Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Love Quiz!

The Sonnet
Deliberate Gentle Love Dreamer (DGLDf)

Romantic, hopeful, and composed. You are the Sonnet. Get it? Composed?

Sonnets want Love and have high ideals about it. They're conscientious people, caring & careful. You yourself have deep convictions, and you devote a lot of thought to romance and what it should be. This will frighten away most potential mates, but that's okay, because you're very choosy with your affections anyway. You'd absolutely refuse to date someone dumber than you, for instance.

Your exact opposite:
Genghis K.

Random Brutal Sex Master

Lovers who share your idealized perspective, or who are at least willing to totally throw themselves into a relationship, will be very, very happy with you. And you with them. You're already selfless and compassionate, and with the right partner, there's no doubt you can be sensual, even adventurously so.

You probably have lots of female friends, and they have a special soft spot for you. Babies do, too, at the tippy-top of their baby skulls.

ALWAYS AVOID: The 5-Night Stand, The False Messiah, The Hornivore, The Last Man on Earth

CONSIDER: The Loverboy

Link: The 32-Type Dating Test by OkCupid - Free Online Dating.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My computer is sick

... and it is making me crazy! I've spent the past four days, which should have been a happy span of free time, dealing with a computer problem. I upgraded my antivirus program to Norton 2006, and right away started having problems. I cannot get into any sites affiliated with Yahoo, or Norton/Symantic. I cannot do a system restore; I cannot uninstall Norton.

I was able to do a free virus scan on Microsoft's site yesterday and discovered I had 9 viruses with 26 infected files. I was able to get rid of all but one virus. Of course I have no idea what the name of the virus is or what else it may be doing.

My e-mail cannot be scanned and every time I try to open a file, it tries to launch a virus scan but then runs into a delay of at least 30 minutes before the computer tells me Norton does not support the repair program and must shut down.

Anyone have a little hammer? I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow when I have to start working again, because I work from home on this computer. ARG!!!

Most of the time I can handle such problems myself, but this bugger seems to have found every back door and unlocked window so I can't even break in to see who's playing in the house. If only I could blame Dennis the Menace!!

All advice welcome and appreciated!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Let the season begin!

10:10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24, 2005

The turkey has been devoured. Naps have been taking.

The 10 p.m. news is playing on local television stations and now, as has been the tradition for the past 49 years, the One True Sign of the season has been shown.

What is it? If you live in Oklahoma you know what I'm talking about. That's right. You know. ... Now,


It's TIME!! The B.C. Clark Jingle started its holiday run tonight! It really IS beginning to look (and sound) a lot like Christmas!

And now, let me share it with you again if you aren't "home" to hear it:

Jingle (for 128K connection or higher)

Jingle (for 56K connection)


(P.S., if you do a Google search of "B.C. Clark Jewelers jingle", this here blog is the second entry, from last year. How cool!)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Showgirl? Hardly

I didn't pay much attention to the "Movie of my Life" until Tech asked if there were pictures...

Well, I'm so sorry to disappoint, but I think this photo may be the closest I have to being a "showgirl." This is from "back in the day," as the kids say nowadays... I was 14, I believe.
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Now, flash forward to reality again...

Here's a picture of me (on the left) singing with my best friend at our singles' group retreat this past weekend. Someone who was tired of me taking photos grabbed my camera and turned the tables on me by getting a photo in the midst of "Just a Closer Walk With Thee."

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Not exactly the subject of "Showgirls," is it? My apologies...

Roll the credits

Stolen from E.R.'s blog:

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

Friday, November 18, 2005

Off on retreat

This evening I'll be leaving for a singles retreat with my church group. We'll be traveling about an hour west of Oklahoma City to the United Methodist camp called Canyon Camp.

This is like the best of all worlds -- summer camp for grownups, without all the sweat and mosquitos. AND we get to stay in the lodge, which is more like a hotel than the cabins with bunk beds. We get to spend some time in a natural, serene setting with COMFORT.

There will be lots of singing, lots of resting, lots of nature walks, probably lots of eating and lots of surprises we haven't been told about yet. Our planners have been working in secret to present something very special. I can't wait to see what they have in store!

I've been wrapping up my work for the week while running a few loads of laundry to get ready for this little trip. Sometimes, just getting away from the usual grind for a weekend can be as refreshing as a two-week vacation (I remember from our weekend trip to Oregon and Washington just a couple of weeks ago!)

The camera will be going with me, so there may be photos when I get back. I'm also packing some quilts in case it gets chilly around the fireplace.

I hope you all have fun, restful and refreshing weekends! See you later!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Happy Statehood Day!

To all my fellow Oklahomans, Happy Statehood Day!

On this date in 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state to enter the union. Just two more years until the centennial celebration of our great state!

You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Day of Wind and Soup

Ah, yes, it's definitely a November day -- the cold, blustery kind of day that can send trash cans and recycling bins flying down the street for blocks.

I'd heard the forecast last night so I expected the colder temperatures and set my trash out last night. So this morning, when I heard the bump, bump, thud screeeeeeech of my recycling bin heading for Arkansas, I pulled on my jeans and my favorite old green sweater.

I grabbed another last bag of trash I'd missed and headed out the front door to see all the trash cans in the neighborhood tossed onto their sides, including mine. I set it right, disposed of the extra bag, and started looking for the stray blue bin that had once sat next to the cart.

Ah, yes, there it was, sitting proudly in the middle of the street about a half block away. There are only a couple of us who recycle, and Sylvia's bin was still at home, next door. (I think her recycling must weigh more than mine.)

I nearly caught up with my bin when the wind scooted it ju-u-ust a lit-t-t-t-tle farther. OK, a couple of steps later, and another gust caught it. Dang it! Finally, just this side of the grade school I grabbed it and turned on my heel to take it back home like a naughty run-away child.

Brrr! With the turn, I realized I was heading right into the wind which was finding every hole in my sweater. Dang! I'll have to remember to wear a shirt under this!

Well. There's my trash can again, on its back, taking a nap. First, the recycling bin went back to the side of the house, its contents long gone. Then back to pick up the trash can again.

It was another exercise in futility. Four more times I'd have to pick up the cart before the trash truck finally arrived. Then I could finally drag it back to its regular spot on the west side of the house. At least my trash didn't travel on the wind!

The morning was finished out with several phone calls setting up interviews through the rest of the week. There are a lot of nice people out there, people with interesting stories about everyday life. It's a joy to talk to them.

I checked the mailbox and had a catalog from Barnes and Nobel. Hmmm, I thought, this would be great to browse through over lunch.

Ahhhh, cold and windy... what could be better than SOUP today? Armed with the catalog and my coat, I drove to Panera Bread with hopes of sitting at a sunny table with a bread bowl filled with Chicken and Wild Rice soup. I got better than 80 percent of that -- no bread bowls left today, sorry. No, no baguettes either. We weren't expecting 400 people today. But yes, we do have a loaf of whole wheat we'd be glad to cut. Yummmm.

Most of the 400 had left by the time I got there, so it wasn't hard to get a sunny table near a family of four women and a girl. Obviously it was a three-generation group: 4-year-old girl, mommy, her sister, grandma and grandma's sister. I think the mommy and her sister were taking grandma and her sister to the airport but they stopped for a girls' lunch out first. It was fun to watch them poring over receipts from a recent shopping trip figuring out who bought what and how much money they saved with their discounts.

I thumbed through the bookstore catalog while I enjoyed every spoonful of soup, the sun wrapping around my shoulders like a cozy quilt. Hayden's "The Heavens Are Telling" (Sunday's anthem at church) played in my head. Ahhhh.

But now it's time to return to reality. On the drive home, I played dodgeball with all the neighbors' trash carts that had lined up in the center of the street. Man, I didn't realize they were nearly as big as my car!

Y'all keep warm, and have a bowl of soup. Baby, it's cold outside.

Monday, November 14, 2005


My littlest cousin (third generation) just had his first birthday. Here he is with his Daddy all dressed up for trick-or-treating. Isn't he adorable? (Well, they both are, aren't they? How could I be in the same gene pool?)

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Can it be true??

I was over at Frenzied Feline's blog earlier. Go see her, she's blue because no one has commented on her blog for a while. She's been so busy lately we want to make sure she sticks around!

She posted this "nerd test" and so I had to take it too, just for comparison's sake.

Here's my score. What's yours?

I am nerdier than 71% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I wrote letters today

Writing letters -- ARG! It's an art I enjoyed very much as a child and teen, even into college. But these days? Writing a letter by hand is an exercise in torture for me.

It's not that I want to ignore family and friends -- I don't. I want to keep posted and in return let people know what's going on here. The real issue, to be honest, is my penmanship. It is horrible.

Now in grade school I made good grades in penmanship; I know HOW to write, but for the past 25 years or so my hands, my muscles and nerves have betrayed me. My best efforts are often so poor that I can hardly decipher my own notes. It would be impossible for anyone else to read them.

When I write a letter, then, I have to think in terms of "drawing" the words rather than "writing" them. It's a different technique that I've had to learn to cope with what's called an "essential tremor." It's something that runs in my family, in the maternal line. My great uncle Harry had it; my uncle Jean has it; I have it. I think others probably have, too, to a lesser degree, but we three are most notable for having the shakes.

"Drawing" words makes it possible to form a readable text, but it is draining to work that hard. Where it might take me 25 minutes to draw a short letter, I can type the same thing in about two minutes or less. I am a very fast typist. But typed notes don't convey the same warmth, no matter what the words are. And in my family, at least, they aren't met with the same appreciation, no matter how much I ask for understanding.

So once in a blue moon I'll stock up on cards, find some photos to add to the envelope, and I'll draw out a general message such as "I hope you like these photos of my recent trip. I hope this message finds you all happy and well. Do you have plans for the holidays? Not sure what I'll be doing here yet." Then I'll scrawl my name, get everything in the envelope, and carefully, painstakingly print the addresses.

And then, if the momentum continues, I'll actually get to the post office to mail them. After all that work, I sometimes need a nap first.

So if you are one of those people expecting a hand-written note from me this holiday season, well, you may just have to settle for an e-card with a funny cartoon on it. Not sure I can do two mailings this year!

Oh, let me add a story about the day this first became a problem for me. I remember it very clearly. It was in 1980 when I was working as a social worker for Oklahoma County DHS, determining whether people were eligible for assistance payments (welfare and food stamps). This job is not noted for being the safest profession, nor do people stay in the job for long, in most cases.

I had a client who had applied for assistance and I was making the home visit to verify information. Well, she and a man were ... well, .... occupied... when I arrived. They came to the door pulling on clothes. I asked for IDs and the guy split out the patio door.

I sat down on the brand-new conversation pit (remember, this was 1980...) and noticed all the nice, new furnishings in the apartment. Something did NOT seem right. This woman obviously had more money than most of my clients.

Well, through my investigation I found out the woman was a student in a criminal justice program at a local university, and this welfare application was her class project. She was intentionally pulling a scam with her professor's full knowledge and consent.

As I was writing up my notes, I was becoming so enraged that my hand started shaking uncontrollably. Pretty soon I was forming one letter per page. Not good.

The application was denied, of course, but the hand tremor has stuck with me. At least one of us got something out of that encounter.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cuddlin' up in the pews

My church has had a teddy bear ministry for the past five months or so. Each month we get a new batch of stuffed animals which sit in our church services for a month. They “listen” to the songs and the prayers and the sermons, and then we donate them to the Highway Patrol to be given to children in distress to help provide them comfort. They have little tags on them telling them where they came from.

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It’s amazing to me that after all these months we all still enjoy having the bears with us in service. You’ll find little old ladies, big ol’ bubbas and little kids all cuddling them during church, trying to fill them up with lots of love.

I think it’s working. After church this morning I found this little band sitting behind in one of the pews singing together…

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Here's a bonus photo just because I think it's pretty neat. We have communion the first Sunday of each month and the kids in our congregation take part in it. Another tradition we have as we gather at the communion rail is that the next group waiting to take communion surrounds those at the rail, laying their hands on their shoulder to pray for them. These little kids really get into it, both giving and receiving.

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Oh, in case you are wondering why I would take photos during a church service, well, it was for a slide show I prepared for our annual chili cookoff tonight. Each year we welcome all the new members to the cookoff so they can be recognized and honored -- the slide show was a new idea to help them spot familiar faces and activities. The older members also liked it!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mountains, woods and waterfalls

We went to church Sunday morning and then set out on another adventure. This time we went off to see the Columbia River Gorge with its woods, waterfalls and vistas.

First stop is the Vista House at Crown Point State Park. Apparently it closed for the winter right after we were there.

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The Columbia River Highway was completed in 1916. That same year, construction started on the Vista House to encourage travelers to use the highway to enjoy the scenery. It also served as a comfort stop for travelers.

Some of the scenery from atop Crown Point, overlooking the Columbia River.

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Moving on to the east we come into the area of the waterfalls. This is one of the first of many -- Latourelle Falls. You walk down a path to the falls. This was our first glimpse:
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I thought that was pretty neat all by itself. And then I started admiring a hemlock tree. Suddenly I took one more step and past the tree I saw this:

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J.T. at the cataract of the falls:

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Me on a bridge crossing the stream flowing out of the cataract:

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Ah, but down the road a little further is THE waterfalls you must see in this area: The Multnomah Falls. The double waterfall falls 620 feet.

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After seeing Multnomah Falls, we traveled east another short distance to have lunch at Skamania Lodge. Wonderful view of the mountains from the dining room, and we happened to be there on the anniversary of the day Lewis and Clark arrived in their trek. I got two pencils honoring Smokey Bear and saw a historic interpreter demonstrate some of the tools L&C would have had with them. He singed the hotel tablecloth demonstrating how to start a fire with a flint. Hee hee.

Where the country ends and the ocean begins

My friend J.T. and I had a great weekend in the Portland/Vancouver area. Saturday morning our hosts drove us from their apartment in Vancouver to the Pacific Coast beach. We had gone to visit our high-school journalism teacher and her husband. At 81, our teacher was the first one to hit the beach. I want to be just like her.

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Walking along the beach in the rain with umbrellas -- teacher preferred not to have one because it slowed her down.
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This sign really got to me:
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Haystack Rock was at our first beach. It is huge and majestic and makes you realize just how small you are in the huge, huge world.
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A rainy-day stroll on the beach, next to the ocean that goes clear to the other side of the world.
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After lunch at a restaurant overlooking Haystack Rock, we moved to a different beach to try to get out from under the rain. We wound up at the location where Lewis and Clark first saw the ocean.
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One of the sentinals:
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I love the clouds coming off this point.
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It's so refreshing to see people and their animals enjoying the beach, playing hard together.
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Run, baby, run!
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Two Okies on the beach (that's me and J.T.)
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A crab shell nestled in the sand.
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All in a row...
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Come back soon -- there will be more photos coming. Hope you are enjoying the trip!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Oklahoma Aquarium

I'll start my travelogue at the end -- maybe not the most logical way to do it, but hey, it's my travelogue, right?

My friend J.T. and I ended our trip last night by returning from Portland to Tulsa. Instead of driving home to Oklahoma City, I opted to stay overnight in Tulsa and extended my vacation a few more hours by visiting the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks.

This is a primo place to visit and I can highly recommend it to anyone who has the chance to visit. For more nuts-and-bolts information on the aquarium, check out the web site at Oklahoma Aquarium

One of the highlights of my visit today was having the opportunity to pet stingrays and sharks in a touch tank. The touch tank is only offered for a half hour at a time; I just happened to arrive as the time started.

So, until you can make your own visit, I hope you enjoy some of my photos. Everything you see here is real and living:

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This last one is a jellyfish swimming under black light. Cool, eh?