Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Off on another adventure

Stay tuned... it'll be Friday before I can post again but I hope to present the results of another adventure then.

Oh what will it be? What will it be???

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Of Water Taxis, Weddings and Testosterone Stores

On today's installation of "My Weekend Trip to Bricktown," we'll have an assortment of images, mostly from the perspective of a passenger on the water taxis on the Bricktown Canal.

Passage on a water taxi is $6, good for all day. You can get on and off at just about any point on the canal. The captains of the flat-bottom boats are very happy to make stops to drop off or board passengers. Wrist bands can be purchased at a small brick ticket office across the street from the third-base gate into the Bricktown Ballpark (note: get your wrist band before going downstairs to the canal level, because you'll just have to walk up and down the stairs again.)

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Street musicians frequently stake out the spot near the loading point for the water taxis, hoping to pick up a few coins from passengers who listen as they wait. It's really rather enjoyable and soothing to hear some live music while relaxing under the little bit of shade provided by a small tree.

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Here's another piece of sculpture which passengers have a great opportunity to examine as they wait. Kids especially seem to love it. It has an almost-magnetic effect on young boys, from what I could observe. They like sitting on the ball and putting their feet on the man's head. Way to help, boys. Can't you see how hard his job is?

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Here's a taxi full of passengers -- friendly folks who liked waving at people on the bridge above. Being on the water puts people in a relaxed, friendly frame of mind. Strangers start visiting as they ride together, trading jokes and observances about what they see on the trip. It's great!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com There they go, down the other side of the bridge. Different people started waving after they went under the bridge. Have fun, everyone!

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Ducks just love the water as well. And watching them paddle around on the canal is nearly hypnotizing. Several people spent a good part of the afternoon parked on benches along the canal just lazily watching the water swirl around the ducks.

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A wedding party came down to the canal, presumably for photos. We waved; someone asked if they were getting married on the canal. "No, we've already taken care of that part," they said. There's lots of pretty places for pictures, though.

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Landscaping along the canal, and throughout Bricktown, is beautiful. Here we have some Russian sage planted with echinacea.

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A willow tree with beds of begonias and sweet potato vines. Good color composition.

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Aha! Bass Pro Shop! Yessir, as the water taxi captain said, the single largest collection of testosterone under one roof in Oklahoma! If a man says he doesn't like shopping, he hasn't been to Bass Pro. Heck, I like going there myself, but don't tell. The first time I went there, they had a sign near the front door. "Ready for turkey season?" it asked. I grabbed the nearest young guy working there and said "Quick! Help me! I'm not ready for turkey season!" Yep, he did look at me like I was crazy. But I thought it was important to be prepared. You never know about those turkeys.

That's the end of today's chapter. We'll try to wrap up with some odds and ends in the next installation. There's just so much to see and do in this one district. Check it out next time you're anywhere close to the area.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

More from Bricktown, heart of Oklahoma City

It's been quite some time since I went to Bricktown to eat dinner. As a matter of fact, I've only tried a few of the restaurants there -- Spaghetti Warehouse, which I believe was the first to open there, many long years ago; Chileno's, still my favorite branch of that chain; Abuelo's, a lovely restaurant right across the street from Chileno's. I can't remember frequenting any other eateries. Maybe a bar or two when I had out-of-town company.

But on my weekend excursion, I discovered a whole NEW world of wonderful places that will demand my attention in the near future. How have I managed to remain blind to them for so long??

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Opening NOW is Toby Keith's new place, complete with its own amphitheater for live performances. Toby's in town for the opening and word is we should expect him to be around often. No surprise; the singer is from nearby Moore, and he's got some major real estate development deals going on locally with some other local bigwigs. It will be fun to hear some live music of Toby's caliber, but I expect the place to be so packed for a while that I'll probably hold off on going there.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com The Wild Coconut is located in the old Hunzicker Electric Supply Co. building. Hey, I don't know about you, but any place with an orange palm tree is worth checking out in my opinion!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Speaking of live music, this was a great treat. The Orchard Cafe had several performers on the patio while I was touring Bricktown. This trio was my fave -- amplified acoustic instruments playing classical and I believe a bit of New Age thrown in. Lovely, simply lovely. This girl on the violin is an amazing talent and the guys behind her let her shine. I don't know about the food or drink, but the patrons were certainly happy.

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Need a noodle? They've got some. Haven't tried this place myself, but a family on the water taxi I was riding in asked the captain to stop and let them disboard here. He was happy to accommodate. They are true ambassadors of the district, doing whatever they can to make visits to Bricktown enjoyable and memorable. Spend the $6 and take a ride!

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Life is good if you can get to Earl's Rib Palace. And at the Bricktown location, it's right next to Marble Slab Creamery. See a brainstorm here? Spice 'em up with 'cue and send 'em to the slab to cool down! Ingenious marketing plan. Both places were packed on my visit and I will be a return customer, no doubts. Just the right location for dinner and a ballgame. But you could say that about any of the Bricktown restaurants.

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Many of the restaurants are in two- or three-story buildings, so there are multiple layers of fine feasting. Here's the Bourbon Street Cafe and Daddy Hinkle's Steak House. (Note to self: Put these on the "taste test short list.") Right close is another place called the Laughing Fish. Who could ignore a name like that?

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For a high-dollar, special occasion celebration, take a look at Mickey Mantle's namesake. It's at 7 Mickey Mantle Drive (7 being Mickey's number; it's also positioned right across the street from the third base gate of the Bricktown Ballpark, where Mickey's statue stands.) The captain of my water taxi said dinner runs about $45 to $50 per person. Your mileage may vary.

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Maybe you want to catch dinner and a movie, or maybe you just want some popcorn to go with your Batman. Check out Bricktown's new theater, The Harkins. It has the largest non-Imax screen in Oklahoma. It's in the chain’s second Cine Capri, a 600-seat auditorium featuring a 70-foot-high screen and 40,000 watts of sound delivered through 150 speakers. (This whole wall is a theater screen.) The multiplex cinema has 16 theaters in all.

Something to think about: Almost all that I have shown you is new, completed within the past year and a half or less. Money is pumping through our economy again, and with that comes more money -- from tourists and residents alike -- who have some outstanding places to enjoy during their leisure time here.

We'll continue the tour another day. Meanwhile, if you can't find something to satisfy your appetite in Bricktown, you just aren't trying! Bon appetit!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Helping Kids Read

Reading is one of the most important skills we adults can share with children. I was blessed beyond measure as a child to have a great aunt who was a librarian in a small-town Missouri library.

Every time the library discarded books, I could count on getting one, two or three large boxes of books from BoBo (her given name being Beulah, no child in the family ever knew her as anything but BoBo.)

These books were extreme treasures to me. At the age of 3 or 4 BoBo and my grandparents came to visit, trunk filled with book boxes. I remember naught about that visit but unpacking the boxes, laying the books side by side on the floor and then rolling myself all over them, absorbing the smell, the textures, the personalities of the books.

Many were the well-made, hand-stitched children's books of the 1930s and 1940s, complete with lithographs illustrating the stories within. Having them in my home was like being fed a drug. I was instantly pacified and spent hours under their spell, often falling asleep and continuing the stories in my dreams.

Today I had the immense pleasure of meeting a young child who is obviously a devoted reader already. I'm volunteering in Project Transformation for four mornings this week, helping children read. This girl was so impressive I had to double-check her records to make sure I had the right girl.

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She picked a book she thought looked interesting and off we went to the corner of a church nursery to sit for a half hour, with her reading aloud to me. The book she chose was "Dear America: Voyage on the Great Titanic" by Ellen Emerson White.

The story starts in an English girls' orphanage, run by Catholic nuns. The vocabulary is rich -- no dumbing it down to make it easy. Kids who read this book, especially young readers, should expect to grow their new words list.

My young reader zipped through the first two chapters with ease. The only word I had to explain was "chaparone" -- as much for the concept as the difficulty of the word itself.

Oh, perhaps I should explain one other important detail: My little reader was 6 years old, GOING INTO first grade. I asked her if she's been reading for a long time.

"Oh yes," she responded casually. "My mom handed me some good books when I was 4 and I've been reading ever since."

That long, eh?

I can tell, without even meeting her mother, that reading is an important part of their family life. Skills such as hers don't develop without nurture.

The School Library Journal rates this book for grades 4-8.

Her mother (and father, perhaps?) should be very proud. I know she is, but at 6 she doesn't realize how unusual it is to read books at that level. It was a real treat for me.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Saturday adventure

Today I decided to put on my travel writer's hat again and take a fresh look at my own city, actually IN TOWN instead of out and about in the rural areas.

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I took advantage of the Oklahoma Spirit Trolley (orange line) to avoid the high-priced and scarce parking in Bricktown. For $3 I was able to get a three-day pass that is good on all three trolley lines. Let me tell you, that is quite a bargain if you consider that Bricktown restaurants charge a minimum of $5 for parking while you're a customer at their establishment.

I'll space the photos out over a few days, because there are SO MANY of them. Today we'll concentrate on some of the art.

Oklahoma will celebrate its centennial in 2007. (which explains so many of E.R.'s great writing projects of late. He's putting his history degree to fine use, let me tell you. Check out his blog.)

As part of the centennial celebrations, 46 bronzes have been commissioned for the south part of the Bricktown canal -- 46 because Oklahoma was the 46th state admitted to the Union, in 1907 (see how that works, that they scheduled the centennial for 100 years later? hee hee)

Here are a few of the pieces, from Saturday's tour:

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First, a replica of the cannon that fired to start the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 (central Oklahoma.)

And with the firing of that cannon, the race was on! As always, the three main keys to real estate was location, location, location. The first one to stake out a piece of land (and get it recorded) was the owner.

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They came in wagons and on horseback. Some came by train and jumped off when they saw a plot they wanted. Get there and get it staked was the order of the day.
The artist who created this piece imposed his own face on the wagon's driver.
Another bit of trivia about this piece: The canal, on each bank, has been imprinted with horses' hooves so it looks like the stream was really crossed by running horses.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Following close behind the wagon are two pioneers on horseback, racing to stake their own claims. (Note of irony: this is the first time I've ever doctored a photo. I removed a billboard that was intruding in the photo, advertising, of all things, an Indian casino. Apologies to purists who object to doctored photos. I just couldn't leave it.)

Not all the art associated with the centennial is serious. There are many buffalo statues scattered across the city, adopted by groups and corporations and decorated as they wish. It's a welcome bit of whimsy to go on a buffalo hunt and try to track these guys down.

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There's the "Jackson Pollack" buffalo... he hangs out at the Bricktown Ballpark, right outside the home plate gate with Johnny Bench.

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At the third base gate, this UPS buffalo, obviously a working stiff, keeps Mickey Mantle company. I hope he's not still on the clock...

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Proof positive that you CAN roller skate in a buffalo herd...
Right outside the Sonic Corp.'s world headquarters is a buffalo which pays homage to the skating carhops the company has employeed since 1953. I'm not sure I would trust him with a tray, though.

We'll continue the rest of the Bricktown tour over the next few days. I had a great time! But back on the trolley, on the way home, we passed through Stockyards City.

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At the main intersection in that area is a statue of a cowboy roping a longhorn. I happened to catch it in silhouette as we rode past.

I hope you've enjoyed today's art tour.

Stay tuned for much, much more over the next days.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Nigerian Scam

In the past two weeks I have been inundated by instant messages from people who have found a new way to perpetuate the Nigerian Scam.

Now, if you aren't familiar with this, it was covered extensively on Dateline last week. The Secret Service and the FBI have web sites devoted to this crime.

Here's how the new version goes:

The scammer messages someone in the U.S. It's apparent they are now going through Yahoo Personals to farm the site for contacts.

They start with a fairly innocent conversation, like most other messengers do when striking up an acquaintance. The eyebrow-raising red flag is the writer's syntax. Stiff, unnatural. Overly familiar. They sound like English is a second language. But they pretend to be from somewhere in the U.S. Scammer #1 claimed to live in Plainwell, MI., but currently is in Nigeria selling computers to a big corporation there. Scammer #2 was "from Texas" but currently in London, also in the computer industry. Scammer #3 "grew up in Oklahoma City" but is in West Africa now. Guess what he does? Gasp. He also sells computers.

From there, they seem to be writing from a script. They use inappropriate endearments, calling me "honey" "my darling" and "dear." They presume a bit of intimacy that they haven't earned in any sense (I'm not talking sexual, I'm talking about them acting as though we've been long, long close friends who are moving into a romance.) All of them have inquired if I like flowers, and ask for an address to send me roses. Or a gift basket of fruits and candies.

If I've responded with anything that throws them off the script, their answer is "OK no problem I am here for you Honey." Can't you just imagine them sitting in a boiler room with a clipboard at their side, script written out with another page of "responses" to draw from if they are confused?

Anyway, after a few days of using endearments, offering gifts, small talk and nonsense, the scam is set into motion.

They close a huge contract which makes them "the happiest man in the whole world." (Another stock phrase found in all of these contacts.) However, there is a problem.
The contractor wishes to close the contract by wiring money into a U.S. bank account. Unfortunately, (sigh) they closed their business account in their home town when they traveled to (Nigeria, London, West Africa...). And they do not have an account in their current location that is acceptable to the contractor. And they do not trust any of their employees to travel to the U.S. to open an account. And they do not have time to fly to New York overnight to open an account themselves (all things I recommended.)

Oh no. The only possible solution is for ME to go to open an account for them in order for the funds to be transferred. It must be to a Wells Fargo or Bank of America. And lo, they include an entire yellow pages entry showing me exactly where each of the Bank of America locations are. It will only cost me $50 or so to open the account, and then once the transfer has been made I can send the money to them.

Yeah. Like I'm going to do that. Heck, I only go to the bank to deposit my paycheck once a month.

Anyway, with the first scammer, I had a lot of fun yanking the chain and making all kinds of plausible suggestions about how to take care of the business himself. I had a little fun, but then things got a little uglier. He started making veiled threats, saying that one of his friends was arrested for committing a very terrible crime, but he was so beloved by the village that he was released. I asked what the crime was; he had beaten an elderly man.

Now, the bank portion of the scam is one thing, but there is a second part to the Nigerian Scam. Victims are often duped into traveling to Nigeria to deliver the funds in person. They are told that a visa is not necessary for entry into the country, so they make the trip overnight. Then they find out the truth. They are abused, beaten, robbed or otherwise harmed by the perps. And then threatened to be turned over to the government because they are lacking a visa, which is a serious crime there. The penalties are severe enough that they basically become enslaved to the perps.

The Nigerian government refuses to cooperate in the prosecution of these crimes, so there is no resolution once the crime is taking place. The U.S. Secret Service and FBI can only prosecute if any part of the crime takes place on U.S. soil -- if a U.S. telephone is used, or a U.S. internet connection, or the U.S. mail is used, there is hope that an investigation can bear fruit. But then the next twist: Most of the scammers use Canadian phones and mail to contact U.S. victims.

I've talked twice to the Secret Service office here in Oklahoma City. Their advice is to delete all the messages and ignore any further contacts. I've also contacted Yahoo to report the misuse of their system. They have eliminated the contacts I've reported, but who knows how quickly these new contacts can be created?

It was an interesting experiment the first go-round, but it's now become a huge nuisance. It is as bad as a swarm of mosquitos now. I just wish there was an "OFF!" spray for internet pests.

What's Your Theological World View?

No surprises here, that I'd be found in the Wesleyan tradition. My father was an aethist; my mother was a nonpracticing member of the Christian Church (Disciples). I sometimes attended Sunday school at the neighborhood Evangelical United Brethren Church (which merged with the Methodist Church in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church). I never attended church until a few visits when I was in junior high. Christ entered my heart when I was in high school and I was baptized (by immersion) when I was a junior in high school. I owe a lot of my spiritual development to my closest friends, who had a similar spiritual non-upbringing. I think we were all gathered together in a spiritual revolution in the 1970s. Thanks be to God!

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox




Roman Catholic




Modern Liberal


Reformed Evangelical


Classical Liberal




What's your theological worldview?
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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

An essay to knock you off your feet

For several days I've been wanting to write an essay that would address some of the discussions, specifically about homosexuality, that have been taking place on my blog buddies' sites. I about had it ready on Sunday, but now, it's not necessary.

Instead, let me refer you to an essay on a blog I've just become familiar with. This, in a most beautiful, profound, earthy, real way, covers it all. It matters not what our individual sin is, we're all the girl that Jesus loves in this way.

Let me add one thought before I give you over to this work -- whosoever we condemn here on earth could well wind up being our roommate in heaven. Keep in mind that Jesus did this for ALL sinners, not just us with "delicate" sins. He didn't grade on the curve; He graded on the cross.

And now, an excerpt "The Girl of Your Dreams" from Joshua Gibbs of Chicago.

Jesus had a dream girl. Jesus had a girl that He wanted to marry for several thousand years. But she treated him like shit. She slept with everyone, she didn’t stop until there was a checkmark next to every name in the phonebook. And Jesus, above just hearing the rumors, had to watch every one of these sexual encounters in excruciating detail. He saw every thrust of the hips and heard every whispered word.

Jesus was a rich man, and His dream girl was a poor hooker. They really only had one thing in common and that was that they were both desperately in love with the same person. Jesus loved the poor hooker, and the poor hooker loved herself. The poor hooker never made enough money to pay her rent, and so she went to Jesus whenever she came up short. Jesus never gave her exact change. The fifty dollars she needed was always sandwiched between a stack of hundred bills he would hand her, and he would generally give her a new Lexus and a few homes in upstate New York whenever she stopped by. The poor hooker would always say, “You’re always so nice to me. Man, I’m never going to sleep with anyone else again. I’m with you from now on.” And then she would drive her new car to a pay-by-the-hour motel and sleep with a dozen guys who had AIDS and would beat her when they were finished with her. They would steal her car and her money and then she would call Jesus, and she would be crying and blubbering and saying how awful it had been, and then Jesus would drive to the bad section of town and pick her up, take her back to His home and clean her up. After she showered and Jesus had bandaged up all her wounds, they would sit in the living room and talk.

“I have something for you,” Jesus would say, and then He would give her the moon.

To see the rest of this powerful piece, go to Folding a Map. I don't often say it, but this is a MUST read for all of us.

Monday, June 13, 2005


Jeannie Diane of 10buck2 has returned to Blogland to write about her Aunt Doodle. Check it out and see if you don't feel a sense of the familiar and remember your own favorite aunt.

And if anyone sees Powersleeper of Phill 413, give him a nudge and encourage him to write some more. He's been missing for a couple of months, probably due to his restaurant job.

While you're looking around, please go visit The Girl at Everything and Nothing. She's a young Canadian friend of mine who is a poet and has a somewhat dark and sexual perspective on life. She's a poet and aspiring writer who could use some feedback from others who know what it's about. She's just getting accustomed to the thought of blogging, so welcome her with some encouragement, please.

Badger at Badger Meets World continues to crack me up with her ability to write. If you like root beer or other types of beer, go visit!

And if you have interest in spiritual discussions, stop by and read The Connexion, a blog by a Methodist minister in South Wales. Several people blog on The Connexion, and often I find a different perspective than we have on our mostly U.S. blogs. I always find something that makes me think and something that inspires me. (Check out Richard's meditations on the apostle Peter back on May 31 and June 1, as well as the story about the church that was stolen on June 3. You'll pass a lot of other interesting entries that will grab your attention while you're browsing.)

Now, listen, this isn't intended in any way to slight my regular favorites -- E.R., Tech, Frenzied Feline and Dr. E.R. Just thought I'd plug some of the others this round for fun.

Off to dinner I go now! See y'all later!

A brief update

There's been a LOT of rain around here, much of it dumped on us last night. I had seen the weather warnings last night when a friend dropped in and asked me to go to dinner. Who am I to pass up a free dinner? So sitting at Cracker Barrel I was able to watch the storm move in in all its glory -- heavy rain, powerful lightning, winds that could blow a small car across the state. We left in the midst of some of the heaviest rain of the evening, giving three out-of-state Salvation Army workers a lift back to their motel on the other side of the parking lot. They were glad for the offer, and we were glad not to see them drown trying to get back to their rooms. I saw whitecaps on the flooded streets, no kidding.

Yesterday morning was really great at church. I'm a member of one of our handbell choirs (and a sub in another). We played at both services yesterday and it went very well. I hope that it was a gift to the congregation, because we certainly felt blessed to present the music. There were three songs, the first being "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee." This was played with piano, organ, handbell and the choir coming in at the end. Probably the most powerful piece we've done with the entire music program since I've been there.

The second song was "Passacaglia" - -I wish I could tell you whose since there are several. This was, without a doubt, the most difficult piece we've done, ever. We've worked on this for at least six months. It was one piece that we prepared to play at our festival in Tulsa in February.

The third song was "Down to the River to Pray" from "O Brother Where Art Thou." A very serene, simple song played as the offertory. I think most of us in the handbell choir really liked this one because it was an easy one after the other two.

And here's an "Only in Oklahoma" moment: Dr. Phil and Oprah were interrupted this afternoon for coverage of the Michael Jackson verdict. After the announcement that he was not guilty on all 10 counts, coverage of the verdict was then interrupted by severe storm coverage!

And coming up: I've got a heavier-than-usual work load for the next couple of works, simply to work ahead for a week off (not that the work load is particularly heavy, just more than usual). The timing is great because I am hoping to go to Texas during that off week to do some research in the Texas Newspaper Project archives. A cousin has asked for assistance in finding some old articles about my uncle who was a boxer during his time in the service. So far it's been easy finding out the base newspaper's name and discovering it is available through the Project. My cousin's job this week is to try to narrow down the dates a little more so I can limit the search. At this point I have a four-year window, which is doable but considerable.

Tonight: Meeting with my planning group at a nearby Mexican restaurant as we begin the job of putting together a Divorce Recovery workshop through our church. We've spent the past year and a half looking at other programs and studying the cirriculum of the program we've chosen. Now it's time to begin the planning of putting together the meetings. We hope to begin in the fall with our first group.

Lastly: I went to the pharmacy today to fill three prescriptions. Each is a 30-day supply. Total bill: $230. And one of those was only $16. YIKES! And I am currently without insurance coverage which makes it worse in many ways. Just needed a moment to whine.

I think this concludes today's summary. Maybe later, if I have more time this evening, I'll write an essay on some issues that have been popping up in my blogging circle. If not tonight, soon. So stay tuned!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Feeling a might water-logged

It's my favorite kind of day -- for staying inside with a cup of cocoa.

It's rainy, with heavy gray clouds that look like they will cry all day long. This weather reminds me so much of rainy summer days when I was a kid, when Mama would pop a pan of popcorn on the stove after she finished ironing Dad's shirts.

I'd be sacked out on the couch, watching "The Price Is Right" and "Jeopardy!" on TV, occasionally stealing a handful of popcorn from Mama. Brother Bob would be watching the TV from his chair or he'd be in his room listening to Swap Shop on the radio. Sometimes he'd hear something he just couldn't live without, and he'd write down a phone number and excitedly try to get Mama to call. As often as not she would divert him; one day he bypassed her entirely and made the phone call himself. I'm not sure now what it was he committed to buy, but Mama had to make a second call to renegotiate the deal, I remember.

Later in the day I'd steal away to my room where I always had a stack of library books to keep me company. Sometimes I'd get on a real reading tear and go through four books in a day. Such a day was June 5, 1968, a day permanently engraved in my memory.

That morning I had walked to the public library with a friend, getting home just as the rain started. I had a new pile of books -- a mix of Edna Ferber, Pearl S. Buck and Nancy Drew. Much of the day I spent sprawled across my parents' bed, surrounded by these new friends. I had to clear out when Dad came home and we had supper. After I had done the dishes, Dad was sitting in his recliner, Mama in her rocker and Bob in his chair. I'd returned to the spacious parents' bed, from which I could clearly watch the TV, which was in the living room.

Between chapters of "The Good Earth" I was following the news of Robert Kennedy's victory in the California presidential primary election.

And then, the world changed, again. Another chapter in the history of U.S. political chapters was written. Bobby Kennedy was killed in a Los Angeles hotel.

Just months before, Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot. A few years earlier, JFK had been assassinated in Dallas.

These were the events that shaped my political outlook and formation. Three visionaries, leading the country into the future, gunned down.

We just passed the 37th anniversary of Robert Kennedy's death this week. Many of my blogbuddies weren't born yet then, or were babies. I was 13 and the memory is permanently imprinted on me.

Ah, but today's memories are of rainy days, not assassinations and politics.

I was out on a work assignment this morning and got a good soaking in the rain. It's not the end of the earth, but made for a miserable drive home in clinging, cold wet clothes. I corrected that situation as soon as I walked in the door, peeling off the soggy attire and wrapping up in a fluffy towel, then putting on my robe and favorite slippers. Ahh, that's the big perk that comes with working at home, alone!

I may have a cup of cocoa, then a short snooze with a pile of books stacked on the bed around me. Later, I'll return to the grown-up me of 2005 and get busy writing. For now, though, I think I'll turn back the clock to May 1968.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Harvest Is Under Way

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The wheat harvest has moved to the Cashion area, north of Oklahoma City. I saw a couple of different fields being cut this afternoon. Such a beautiful thing to see. One grower said they will be burning his field as soon as they get the combines out in order to get rid of the rye grass that's such an awful weed to them this year.

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John Deere green is such a beautiful color, don't you think? And the kids that do the dirty work are so, so young. I bet the kid driving this combine can't be over 15. And the one driving the tractor with the hopper on the back is probably round about 12.
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The rivers are down enough to form sand bars, just perfect for wading out to for a picnic and bonfire. Brings back good memories from my childhood -- roasting hot dogs on a stick and drinking lemonade out of a thermal jug.

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I liked this -- the landowner tied beer cans to the electric fence to help make it more visible to the sand crew quarrying the river. They sparkled like jewels in the afternoon sunshine.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Discovered today

I came across an interesting blog today.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe topic is secrets -- how they can eat away at us, if we let them. This blog is a way of purging secrets, well, secretly.

People send in postcards with their secrets on them and "Frank" posts several of them each week on PostSecret.

It is fascinating, sad and sometimes funny. Most of all, we'll recognize a shared, common human misery.

The artwork is original to those who send in their postcards. And if you have a secret you have to get rid of, there's a mailing address for you to send a secret postcard to.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

J.T.'s Recognition of Orders

I hope J.T. does not mind too much if I post a couple of photos of his recognition of orders last night at our church conference's annual conference. This is the ceremony where ministers are ordained. J.T.'s finally been received as an elder in the United Methodist church after having served in another denomination. This has been a long time coming and is well worth celebrating. I'm so proud of him for going through years of preparation for this time!

Here he is being charged by the bishop to take authority as an elder in the Church to preach the Word of God and to administer the Sacraments in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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And here we are at the reception celebrating his calling to be among us in ministry. That's me in the pink top next to him.

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