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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Live each day

This is the time of year that makes me sad. The experts say that's typical, but my sadness is not necessarily full-blown depression. It's a sad twinge of leaving something behind. Taking stock and then realizing that maybe we didn't accomplish everything we wanted during the past year.

But this time of reflection is also a time of hope that this year, I'll finish half-completed projects. Hope, that this year I'll find time to pick up my paintbrushes again, finish that novel or find the job of my dreams.

When I get melancholy, I usually end up tuning in to country music. If you need a good cry, listen to country. There's bound to be a song that makes you tear up. A good cry is cathartic.

Tim McGraw's song "Live Like You Were Dying" was the song today. But it also made a lot of sense. We wait so long to do so many things. We don't use the good china every day, we don't take things off "the list" until it's too late. I thought about people who give in and live with regrets of what they wish they could do. They wait for a rainy day, for a special occasion and, then it's too late. Even 100 years is not so long after all.

So this New Year, my resolutions won't have so much to do with losing weight or finishing projects, as much as DOING. Yes, I still want to finish that book and those projects, but I also want to run a marathon, learn to speak a new language, go hiking in the mountains, laugh a little more, get extra hugs every chance I can. I want to hold those I love a little closer and tell them I love them more.

My wish for you my friends is that you all take stock, resolve to live your life to the fullest, take chances, grab opportunities, love more. And, as always, Take time to watch the sunsets along the way. Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Who needs snow?

Merry Christmas, ya'll. It's been a long, hard month, but we had a nice Christmas. Just us and son and his family. Missed are daughters, but it was nice that we recently got to see them. Here's a few shots of our family Christmas. After dinner, we lugged kids and chairs to the beach. The guys fished, we looked for seashells and the little ones made sand angels. Who needs snow?

And, if you need a little more incentive to come visit, here's a ditty for ya.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Betty Lou

When I first met my mother-in-law, I wasn't quite so sure she liked me. OK, I sort of knew she didn't like me. From the hyper stressed-out "no, no, no" when R picked up my suitcase that first visit home -- before we were married -- and she thought he was taking the suitcase to his room to her "sharing" photos of R's first wedding with me -- after he and I were married, the first few years were rough. I remember, after only a year or so of marriage, vowing to never talk to her again.

Fortunately, I did talk with her. During the past 20 + years, I've come to admire and love her. She's my husband's mother and she did a fine job of raising him and his brother. They are both good men. She became a grandmother to my children.

Betty Louise was the best darn cook I ever met. Pretty much NOTHING she ever cooked in her life was healthy for you, but it sure tasted good.

When she was ready to move from her apartment to an assisted living facility without a kitchen, the one thing every one of my kids asked for when asked if they would like to have anything was the big pot she used to cook chicken and dumplings. I never have tried to pretend I could cook as well as Betty Lou. And, I've worked for years on a cookbook taken from her handwritten recipes that I'm hoping I'll finish by this weekend -- at least a shortened version of it. I want to give it out to her friends and family at her funeral.

She died yesterday, and the past few days have been a blur. I'm so exhausted that I can't think and I've tried not to cry. I've been pretty successful until I read this post on my son's MySpace blog.

It's gonna be a long weekend trip to Oswego, KS

Monday, December 03, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Because I know I won't have time to post anything tomorrow, here's the list of things I'm most thankful for today:

1. My family

2. My friends

3. My mother in law coming out of hip surgery today.

4. Getting over the cold that has sidelined me most of this week

5. My job

6. The Tigers kicking KU butt this weekend

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Highs and Lows

Again, it's been forever since I blogged. Here's a list on the highs and lows of the past month:

High: Got to go to a Jimmy Buffett concert. Totally a Florida experience. Loved it, fun. If you get a chance, ever, go. Stay sober and watch the fun. Cross one off my list.

Low: Mom-in-law took a turn for the worst. We ended up having to go to Kansas and move her from assisted living to a nursing home. We chose one in OKC because family, friends etc. offer support there. The ideal would be to move her near us where we can go visit every day. Joint family decision though, so that was not to be.

High: We did get to see some friends we left in OKC. It was nice to be back home again, even under the circumstances.

Low: We got bumped off a tight connecting flight in Dallas.

High: We got some vouchers for air fare and a ride in First Class on the way to Tampa.

High: We moved into the new house two weeks ago.

Low: We've gotten to be here a whole five nights. Still have no furniture except some borrowed stuff, and since we spent so much money going home for the whole moving Hubby's mom thing, we probably won't get our furniture out of storage until after the first of the year.

High: The couch we have here is comfortable to sleep on. And, we're buying a new bed later this week.:)

Note: The trip to Oklahoma was bittersweet. Oklahoma feels like home. But Florida has my job -- a great job I love. It has my three wonderful granddaughters and it has the most beautiful views. Most importantly, for me, it doesn't get so cold here. That means I'm not in so much pain all the time (arthritis is a real pain).

And, and one more high: The Missouri Tigers are RANKED in the top five in the nation. Of course the fact, that KU is ranked higher is sort of a big low. But that will change on the 24th. Fingers crossed. Go Tigers!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scratch one off the list

Sometimes the things on our "want to do," "must do," or "must see" lists are simple. For my husband, the car enthusiast who can remember every tiny difference between a 67 versus a 73 model of the same car and can recite every car he's ever owned, his dad ever owned, his brother ever owned etc, one of those things was to drive on Daytona Beach.

I didn't even know you could do that. He did, and mentioned it as we took our time back from a weekend work-a-thon in Jacksonville. We drove down A1A, stopping often to watch kite boarders and the waves in the Atlantic. He mentioned it.

Let's go, I said. So, he drove as far down as we could and then backtracked some more. Scratch one off the list.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pink hair and accessories

Met my youngest in San Antonio a couple of weekend ago. The week leading up to our "girls weekend," A kept calling. The first call though, came from my eldest daughter S:

"Mom, A wanted me to call you and tell you something."

"What!? Don't tell me she can't come, the flight is paid for, the hotel is paid for..."

"No, it's not that. It's something else."

"Just tell me."

"She got two piercings. One on her nose, another is a 'Marilyn Monroe' piercing."

"No more tattoos?"


Okay, I can live with that. In my past experience with kids and piercings is that they don't last long. Said child usually gets bored and the piercing goes away.

Second call:

"Mom, hi. I need to tell you something."

"I know about the piercings."

"Oh, uh, are you mad."

"No, you are an adult. I don't understand why you have the need to mutilate yourself, but it's your body."

"Well, there's something else I need to tell you."

"Oh God. What is it?"

"Well, I wanted to get some highlights in my hair and we sort of had an accident." (My daughter is in beauty school - the trip to San Antonio was to a 'hair show.')


"It's pink. Hot pink. Not all of it, and I think we might be able to put some low lights in it to tone it down, but it's pink."

"Did you want it to be pink?"

"I wanted pink highlights, but it sort of went all over."

"Well, did you get any new tattoos?"

"No, just pink hair...and the piercings. I think I look pretty hot."

"What are you, a cartoon character?"

Despite the calls, the confessions before she saw mom so mom would not freak out, we had a great, fun weekend. I sort of like the pink hair. The piercings not so much. But she's still my daughter -- pink hair, accessories and all.

I think might dye my hair blue before she comes to Florida this Christmas...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Are wires coming out of my ...?

It's been a while since I blogged. The ol' blog that I truly mean to revamp into a Florida incarnation has almost become a casualty of my constant travel. But here, I am at the airport -- blogging. Not probably the most useful thing I could be doing, but cool nonetheless.

Still it sort of freaks me out -- a child of the 60s and 70s who used to think a transitor radio was cool -- to be so "wired." I know I've blogged on this before, but just think how different things are. I carry a cell phone -- two actually. My blackberry offers me the Internet, constant email -- and GPS. Now I can blog at the airport on my laptop.


I'm headed to San Antonio this weekend -- Hello ya'll! Meeting my youngest for a fun girls weekend. Hubby is pinch hinting on the campaign trail for me. He's in Fort Myers this morning, video taping a Rudy G. event. Then he's headed to Miami -- I think.

Yep. It's like that. Travel is a constant and I learned yesterday that between Jan. 29 and the November election, I'm going to be almost constantly on the road. Good thing I have those wires coming out of my head. Communication is a good thing.

One more thing before we begin to board: We found a house this week! I'll post some photos next week. We had narrowed it down to two: one pristine, perfect -- not near the beach; two: our new house. Less than 100 yards to the beach. Shall we say the house has "character" and leave it at that. TLC will be needed. But we had to make a lifestyle choice.

Since we travel all the time, the house on the beach will be better. Of course, that's what I'll tell myself when I try to cook a big meal in the small galley kitchen and think about the big kitchen I gave up.

Compromise. In the meantime, Texas, here I come.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Stepford or Utopia?

Sometimes watching the Andy Griffith Show, I long to live in a small town where you know your neighbors and every important holiday is celebrated with friends in the town square. But this week, I stared that dream in the face and what I saw was rathering frightening.

Welcome to The Villages, FL, the perfect town. The buildings are perfect. Downtown has lots of shops and restaurants. The town square was decorated in red, white and blue bunting in honor of the presidential candidate visiting. A "weathered" building near the water added to the authentic atmosphere of a quaint, safe town.

Neighborhoods with gleaming sidewalks and manicured lawns and almost identical houses -- each with a screened or columned porch -- completed the picture of utopia.

The surrounding retail and chain restaurants all perfectly fit in with the schemes of either a Spanish mission or a southern lake community.

The cars all glistened -- no dented old cars with bad paint jobs here.

A perfect community for those 55 and older. Though, by law, since they've incorporated, the city has to allow at least 38 percent of its inhabitants to be 50 years and younger. We didn't see any of those people during our visit. Though, the high school was equally as manicured and perfect as the surrounding neighborhoods.

Most of the 55+ folks who live there also drive golf carts to events down town. Some sported chrome wheels and fancy paint jobs. The names of the owners, frequently were part of the paint scheme.

But there's a darker side to the Villages and communities like them; permanent Walt Disney Worlds for old people. But reports like the one issued today about the amount of AIDS meds paid for by Medicare crack the perfect facade. That's right folks. STDs are rampant in Utopia. More alcohol is consumed in The Villages than most college campuses. It's no wonder that at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, a nice silver-haired granny was downing liquor shots at the bar of the restaurant where we ate a late lunch.

The "Bait Shacks" around the town square look quaint. On closer inspection, we found out they were actually bars. Four of them, each at the corner of the town square. I guess when you're 55+, you don't want to walk far for a drink.

This community isn't that unique in Florida, though. The TrumanShow was filmed in a community just like this on the Florida panhandle - Seaside, FL. A real town, not a sound stage.

I definitely don't want to live in the perfect town. Only one member of our group said they would move there. Not me. I want the real world, not an escape route to a la la land.

My travels around Florida are giving me an interesting view of this state. I love the capital city, Tallahassee, with its moss-covered trees and old mansions. Though, whatever possessed Florida to turn its beautiful historic Capitol building into a museum and build an ugly high rise building to represent the state's government eludes common sense.

The country roads between Tampa and Jacksonville with tall pines and rambling country ranches and farms with orchards are Florida. The Everglades are so overwhelming that you don't know where they end. I love it all: Miami with its foreign flair and Orlando with its parks. Then home, of course. Our own rag-tag beach community. Even southeast Florida - Boca Raton - with its "hurry up" attitude jutting against the laid back beaches is interesting. Florida is a quilt with many layers and pieces. I'm sure I'll find more of them.

But The Villages will definitely take honors in being just plain creepy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

If mothers ruled the world

Sally Field made a good point -- well as much as she was able -- about if mothers ruled the world. If mothers ruled the world there probably WOULD be no war. Mothers don't want to send their babies off to die. At least most mothers don't.

What else would be different if mothers ruled the world?

No more dirty underwear on the floor.
Everyone would eat dinner together.
PTA meetings wouldn't start at 5 p.m.
Child molesters would be shot after the first offense, none of this register offender crap. (hey, a tigress does protect her cubs)
We would all have shorter work days and longer family time.
Our children would leave home, but live nearby

That's just for finish the thought, "If mothers ruled the world...?"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mormons and such

I've been thinking about Mormons -- members of the Latter Day Saints denomination -- lately. Probably because I'm spending a lot of time at campaign events lately and Mitt Romney actually visits Florida - a lot.

But I digress...which reminds me I have great admiration for folks like Melessa from the blog by that name, and my long-time friends Kimberly and Tim. Wonderful people. Most Mormons fall into that category of wonderful, NICE people.

None of the them is of the "Big Love" ilk.

Yet, all these nice Mormon folk are seen as outsiders by those in the "mainstream" religions. You know those who believe that you must believe in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. My friends tell me that Mormons do indeed believe in Jesus. They believe he was a prophet.

That alone has prompted many of sermon from the pulpits of good Christian churches. I remember once, in Canyon, Texas, at a METHODIST church where the preacher went on and on about all the Mormons going to hell. My daughter, who had friends at school who were Mormon, asked me, "does that mean going to hell?"

I fail to believe so. Yet, that belief sometimes goes against the grain of everything we are taught in Sunday School. You MUST be born again. You MUST believe in Jesus as Lord. Or you are going to hell.

Again, I fail to believe that nice, good people are going to hell. While the likes of some " born again" preacher who hates Mexicans, Asians, Blacks, gays, and anyone who didn't make enough money or come from the right family goes to heaven (any resemblance to any living person is merely a coincidence, I was just using that imaginary preacher as an example.)

So because I refuse to believe that someone will go to hell just for being a Mormon, does that mean I'm going to hell too?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cracker barrel of tears

Do you ever find yourself looking for the familiar? Last week I was a little homesick. This feeling was likely increased by the nervousness I was feeling about my impending trip to Miami.

Miami's always been a larger than life location, like Hollywood or New York City. I was going there for work. I'm new to this public p.r. position, so I was worried that I wouldn't live up to the expectations of the headquarters people that would be there.

I was worried that I wouldn't fit in with the beautiful people I was sure lived there. The two co-workers whom I had met from the Miami office did nothing to dispel that myth. They are both gorgeous Latinas with flowing hair, perfect bodies and runway-suitable clothing. I was worried that my Spanish wasn't going to cut the mustard (or plaintain) with the folks from Univision and the other media. I was nervous.

So on the way to Miami, I had hubby stop off for dinner -- at Cracker Barrel. This place is the same where ever you are. From the wooden rocking chairs to the corny shirts in the store, we could have been in Oklahoma. I order a sampler that provided me a variety of country fare to taste.

When I bit into the chicken and noodles that reminded me of the ones my mother-in-law used to make, the tears started. My husband didn't know what was wrong. I couldn't explain. I cried because my mother-in-law's memory has long softened. She can no longer cook the delicious meals that I wouldn't even attempt to cook. I cried because the old Gene Autry song playing in the restaurant made me long for the days when we had to run to keep up with my dad. I cried because the fried chicken reminded me of Sunday dinners, cooked by my mother for our big family.

I cried because I'm missing "Big 12" country.

Yes, I like Florida. Yes, I like my job. And, on any given day the beach and view of the water still take my breath away. But I was nervous and scared, and sometimes, the familiar is a good place to hide.

I wiped away the tears and laughed at my silliness -- crying at Cracker Barrel -- and we headed down the road.

I popped in a Dixie Chicks c.d. and sang loudly as we came into the city, which is as wonderful as I expected. The familiar for this Texas gal worked.

I survived. My Spanish was not near as bad as I thought. My clothes were fine. The bosses were thrilled with our work and the D.C. delegate sent me some flowers and a great note the day after.

Maybe the tears helped after all. I think I'll make it a habit to have dinner at Cracker Barrel every once in a while.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Miami Heat

Welcome to Miami. The city has been immortalized in our minds through television shows (Miami Vice, CSI, etc.) So I've been nervous and excited about my weekend here.

Yes, I'm in Miami! Work (Univision presidential debate) is keeping me busy, but I got a chance to slip away this evening. I headed to downtown Miami, and being the tourist that I am headed over to Bayside near the Port of Miami.

Fun. Great food, and live music everywhere. The lights, the colors, the language, the Latin music, people was fun. A bit overwhelming, but fun.

Tomorrow night, we're headed to Little Havana to meet friends for dinner. Fun.

And, yes, we thought about you tonight, Bart. You would love it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Things I never talked about as a teenager

Being a teen in the 1970s meant changes. After all, the 60s generation had taught us to rebel. Some of my peers pushed the envelope, wearing bell bottoms and "hot pants" and talking openly about smoking pot. They challenged authority.

In high school, there were some things I would never have talked about or heard discussed even by those who were wilder than most.

Even when I left the sheltered life of Abernathy, Texas and moved to Sidney, Montana for my high school year. Yes, I had run off. Gotten married, and was married in high school my senior year. That was pretty risque for back then. I had rebelled.

In Sidney, my circle of friends were different. There was Meredith, the feminist who refused to wear a bra even though she really needed to wear one. Marty and Jill, the actresses. Everyone was different -- something never really celebrated in the cookie cutter world I had lived in before.

But still, some things we never talked about.

Which brings me to today. Hubby and I were sitting on a bench at the mall, deciding where to head for supper. A group of teens, young teens, probably about 14-15, some barely one year past puberty, were standing in front of us. They were all dressed the same, boys and girls, in wrinkled T-shirts and baggy jeans with long, stringy hair.

"Gay, or not gay?" asked the tallest of the group to one of the shortest boys in the group. "I'm not gay," says the little one. "I can prove it." He pulls out what is obviously a note from some girl that they all hoot about.

Tall boy points to another one in the crowd. This one a girl, "Gay?" She shakes her head, no. "Bi?" she says yes, looking embarrassed and yet at the same time as if she's seeking approval. She gets approval and a high five and a hug from another.

The game continues. They openly talk about sex acts that still make me blush.

Maybe it's my 50 years, or maybe it's our changing societal mores. But those were definitely things that I never would have talked about -- OK, or even known about -- when I was in high school.

I pictured my grandson and granddaughters a few years down the line, at the mall, talking to their friends. I shudder. Progress, I don't think is always for the best...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sunday afternoons

Sunday afternoons were always fun growing up. All the work of the week was completed on Saturday. Sunday morning we would all go to church -- Sunday school included.

My mother, like all good Baptist wives -- would put a roast in the oven before getting herself and her children to church. After Sunday dinner, we would all play or listen to music, while our parents too a "nap." Occasionally, my parents would allow us to go over to a friend's house on Sunday afternoon. Parents would be consulted and the friend, always from our church, would be deemed acceptable. We would be returned to our parents at the six 0'clock service. All good Baptists go to church twice on Sunday.

I loved those Sunday afternoons hanging out with the Sotos or Reynas -- they had cute older brothers so that was always the house of choice.

When my childen were growing up, we followed the same traditions -- "nap" included. Being Methodist though, we rarely attended church more than once on Sunday. We did however, usually have a big roast for Sunday dinner and created our own Sunday tradition of going to a Sunday morning buffet at the club on base.

But my children have lost those traditions. First, much to my disappointment and to my mother's criticism, my children don't go to church regularly. They don't take their children to church. They usually sleep in until noon, and breakfast might consist of frozen waffles or the occasional trip to one of the breakfast places like Dennys or IHOP.

There's no big Sunday dinner. Sunday afternoons are spent catching up on laundry and other chores too numerous to fit into a work week when both parents work.

Of course, things vary. Sometimes they go to the lake or the beach or movies. That's nice when they can take time off to be families.

My husband and I have fallen into a routine lately, I hear you do that when you get older. Saturday mornings we head off to a local place for a cheap breakfast then finish our chores. Sunday afternoons, we spend reading the paper over more coffee than we should drink at Panera, or scouring the bookstores in the area. We still go to church -- not as often as we should. For a while there we were caught up in the laundry and getting ready for the work week thing. Now we're trying to recapture Sunday afternoons. I think I'll have a talk with my children about those Sundays.

Sunday afternoons are important.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I miss my friends

A few months ago when the move from Oklahoma was looming, I dragged my feet. I didn't want to do it. But then I got here, settled in -- well sort of -- and have really taken to the beach and Florida.

Flying in from Tallahassee last week back into the Tampa Bay area, made me realize that I really am beginning to think of this as "home." The blue/green waters of the Gulf and the bay looked beautiful, as did the white sand beaches of the barrier islands and the peninsula we call home. I realized that I was to the point I could identify many of the beaches from the air. Home.

I love the new job. We love being around our granddaughters and our son and daughter-in-law. We love all the opportunities to see sports of all kinds here.

But what we don't have are our friends. I miss my friends. We love you all. I missed giving Kevy a big hug on her birthday. I missed listening to Cheryl talk about Savannah, or talking politics with the Johns and Ben. We miss the Gridiron gang.

I guess in order to make this truly "home" we'll have to start venturing out of our comfort zone and making more friends. But for now, I'll have to settle for promises of visits -- soon. The good news is that it's gonna be cold in other parts of the country soon, so they'll come :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Caucus this

What do you have in common with Iowans? Or is it Iowians? You know, those folks who pretty much decide every four years who the next president is going to be, or at the very least who YOUR two choices for president will be. Yes, that Iowa .

According the latest U.S. Census Bureau reports, Iowa has 2.9 million residents, roughly about 1 percent of the U.S. population. They have 93,000 farms that grow corn, soybeans and hogs – lots of hogs. Almost half of all Iowa residents live in rural areas. Only 21 percent of Iowa residents have a college degree.

John Wayne, Herbert Hoover and Glenn Miller are all from the Hawkeye state. The nickname is a tribute to Native American leader Chief Black Hawk.

Almost 95 percent of Iowa residents list “white” as their race, and the median household income is $44,000 a year, near the bottom of the U.S. Census’ definition of “middle class” (20 percent of Americans who fall in the middle earning $40,000 - $95,000 a year.)

So what do you have in common with the people who play a big role in electing your president?

Maybe nothing. Maybe a lot. But still why do most Americans “follow their lead” when it comes to presidential candidates? That’s right if a candidate wins in Iowa or New Hampshire – they are likely to go on to win their party’s nomination. Heck, just look at what happened with John Kerry in 2003.

Clearly most people are tired of it. State legislatures are trampling over each other to see who can schedule an earlier primary. But then there’s those pesky “national” folks who are trying to ruin everyone’s fun.

The Democratic National Convention just smacked Florida Democrats for saying they are going to hold their primary on Jan. 29, the same day as South Carolina . The DNC says if Florida holds the election that day, their delegates won’t count. That’s right, they WON’T count toward the Democratic nomination. Never mind that Democrats, who haven’t controlled either house of the Florida Legislature for some time, had little to do with setting the primary. Never mind, that a major constitutional amendment is on the ballot that day, sure to bring more voters to the polls. It won’t count.

Why? Well, because those national folks like tradition. And, tradition says only folks who live on a farm, with no college degree, in the Midwest can make a bigger splash in the presidential election. It’s in the rules. (Now, don't go all nutty about that last bit. I have friends who live in Iowa, and I like farmers. My dad was a farmer.)

Me, I’ve decided I might just vote for whoever comes in third, fourth or maybe even last in Iowa ’s caucuses.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

When the sun goes down

So, I've been in a funk when it comes to blogging lately. So instead I'll share some sunset photos. Each day is different. Enjoy.

Unsavory Grace

When I first heard about the TNT show "Saving Grace," I was intrigued. I love Holly Hunter as an actress, and the show is set in Oklahoma City.

I'm watching, but it is getting more unbelievable and annoying. Okay, not that the premise of an angel appearing out of nowhere is believable neccessarily. But it's the show's portrayal of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City that's really disturbing.

The show is not filmed in OKC. That's clear to anyone who is from the area. And, then there's the fact that the show depicts Oklahomans in two ways: Well, first all Okies are hicks according to this show. And they are either 1. hard-drinking alcoholics with lots of baggage or 2. Pious church-going people with lots of baggage.

And, notice that OKC is also depicted as a cow town. Stockyards, yes, there are those in OKC. But heaven forbid some network actually admit there's an urban area in Oklahoma. That there's culture outside of the "Cowboy Hall of Fame." Yes, it's still called that on the show. I guess research isn't part of the script writer's job.

And though HH has always been one of my favorite actresses, I really don't want to see her have sex each and every show. Geez.

I had high hopes for this show. Not so much anymore.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


In 1972, I lived in Abernathy, Texas. I was 15, living in a sheltered environment. My life revolved around the 45s spinning on my turntable, school, church, family and friends. Vietnam was a part of our daily lives, but my life was far removed from the turmoil experienced by others across the country.

In Texas, you conformed. In my family, you conformed. I had no desire to burn flags or protest a war that some of my older cousins were fighting in -- it was just part of life. My biggest ambition in life was to write for the school paper and make it to the Friday night football game. Marcia Brady was my idol.

Yea. Pretty lame.

A world away in the Watts neighborhood of LA, they were "remembering" the Watts riots that had taken place seven years before.

Hubby and I recently went to the Beach Theatre's screening of Wattstax -- a documentary including footage of that concert. We laughed at the fashion that reminded us of outfits we used to have "back in the day." And, we listened to these folks. I wondered where they were, these people who lifted their fists and shouted along with a young Jesse Jackson, "I am somebody."

A struggle that I was not a part of -- desegration touched my life only slightly. I didn't know about this other struggle and I somehow feel guilty and impotent at the same time. I feel guilty that I lived in my sheltered world and knew very little of the world outside of my own neighborhood -- or even across our small town in the area of town known as "the Flats" where many of the black people in town lived. I feel impotent in that there's been no turning point for the Hispanic community -- I'm not talking about the new immigrants to this country, legal or illegal. I'm talking about the Hispanic Americans, be they "Mexican" or whatever whose families/ancestors settled in this country centuries ago among the Irish, French, Germans, British. I'm talking about the ones who centuries later were still considered outsiders by those "American" people in the community.

I remember instances of understanding we were different than the Bradys. We spoke Spanish occasionally in our home -- my parents strongly encouraged us to speak English at all times so that we wouldn't have an "accent." When I was in first grade, I remember helping another Spanish-speaking student with something the teacher was saying. I repeated it in Spanish to the student. I was "caught" and sent to the office and paddled by the principal. I fluently spoke TWO languages and was punished for it.

We were the same as our neighbors, yet different.

I remember a high school girl across the street from our house. Marla. Marla was white, caucasian, etc. Our upbringing was very similar. Our fathers provided for their families through farming, yet moved the family to town for better opportunties for the kids. We cheered for the same team every Friday night. We loved the Cowboys and Tom Landry. We listened to the same music, and caught Cardinals games on the radio. We attended the Baptist Church. We ate Hamburger Helper during the week and roast or fried chicken every Sunday.

I know all that because that's Texas. It's what you did. We were all the same.

Yet, Marla NEVER spoke to me. Not when we walked down the sidewalk in the same direction. Not at school. I was Mexican -- or so I was told where I grew up. Never mind that Mexican means "citizen of Mexico." I've never been to Mexico. I don't know anyone who lives there. I never even knew what "Cinco de Mayo" was until I was older and lived in Okinawa, Japan and met a U.S. Marine Corps Colonel who just happened to BE FROM and a citizen of Mexico.

The only talk about civil rights that I ever remember at my home was the year my elementary school in Floydada, Texas was desegregated. The original plan was to move children from Duncan to the black school. I remember my parents were upset because the kids who were being moved were the "non-white" Hispanic kids. That changed and the black school was closed and all the students were eventually brought into all the schools. I didn't understand it.

A few years ago, I asked my mother about the "colored " and "white only" signs and how they affected Hispanics before the Civil rights era. She didn't and wouldn't talk about it. I know that not all hotels or restaurants welcomed my parents. But we don't talk about it.

That's why I've really taken to heart lately the journey that the Black community has gone through. I think in many ways, the Hispanic community still lags behind. Those of us whose ancestors came to this country along centuries ago, still havent' found a way to accept our differences, and still haven't found a way to find our equal place in the history and the future of this country.

More to ponder as I continue on this journey.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Times they are a changin'

Time has a way of slipping away. I know I've said that before on this blog, but sometimes it overwhelms you. For example; many readers of this this blog will remember the little redhead grandson of our college newspaper's advisor who terrorized people during a homecoming parade by throwing -- like a missile -- the free keychains we were using for promotion. That "little kid" will be a sophomore at Mizzou this year -- journalism. Go figure. Feel time slipping under you like sand, yet?

My oldest grandchild entered first grade this week. He's reading and wearing "Heelys" and just being a boy. Our granddaughter will start kindergarten this week. Wow. Wasn't it just yesterday they were babies. Time flies. Here's a few pics of the kiddos.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I survived my first week back in the workforce. I did fairly well, considering that I had to get accustomed to wearing shoes again. They have this silly rule against flip flops.
And, I did something that I haven't done in more than two months -- drive. Most people don't know that I simply HATE driving. If I ever win the lottery, to heck with the maid: I'm hiring a driver.
Since I wasn't working and hubby's been hanging out with me a lot too, I simply became a passenger.
This week I got a crash course in Florida driving. Drivers here -- other than a few of us law-abiding (well mostly) regular drivers fit into several categories: Lost Tourist, Super fast SUV or German-car driving ASS, leisurely driving Beach junkies who can't see out their rear-view mirror for the boards or kids or both, and Old Farts.
Now, ya'll know that I'm in the membership recruitment list for AARP already, but I'm talking really old -- you know the kind who forget which is the brake versus the gas pedal. They come at you from everywhere as you are driving down the road. Watch out in parking lots -- it's probably like dodging bullets at the OK Corral.
And, it's not even winter yet.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Catch up

Baseball -- Yeah, Barry Bonds. Asterisk, my ass.

New Job -- Love, love, love the new job. Great people, awesome issues. Feel like I'm "making a difference," to be cliche

Beach -- I have NOT been to the beach since Monday morning. That sucks.

Football -- How about them Cowboys? I can't wait to go see a real life NFL game without driving 4 hours to get there, though, so I'll likely become a Bucs fan -- when they aren't playing the Chiefs or the Cowboys, of course.

Hubby's Job -- New one on the horizon. More on that later, let me just say -- you've heard of the company. Fingers crossed!

House update -- We found THE house. Needs a little updating, but for here, the price is actually great. Has a great separate house, we would convert into an awesome guest space, and a green house to feed hubby's habit of growing things. And, it actually HAS a yard, which many houses here don't have. Now, we have to negotiate, etc. About 10 driving minutes from the beach is the only "downfall." But about $100,000 cheaper than the small cottages we've been looking at here on the island.

Turtles -- We're still looking out for the nests on the beach. Recent report is that the 36 they've found so far is about it. Last year there were 106 nests. That's definitely a problem.

Talk to ya'll later.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Future newspaper reader

OK, so she's only interested in the sales ads...but Chloe has picked up Papa's habit of reading the paper every morning.

Friday, July 27, 2007


We noticed on our way to the beach that the night was perfect. No wind, the ocean waves lapping quietly on the shore, glistening under the light of the moon that peaked out from behind the soft clouds. A perfect night.

Without thinking, we stepped off the boardwalk and followed the path to the roped off turtle nest that we had been watching for the past five weeks. It was a routine that had become part of our early morning walks and our evening walks on the beach: check on the nest.

We immediately noticed the shadows of people huddled around the nest. "I hope it's not some dang tourists, we're going to have to yell at again," I said. We noticed the hush and protective air as we got nearer and quickly recognized the Clearwater Marine Aquarium logo on their T-shirts.

"We'll have some babies tonight," someone said as we approached. We joined the huddle, carefully peering down into the small hole that had been created when the movement of the hatchlings moved the sand. You could see the small flippers and a head would pop up every now and then. We waited.

We all talked about the turtles, learned more about the rescue work the aquarium does. We were prepared to sit all night. Occasionally, someone would venture out from the nearby hotel, and eventually they would leave. A father and his son stayed. I don't think anyone ever officially introduced themselves. Yet, we sat, nine of us, huddled around a nest for nearly four hours.

"The birth" happened fast. The hole was larger now and it almost looked as if the small (two inches) turtles were bubbling over. One of the scientists, explained the procedure. The Loggerhead turtles would get a helping hand to the water. She would scoop them up and place them in a waiting bucket and count them (for research purposes) We would deposit them close to the water in a trench that we had dug just for this purpose. Some of us stood near the shore line, the rest of us stood as guards on either side of the trench. The small turtles -- 97 in all -- quickly followed their natural instincts, heading toward the water. We didn't touch or interfere, just watched.

Long after we were back at the house, showered and laying in bed in the early morning hours. We talked about the sight of the baby turtles hatching and being able to witness something so amazing.

Loggerhead turtles -- about one-third of all those born in the world -- are hatched on Florida beaches. There are 34 nests, and we'll be watching the other one down the beach from us. The risks to the baby turtles is high. Only one in a thousand survive to adulthood. But the Loggerheads live to be more than 100 years old. We're thrilled we were able to lend a helping hand of sorts.

We're still in awe.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I swear finding time to blog is just nuts around here. Besides the beach -- I have picked up several freelance projects and have been writing like a fiend. AND...the big news...I'm employed. I'll start the first week in August for the Florida portion of a nation-wide "noncandidate" campaign. It's exciting and a worthy cause -- getting two issues: affordable health care and retirement issues -- in front of candidates this election cycle.
Yes, that's the job I really really wanted. I was shocked when I received the call that I got it. The interview went ok, but then I had the "writing test." It was storming when I started the timed test and I was absolutely sure that the electrical surges were going to fry my computer, so I was nervous. Add to that, two little girls walking into the office every few minutes to ask what I was doing. Aagh. But apparently, the stress worked because the folks liked what I wrote. Whew.

Gainfully employed, at least for a few months. I'm gonna miss the beach bum stuff, but it was starting to get old. (It's hard to shed my workaholic ways.) And, I'll still be able to peel off the shoes and sink them into the sand right after work each day. I love the beach.

So since I'm going to be so busy, that likely means I'll be blogging more. Go figure.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Interviews make me sweat

Every time you've ever gone to an interview, don't you get the "How did it go?" question? That's a tough one to answer. Everytime I think an interview went well, I don't get the job. One time, on vacation in Arizona, I applied to a job and then proceeded to go about my merry way. The interviewer called me as I was sightseeing, asking if I could go in for an interview on short notice. I explained that I was very casual (shorts, etc.) and did not have time to go home and change. They still wanted to see me. I came in (after stopping at Target to buy some make-up and a nicer T-shirt) and thought the interview went horribly. They offered me a job the next day. Unfortunately, I decided against moving to Arizona, but it was nice to know that I had the option.

At other times, I've come out of an interview thinking I really wowed the interviewer, only to get a nice rejection letter.

Today, I'm not sure at all how the interview went. One of the interviewers was somewhere else via "teleconference." That made it hard to gauge. I want the job, but for some reason don't feel as if I'll be crushed if I don't get it. Hmmm. Maybe I didn't do so well...

I'll let ya'll know. Til then, I'm going to the beach.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Adventurer or Transient?

Where are you from? I've answered that question a million times in my lifetime. People always ask. As if the place you are from indentifies you immediately. It's possible that it does -- to an extent.

But that simple question has always been tough to answer. Now I say, "I moved here from Oklahoma City, but I'm FROM Texas." Yet, I haven't lived most of my adult life in Texas. I left at age 17 to move to Montana. I finished high school in Montana. Yet, I never say, "I'm from Montana." My parents live in Texas still, so I suppose we're always "from" the place our parents live -- or maybe not. Because that would confuse my children, since I've managed to live only one place longer than four years in the past two decades.

I lived in Oklahoma the longest -- 4 years, 9 months. I lived in Virginia for four years and in Okinawa, Japan for four years. I lived in Texas 2 years and 8 months the last go round -- not all in the same city. Ten long months in Odessa, and the rest in Amarillo.

When we decided to move this last time, sans jobs, sans a house, sans a reason -- other than wanting to live near our granddaughters for various reasons -- people looked at us and smiled. They seemed excited about our great adventure. We were adventerous.

Some folks, though, look at us as irresponsible -- transient. Why did you move? an interviewer asked, before declaring us "transients." What?! I prefer adventurous.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

This and that

Wow. I'm still not "working" and I still don't have time to blog. Blame it on the beach.

It beckons -- every day – as does the sunset here on the island. We noticed this phenomenon shortly after our arrival. The beach will be almost empty of people around 6:30 p.m., and then around 7:30, the crowds arrive: people line the beach -- eerily reminiscent of the Nicolas Cage movie about angels – and wait. Off in the distance, we can usually hear some bad lounge singer wailing out Kenny Chesney’s “When the sun goes down” or some Jimmy Buffett tune. It’s part of the charm of this place. I’m beginning to love it.

And, we’ve been busy doing other things like attending Devil Ray’s games. They actually won a game against the Yankees Friday night. Shocker. Hope they win today, we’re headed to the game.

I’m counting the days until the first pre-season game for the Bucs. Yes, Virginia, there’s such a thing as too much fun.

My daughter and grandson (and son-in-law) came down for a visit. We trekked over to the “happiest place on earth.” Orlando is a great place to people watch. Visitors from around the world crowd into the outlet malls that hawk designer items for shockingly (high) “bargain” prices. Americans don’t shop there.

I have been doing other things, like looking for a job and freelancing. Light on both, due to the too much fun thing.

I’m interviewing for one job that I really really want. More on that later. Wish me luck.

And, then again, there’s a part of me that’s enjoying living up to the sign that hangs on the front door of the cottage: Beach Bums.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Beach princesses

Nothing stops daddy from fishing.

Life continues

One thing no one warns you about when you move to Florida -- at least when you move to the Florida coast. Casual is key. I felt completely overdressed for a job interview I just went to this week. Required navy suit, check. Portfolio and resume in a nice folder - check. Heels - check. You know the drill. I walk in and sit in the lobby waiting. That's when I notice that everyone is wearing jeans or khakis, shorts, T-shirts. Fun is the best word to describe the whole place. I really want to work there. So hopefully, they'll realize that I own other clothes.

Next post: more photos

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Florida pics

Pirate Kayla ponders her next move The view from the dock 1/2 block away.
while sitting on daddy's lap.

Papa and Chloe ride a wave.

The view from the boardwalk near (about a block) the house.


Ray holding Willow. This is the reason we're in Florida.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Arrgh, matey

It's a pirates life for me. Yes, after spending the weekend watching a pirate ship invade our little portion of the bay and hearing "aargh" more times than we can count, my little granddaughters have been transformed from princesses to pirates.

That's ok. They are cute 3 and 4 year olds. But this weekend was a bit unnerving. Seems some residents of Treasure Island really think they are pirates. Really.

Pictures soon, promise. Also in the next few days look for a redesign of the site with possibly a new name. :)

Friday, June 08, 2007


We're here. Florida. First impression: For a laid-back beach community, things sure move fast, cars, people...

I'm feeling a little like a fish out of water (pun intended) but give me a few weeks and I'm sure I'll feel like a native.

We ventured out to the beach today. It was hot. Despite the 55 + sun proof block we put on, we managed to get a little tan. It's really cool to walk across the street to the beach, or half block the other way to the fishing dock. We saw dophins swimming near the dock yesterday.

I saw the "bikini" in a whole new light today. Those of us in the middle of the country anguish over the perfect swimsuit and how we'll look in it. Here, the bikini is the suit of choice (not me -- let me stress - not me.) The two piece 1/4 yard of fabric is worn here by every size and shape. Ladies with more mid-section than ass wear them. A 70+ man was wearing a thong one today. At least he looked like a man, except for the full bikini top. Really, nice rack. He had long hair and was bald.

So, as I said, the bikini is a whole new experience in Florida.

No one blinks an eye or looks twice on our beach -- Treasure Island beach -- which usually draws the regular time share crowd and locals. Summer people. It will be a different experience this winter.

Because we live on Treasure Island, all references to pirates are constant. We're planning on watching the third pirate movie tonight at the local theater and then tomorrow, the local "pirate" festival will lure us to John's Pass where we'll watch a pirate invasion and go on a treasure hunt.

Then, we'll go down to Paradise Island and don parrot hats for a Jimmy Buffett concert. Yeah, we're still in "vacation" mode. Work starts next week, so I'll decide then whether I'm going to like "living" in Florida.

I'll post some pics tomorrow!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ten things I’ll miss about Oklahoma

10. Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts
9. Oklahoma City and Tulsa Museums
8. Press club in Tulsa
7. Out of the way wineries
6. Real estate prices
5. Great bbq – Earl’s, Urban Iron Starr, Van’s Pig Stand
4. Bricktown
3. Very little traffic congestion
2. OKC Gridiron

And, the thing I'll miss the most:

1. The people. I’m from Texas, and I’ll still say that bar none, Okies are the best. You can always count on someone coming to your aid if you break down, need a hand or need a friend.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Take a deep breath - don't panic

Boxes -- my house is over run with boxes right now. The reality of moving is settling in, and I occasionally have to stop -- take a deep breath and remind myself not to panic.

It seems like only yesterday, I was moving into this house, scraping layers of wallpaper off the walls and fighting the bugs that had moved in while it was empty. We turned it into our home, and now we're moving.

Do you ever wonder when you drive by a big old house, once beautiful and now dilapated and falling down about the family who built it, who lived in it and turned into their home?

I'll miss our house. But we'll make a new home in Florida, really. Oh now, here comes the panic again. Deep breath...deep breath...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Messages to my friends

Because I'm too lazy to email everyone....

Gina -- Is there a date I should be saving?

Knittin Kitten -- Where are you, Chica? How are you?

Scott -- Add me to your friends list again, so I can read your blog please...

Diva -- I'll have to make a stop in Miami before I head to Florida.

Melessa -- Congrats, congrats, congrats.

The beach awaits...

A few weeks ago, we made a momentous decision – we’re moving to Florida. Everything from then on has been a whirlwind blur of more decisions and actions.

The thought of moving is terrifying. Oklahoma, this red dirt land, has a way of getting under your psyche. I even cried recently when I heard Vince Gill and Jimmy Webb’s song, Oklahoma Rising, on the radio – “I choke back the emotion, I’m Okie and I’m proud. And, if you call me Okie, you’d better say it loud…” I choked back my own tears. I love this state and its people, who have embraced me as one of their own.

Florida offers more opportunity, a better job with almost five times the pay for my husband. His final interview was this past week, and we’re expecting an offer this week. We took a leap of faith in deciding to move. But it’s worked out. The former owners of the house have wanted to move back to the old neighborhood to the house they grew up in, so that’s done. We’ll be bunking with my son and his wife for a couple of weeks, but have found a great beach cottage near them.

I’ve been a little more reluctant than my husband. We’ve lived here nearly five years – longer than we’ve lived anywhere in our whole 22 years of married life – with the exception of Okinawa, Japan. I feel like I’m leaving home.

We gathered our closest friends together for a “Happy Hour” this week, and amid margaritas and laughter, we told them we were moving. First came the tears, then came the pleas for invitations to our new home on the beach. We won’t lose our friends.

I finally acquiesced and sent out a resume packet on Monday. I had a phone interview with the company on Thursday evening after I got back from D.C. Wow. That was quick. Today, I took an editing and writing test. I’ll know tomorrow if they want me to fly out before June for an in-person interview. It’s a great job – challenging with room to move up and almost three times my salary in Oklahoma. And, for the record, the cost of living there is not much higher than Oklahoma City. I never have understood why Oklahoma wages run so far below the norm. That’s one reason so many professionals opt to move, but that’s another post. Things are working out.

I’m giving notice on my own job this week Then reality will really set in. I’m leaving Oklahoma. We’ll be back. In July, I have a wedding to attend. In February, we’re planning to take a week’s vacation and come back for Gridiron.

I’m moving.

Monday, April 09, 2007

She wants to be a cowgirl, baby...

I have a lot of shoes –mostly black – and brown with a few blue and navy and even a red pair. They overflow from the four shelf cabinet in my dressing area, spilling over the sides.

I’m not necessarily a shoe addict. In the grand scheme of female shoe addictions, I’d have to say I rank low. But women need a lot of shoes. We need heels for evening and other occasions. We need pumps. We need flats. We need sandals and sneakers and flip flops. And, those shoes have to match our outfits. Owning a lot of shoes, particularly if you are female is simply a necessity.

But every once in a while, you have to be a pair of shoes just because they are “cute” and sometimes it’s okay to fall in love with your shoes.

I learned this on a recent shopping trip with my three- and four-year-old granddaughters. Hubby and I decided they needed some sandals since the weather was getting warmer. So we scanned the shoe aisles, walking back and forth, letting them pick out the ones they wanted. Granddaughter No. 2, went for comfort plus the prerequisite characters on her sandals. Granddaughter No. 1 (they are ranked by age) wanted the pink “princess” shoes. Even the characters on another pair – princesses, of course – wouldn’t convince her to let go of her princess shoes. Until she saw the boots.

Cowboy boots. Black, with aqua tips and an aqua embroidered butterfly in the center of each one. The boots were smaller than her shoes and I wasn’t convinced they would fit. But she tried them on, and declared them perfect. Trying to abide by the “only one pair” rule we had wisely set at the beginning of the shopping trip, she relinquished her hold on the pink princess shoes. She wanted the boots.

But the boots were on the clearance rack, and at only $4 that meant we could break the rule. We asked granddaughter No. 2 if she wanted an exact pair. She snubbed them, “No, I don’t like them.”

So off we went. My granddaughter’s love affair with her boots has grown. She wears them with skirts and shorts, and with her pajamas. She loves her boots. The princess shoes are not as much fun as the boots. They are fun. She smiles a lot when she wears her boots and people notice them. It’s the best bargain I’ve ever bought for $4.

Sometimes, we just need to buy some fun.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The first 50 years

Fifty. 50. Half a century. Five decades. That’s me. I turned “the big five – O” earlier this year.

And, I drove my friends and family crazy reminding them of my impending “old age.” I thought if I said it long and loud enough, it would be easier for me to accept that I was 50 years old. It worked. Sort of.

What is 50 supposed to feel like, and for that matter, look like really?

Madonna, the material girl herself, is almost 50. She’s still selling c.d.’s and still selling out on her tours. And then again, recently I spoke with a woman with gray hair and wrinkles who was in a wheelchair. I thought she was much older. She was only 52.

So age, I suppose is up to the individual.

So I’m hitting the gym again with a vengeance, determined in the next six months, to lose 50 pounds. I’m in yoga class every day, hoping to recapture some of the flexibility I once had. It’s working. I feel younger. Might not LOOK younger, but I feel younger. The looking young part is coming in small doses with cosmetic treatments here and there. Again, I might not necessarily look younger, but I feel better.

Call it my midlife crisis, if you will. I’m also reassessing my job, where I live, where I want to be when I’m 55.

Not that I have any regrets. I look back at the past 50 years and all the phases of my life. My ‘mother earth’ stage when I grew all my own vegetables and my dream was to live on a self-sustaining farm. My yuppie phase when my dream was to make millions and park the nicest car on the block in front of the biggest house. And, then returning back to college, finding a new career. It’s all been fun. I’ve lived in at least nine states and two countries, and traveled a lot. I’ve listened to rock bands in muddy fields, watched Broadway Shows in New York, acted and sang on stage myself, started a theater group, was editor of an infamous campus newspaper, met presidents and spent time on the street with homeless people. I’ve written letters and books and share the dream to write more. I’ve no regrets. I have wonderful friends scattered around the globe, I have three children, four grandchildren and the love of my life beside me.

I don’t know what phase I’m in now. Doesn’t matter. It will be fun.

It’s never too late until well…it’s too late. So for now, I’m on a mission to “find myself” yet again. Hubby’s along for the ride. We’re having fun. And, maybe that’s what makes being 50 okay. Finding myself when I was 18 or 21 or even 30 wasn’t so much fun.

I thought about lying about my age. But then again, that would require me asking all my children to lie about their age. I’m 50. Whew.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Today's Photo of the Day

Our little "Fly girls"

Did you hear that crash?

No, it wasn't the stock market. It was my computer. Crash.

The past few days without a computer made me realize the extent of my addiction to technology.

Growing up in the 1970s, we had television, our tape recorders, turn tables, our eight-track players and transitor radios. An antenna was perched on the rooftop of our house and periodically our father would have to climb a ladder and adjust it so we would get the perfect picture. We were styling.

We didn't even have a dishwasher in our house growing up -- with so many children, my parents knew they didn't need one. We were the dishwashers.

Now, I feel tinges of withdrawal if I inadvertently leave my cell phone at home when I leave the house. Two days without checking email?! Banish the thought. My PDA, my digital recorder, my digital camera -- all in my purse daily. They're with me, whereever I go.

Cable's not even hi-tech enough for us now. We have digital satellite, attached to at least three televisions in the house. We can rewind regular television, record it, watch it later, order a movie all with the click of our remotes.

We shop online. We connect with our friends and the world. We're technology addicts. We carry our laptops and open them up and work at restaurants and coffee shops. Who needs candles as ambience any more? We have the glow of our computer monitors.

We're addicted, and maybe we've lost a bit our own creativity and imagination in the process of depending on technology.

My son and his wife were recently dreading a cross-country trip with their 3 and 4 year olds. The portable digital television and dvd player they can strap to the back seat was not working. I suggested coloring books, crayons and puzzles. I also mentioned the "good old days" when our parents expected the passing scenery to be more than enough entertainment for us in the back seat of the car.

I also remember eating lunch, away from work and not having my boss or my clients call me three or four times while I'm eating. We're addicts.

I'm going to try to change a bit. No more cell phone on at lunch time. At least one day a week without checking email -- really. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Unintended hiatus

It's been a whole month + since my last post. A rarity for even me. I've missed you all, and didn't realize how much until I ventured online and started reading some of my favorite blogs (see links.)

Strange, that I should miss people that I really don't know. Some, of course, are friends. Others, are newly acquired friends -- having met them at the Blogger Round Up in the fall. And, still others, I wouldn't know if I walked by on the street. Still, I missed you all.

The OKC Gridiron Show went off beautifully. I've been exhausted for the past week, trying to catch up on all the rest we missed.

Now, it's 25 days until the NAHJ Conference that I'm in the midst of helping plan. So, my time is still limited.

But, I'm back. I'll post. There's so much to post about these days, I hardly know where to start.

But for now. Hello, again.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The state of my life

1. Good news today. Benign cysts for certain. Trying some stuff to "dissolve it" without surgery. No more needles for a while.

2. Cold is gone. I can return to my life. I even missed the office.

3. Made it to rehearsals, it's good to be back in Gridiron mode. Do you need tickets? Damn funny stuff.

4. Enjoying the granddaughters' visit. They are currently in their princess costumes. Life is still a fairy tale for them.

5. I must be mellowing, or the Prez was really pandering tonight. I actually agreed with a lot of what he said, not all, but hey, at least I didn't scream at the TV and shut it off half-way like I have the past five years.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I'm cold. Right now I've got so many layers on I feel like an onion. All the experts say layering is the way to go.

I'm still cold, and ice is still falling from the sky.

Anybody know what the temperature is like in Florida?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What's in your closet?

Our son and his family are coming to visit for a couple of weeks. We decided that meant giving the girls their own private space in the "guest" room that my youngest daughter and her husband claimed as their own when they were here for an extended stay. Much of their stuff was still there, so we decided to pack it up and move it to the closet in the office. That meant moving the stuff in the office SOMEWHERE. Holy cow. First of all, we've got way too many clothes. And yet, we were the same thing every week and gripe we have nothing to wear. So we dumped it all out and are sorting through it today. In the meantime, I managed to neatly organize two closets and a dresser-full from the guest room into the office closet (big closets.)

Today the goal is to throw out stuff that we don't wear. Haven't worn it in a year --it's gone. Doesn't fit -- it's gone. Bought this when all three children still lived at home (12 years ago) -- it's gone.

Now, I just have to find a second twin bed. All the "Monkey Room" stuff is coming out of boxes and being revived in the guest bedroom during their visit.

I was so exhausted last night that I could hardly make it to the bed before I fell asleep. But I can't wait to see them. Just what the doctor ordered :)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

New Year - New look

I've decided that I'm going to upgrade the look on this blog. So, really I have no idea how to do this, but I'm planning, so be prepared.

Hubby also wants me to help him start a blog. Should be fun. I'll let you guys know when it's up and running.

On the previous post: Still sick. Still not talking. But thanks for the good thoughts.

I'll take any design tidbits that you have to offer...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Let's get the worst over with first

Fourth day of the year, and thus sucks.

I've got the mother of all colds. Surely, it's not the flu because I listened to my doctor earlier this week and got a FLU SHOT. Now I'm sick. Can't breathe, can't talk.

What took me to the doctor in the first place last week was the fact that the left side of my face ballooned. He thought it was an infection of some kind, gave me antibiotics. They made me sick. You know, nausea etc. But the swelling went down enough that I was able to enjoy the weekend.

But the big news I didnt' share with all was that I had found a lump on my left breast. So yesterday I had to go through the whole torture of the mammogram. Torture because I didn't realize until then just how much pain I had been feeling. It was excrutiatingly painful (if you're a guy, well just imagine...) The tech flipped out, the doc flipped out. Needle biopsy. Yeah, that sucker hurt too. So now, I've got a cold and sore boobs.

No word yet as to the results. No news is good news, right? Yes, I know this is a lousy way to let friends know about this, but it's easier than actually talking about it. And, no. I don't want to talk. Not yet. Not yet.

The good news is that if I get all the bad crap out of the way now, this year should just get better. I think I've convinced my boss to send me to a class in D.C. in the Spring. I love D.C. So I'll just think of cherry blossoms and take more pain meds.

See looking up already.