night, a storm was coming. Not like we were going to go play chess or anything.

I suppose at some point during the evening we found common ground on the whole losing thing. What I know now is that he needs success in his life. All men do. Failure is abundant. Life is hard, people can be ruthless and in a relationship it's you against the world. He needs to know I have his back.

I observed him that night as he helped people. I saw him go out of his way to rescue 4 stranded teenagers from Sterling. I knew he'd always have my back too so as an Oklahoma storm blew through that night it took our first conflict with it.

Conflict is as old as the garden of Eden- you can't avoid it, you'd better learn to work through it. You pick your battles, I decided I'd rather kiss goodnight than win at chess any day. This is probably why I am romantic musician and not an athlete.

Speaking of music, I had gone to audition at USAO. I never checked into OU very much. My mom had graduated from USAO (one of my professors used to make up other names for it- the University of Saudi Arabians of Oklahoma or the U of Secret Agents). I would qualify for the alumni scholarship. With that and a music scholarship I be set. Besides that good looking snowboarder went there.

I sang Voi Che Sapete from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. I can still sing it too. They loved it. They loved me and so it was decided. I'd be going to school with the Saudi Arabians and the snowboarder in the fall of '95.

In the meantime my new love had a birthday coming up. I'm sure he got accused of "robbing the cradle" while dating me. He was turning 22, I was still 17!

So I really wanted to impress him this time, this was the third gift giving event we'd had since our courtship began. I was willing to pull out all the stops. I'd run out of legendary country CD's to buy. While I've only mentioned Merle and Don, my dad already possessed every Johnny Cash album there was so we were good.

Yes it had to be nice, it had to represent every ounce of affection I had for this young hero of mine. So I decided to sew for him. It's what every man wants isn't it?

Saturday, March 20, 2010



Relationships boil down to many choices.

It was my senior year in high school and I had some major choices to make. Since the day I moved to Oklahoma I was headed back east as fast as I could get there. I had gone back one time in the last 2 years. They'd all moved on- new couples, new drama, they even had new malls -but no me.

I had planned on attending Liberty University in Virgina. My older brother had gone there and I had dreamed of going since I was 12. I had already been accepted. Then this snowboarder asked me to make a pie with him.

Which complicated matters.

It was no secret I was leaving in the fall. And low and behold this snowboarder told me exactly what he thought about that. No one had ever been so forthright with me. Most people are like riddles, what are they really saying?- not Cody. He said everything he ever thought. This can be good. This can be bad. It takes getting used to. You eventually accept it. Then you have children that do the same.

He wasn't "into" long distance relationships. Meaning? I guess if I moved we wouldn't be a couple. I wasn't ready to quit. I'd made it through the ski trip. We had potential they all told me.

Everyone except Cody's previous "friend". She told him he got on her nevers, but once I was in the picture he wasn't so annoying anymore. She'd lost her chance. Choices. A choice made and then regretted.

I don't like regret. I set out to never regret. It's a good goal.

So where did that put me? What if Cody and I did have potential. We had already done some events together . He preaching, I singing. We were a good team. And chemistry? The boy could kiss. We'd been working on that each night we were together for three months and the neighbors could vouch for it, I'm sure. I just didn't want to look back and think one day , "what if?" If he didn't do long distance maybe I should stay. Maybe I should see this thing through. Stay in -state a year. Liberty wasn't going anywhere. All my old friends had moved on, no one was waiting for me.

I needed a higher score on my ACT test, so when I got it I applied to OU and USAO in Oklahoma. And little by little I felt something guiding me. I think it was God but he was using a country-talkin', great kissin' snowboarder to do the job.

I'd made a choice. A Choice to stay. At least a year. A choice to see where this story was going. An epic or a short story, we'd eventually find out.

And so little by little we started working on filling that scrapbook he'd gotten me for Valentine's.

We never went to a movie. Walmart was way more fun. We'd go and look at purple ski gloves on sale. One day, very much in love, Cody suggested we buy a game. "Our" game. Boy he knew how to get me. I liked "our" stuff. A board game. Somehow we decided on a nice Checker/Chess set. Nice isn't really the correct word. It was the only set Walmart had. But it was new and it was "ours".

So we rushed back to my parents house to play. Checkers I'd played. But Chess was a new one. I had no concept of it. So as with many things those days I let Cody teach me. He gave me the tutorial over each little piece and what it did. So we proceeded on to play. Not sure what I excepted but within 10 minutes I had him in check mate. Beginners luck? I don't know. At that point I really didn't have a choice and neither did he. I had it won. And then he rather dramatically got up and left. Just like that. Without warning our lovely game had ended rather badly. I didn't know what had happened. So he left, and he didn't come back and this was the dark ages when we didn't have cell phones or text. Some how we'd avoided conflict until now. It all happened so fast. I had made some good choices and won the game -now I was be continued

We still have the game...

though showing it's age a little, like us

And look old green Walmart tags...boy we were big spenders...

Friday, March 19, 2010


On our recent trip to Colorado we stayed with some good friends, they may not care to have their picture and names out there so I'll leave it at that. They just moved to this really neat lodge house on the side of a mountain. We loved it. We love Colorado. The wife was so sweet to make us breakfast and dinner each day. I mentioned I had a good scone recipe and she requested it. I could just type it out and send it to her but that would too easy. I made them and took pictures (albethem un-professional since I'm still waiting on the new camera- keeping it real here, some ppl can't afford to ski and get new cameras)

The scones are really good and relatively easy to make...

Start with a mixing bowl then add 2 cups of this stuff- flour

add 1/4 cup sugar (these scones are the perfect blend of semi sweet)

add 1 Tablesp of Baking Powder, (not fowder)

and a 1/4th teaspoon of salt

Measure out 5 1/3 Tablespoons of Cold Butter on the packaging

cut into cubes or pats for easy blending

Use this thing, a pastry blender, if you have one, to blend that cold butter into the flour mixture. If you don't have one use a fork. Keep working it until the butter is very small balls, kind of resembling Busquick.

Next you add 1 cup of whipping cream. I only had half and half and it worked.
As I'll show you in a minute, you can use flavored coffee creamer for a tasty treat

At this point you can leave it plain or add extras...I added dried apricot pieces but you could try ...
dried cranberries

I also like pecans , chopped up

and orange zest- yippee!

I made 2 sets, one plain for my picky-non-nut-eating children and one apricot/pecan/orange zest one for me and Cody.

You blend it all together, knead it 5-6 times, add flour as needed to make it workable but not overly dry.

Then take the ball of dough, hand press it down into a circle, 1/2 inch thick.

Then you cut it before it cooks, I always forget this.

You can do 8 pieces or leave it at four.

Then you separate them a little. The recipe tells you to brush them with whipping cream on the top. I have done this before, it's overrated.

And while they cook at 375 for 13-15 min. you can fix the Devonshire Cream, which is a must. Also great with fruit. This makes just enough to eat with those scones.

Start with room temp. cream cheese. It says use 3 oz.

After measuring it out again on the packaging, I cut and opened it up and decided to use the rest, why not? and it worked.

Add 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar, it's about all I had.

This is where I have experimented and liked calls for 1/4 cup whipping cream again and you can use half and half but I like using this because it's good!

You notice it's the only thing not great value? Even I have my limits.

Add a teaspoon of vanilla to it and whip it, if you have lumps and I usually do because I am never "together" and have room temp cream cheese so I zap it in the microwave for 20 sec. which is ok but leaves bumps so to get the bumps out I mix it with a blender for a min or two.

I forgot that photo but it's getting late and I'm tired.

Boy that measuring spoon has seen better days.

By then your scones have come out nice and ready, do not burn these, don't wait for golden brown, they'll be bad tasting. Trust me!

Put them together and there is harmony in the house- add coffee and strawberries and call it perfection.

Characters on the Slopes and First Ever Tote Awards!!

Recently back from a mini tour (Wolf Creek & Durango Mt) of southern Colorado skiing, I would like to share some things with you.

Snowboarders....I am now outnumbered....I have thought, "I think I could do that." Then reality sets in and I remember how they fall and what 6 weeks of crutches would look like- I just see piles of laundry- no I'll stick with my skis. Thanks.

Nothing like teaching your kids to ski or snowboard. Believe it or not- Cody is very good with him, teaching and being patient. It takes 3 years + of patient skiing.

He's getting it but we can still out last him. He was pretty tired that first day.

I thought you'd like to see this. My High Sierra Purple backpack,, and the old purple gloves Cody got, 15 years ago. I actually wore them one day.

I am not into "image" so I had no problem sporting them.

These people were all about image. I had a lot of time with no 2 year old to chase so I watched people and took a few pictures. :)

Skunk boy was there...

And Gumby...sorry he walked camera...thanks for understanding

Moses was there too but I wasn't fast enough, you'll have to take my word on it.

Cookie monsters...

This kid just broke out of the chain gang..

Then there was this...Grim Reaper? I don't know...

And our favorite, Me Lucky Charms day early for St. Paddy's day, I guess he couldn't wait

And look he's a backpacker too...

Which only got my blogging mind going.

Then I took note of everyone's totes. Then, with it being awards season and all I couldn't resist. So here they are. The first annual BackPack Awards!!

Winner for "Best Camouflaged Backpack" goes to.....

It's really there I promise.

And the winner in the category of "You are very brave to sport THIS" goes to...

I really have no room to talk, my gloves are 15 years old and my ski attire is not far from it.

I really debated this one- but winner in the best "Over-done St. Patrick's Day award" goes to....

"Just Get a Locker" Winner...

"Why bother? Thinnest Bag" Award goes to....

"Best overall Bag" Winner

So it was a little blurry, bad camera, but you knew that....

It won not only because it was very versatile & had that cool mini tote attached but because we were surrounded by Aggies, Longhorns and Red Raiders....I would've awarded OSU orange too - it was just good to see some fellow Sooners.

Then there was this lady....

I feel like this every day. She wins the "Totegirl of the year" award. Bless her heart.

Some of us just don't know when to say no.

Winners: Congratulations, you have all won new High Sierra backpacks filled with thousands of dollars, purple ski gloves, season passes for 2011/12 to Durango Mt. (our favorite on the tour) and NEW 2010 Black Cameros !!!!! Please contact me at to redeem your prizes.