Saturday, April 29, 2006

Another meme

Since offerings on the blogs has been a little sparse lately, and lists and memes are easy, here's a meme for all of you out there. Copy and paste it in the comments here,then add it to your own blog.

Place an X by all the things you've done. This is for your entire life:
( ) Smoked a cigarette
(x) Drank so much you threw up
( ) Crashed a friend's car
( ) Stolen a car
(x) Been in love
(x) Been dumped
( ) Shoplifted
( ) Been laid off/fired
(x) Quit your job
(x) Been in a fist fight
( ) Snuck out of your parent's house
(x) Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
( ) Been arrested
(x) Gone on a blind date
( ) Lied to a friend
( ) Skipped school
(x) Seen someone die
(x) Been to Canada
( ) Been to Mexico
(x) Been on a plane
( ) Been lost
(x) Been on the opposite side of the country. (i live in nebraska, an yes, i've been to both sides)
(x) Swam in the ocean
(x)Felt like dying
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Played cops and robbers
(x) Recently colored
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(x) Made prank phone calls
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(x) Danced in the rain
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(x) Watched the sun rise with someone you care about
(x) Blown bubbles
(x) Made a bonfire on the beach
( ) Crashed a party
(x) Gone roller-skating
(x) Ice-skating

Monday, April 24, 2006

It's tornado season

What an amazing age we live in! I was just able to watch a tornado form at El Reno and then follow it as it wiped out a couple of hangars at the municipal airport. There seemed to be a couple of other tornadoes form and die out in the same area. Now they are reporting the formation of another in that area and another forming up near Stillwater, a university town in the north central area of the state.

Lots of softball-size hail, which I suspect will cause more damage than the tornadoes. So far, (crossing fingers) these are smallish tornadoes. You'll forgive us if we remain a little gunshy since 1999. Lots of lightning showing now underneath those heavy clouds.

The current line of tornadoes that started over by El Reno are expected to be in my neighborhood in about 40 minutes, but the system is moving very slowly. Lots of ragged clouds. If these hold together long enough to get here, there could be more dollar damage. The area currently affected has always been open land, but there are a lot of new housing developments going in that vicinity (homes in the $250,000 to $350,000 and up range.)

The hair on my arms is already standing up. I don't expect to be hit, but I'm taking my precautions -- shutting down the electronics and keeping a watchful eye on the TV as I watch it come down the major interstate nearest me. The camera is at the ready. Thunder just started rolling over me. Sinuses closing up from pressure changes.

Ah, Oklahoma! Y'all stay safe, y'hear?

P.S., I am SO happy I did not make a business trip today. I would be driving blind back through this stuff right about now had I gone.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

It's been such an exciting weekend

Here's what I did this weekend. Most of this was done Saturday, and I slept a LOT on Sunday. I even missed church this week because I woke up after 11 a.m. Slept right through the Sunday morning radio programming on my alarm.

1. Unloaded dishwasher
2. Ate lunch
3. Reloaded dishwasher
4. Cleaned off living room sofa
5. Hung up clothes
6. Picked up music off floor
7. Put newspapers in sack and took to car to recycle at church
8. Washing white crepe fabric (again)
9. Cleared out plaid club chair
a. Hung up coats
b. Re-sacked yarn stash
c. Put mail on tray on writing desk
10. Cleaned off coffee table and dusted it.
11. Cleaned off leather chair
a. Folded towels
b. Hung up winter sweaters
c. Folded and put away underwear
d. Got clean sheets and quilt ready to put on bed
12. Lit candle in living room.
13. Stripped bed and remade. Yay!
14. Handwashed some dishes, including stoneware.
15. Moved furniture out and vacuumed
16. Washed inside of picture window
17. Cleaned window sill.

18. Laundry

As part of these tasks I did some of the winter/summer closet flip-flop. Oh, and I did actually take a shower when I woke up today. That was the most strenuous activity of my day.

Isn't it sad that I don't have something better to put on my list than "folded and put away underwear?" And nothing better to do tonight than to tell you about it? Ah, well. If your life was better, you probably wouldn't be reading my blog, right?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

100 Things About Me

1. I have lived in Oklahoma all my life.
2. I spent two months in New York in 1984 on a fellowship at United Features Syndicate.
3. While I was in New York, I serialized a book written by Shari Lewis.
4. I also wrote a section of the 1985 World Almanac.
5. I was able to leave my hometown because I got scholarships to go to the University of Oklahoma.
6. I was raised by atheists. Well, my dad was an atheist. My mom went along with it even though she had belonged to the Christian Church.
7. My brother was mentally retarded and physically handicapped because of cerebral palsy.
8. In 6th grade I beat the daylights out of a much larger girl who made a horrible remark about my brother.
9. I spent many hours as a child sitting in a cedar tree reading a book.
10. I made good grades in school.
11. All of my college tuition was paid through scholarships.
12. I have been held hostage while I worked for the Department of Human Services.
13. When I worked for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, I had to take photographs in a 5-mile area around the Gore, OK, Kerr-McGee facility after a release of uranium hexafluoride.
14. After taking the photographs, the radiation detector sounded when I was scanned. It was operator error, but I nearly fainted.
15. I have no surviving family members from my nuclear family (haha – family of origin, I mean.)
16. I became a Christian when I was 17.
17. I belong to a United Methodist church.
18. I love to travel.
19. I have walked alone at night in Switzerland.
20. I have walked through the financial district of New York alone on a Sunday.
21. I spent two weeks in Washington, D.C. in 1985.
22. My father called me fat when I was in high school. I weighed 118 pounds.
23. I have had a weight problem since I graduated from college.
24. I got a sewing machine for Christmas when I was 12.
25. I made all of my own clothes from the time I was 12 until I was in my 20s.
26. I made all of my mother’s clothes during that time period.
27. I learned to drive a stick shift as soon as I got my driver’s license.
28. The first time my father rode in the car with me, I rolled backwards on a hill into a Cadillac.
29. I got my first piano when I was 4 – a player piano.
30. My piano lessons started when I was 10, until I was 17.
31. I took lessons again as an adult.
32. I love photography.
33. I have revived my interest in knitting.
34. I have high blood pressure.
35. I have worked as a nanny.
36. I earn less than the 2006 HHS Poverty Guidelines and Poverty Thresholds.
37. I like power tools.
38. Volunteer work is very important to me.
39. I wanted to be a mom.
40. I love magazines.
41. I drive a 1995 Honda Civic EX with 138,000 miles.
42. I bought my house in 1996.
43. I paid for my house in five years.
44. I have a baby grand piano.
45. I own two banjos.
46. I have a guitar.
47. I have a mountain dulcimer.
48. I have a psaltery.
49. I have a harmonica.
50. I took a class in stained glass.
51. I took three years of French in high school and 18 hours in college.
52. I cannot speak French.
53. I love my kitchen.
54. I hate to mow the yard.
55. I love gardens.
56. I was married for three years.
57. I got a wedding present from Doc Severinsen.
58. I played the piano in a Big Band for a few years.
59. I play handbells.
60. I often dream of moving to the Pacific Northwest.
61. I love to cook for friends.
62. I have high cholesterol.
63. I cannot swim.
64. I have been injured when thrown from catamarans several times and feared dying in the lake.
65. I lived with a boyfriend for six years.
66. I bought my first house when I was 25.
67. I doubt that I will ever be married again.
68. I love to grow roses.
69. I believe we are all artists.
70. I wanted to be a dietician when I was in grade school and junior high.
71. I did very well in science and math classes.
72. I spent the last two months of my mother’s life with her. It was life-changing.
73. I believe we are co-creators of our lives with God.
74. I have an amazing mind for trivia.
75. I used to write trivia quizzes for United Features Syndicate after my fellowship.
76. I hate roller coasters.
77. I love long walks.
78. I hate cigarettes and what they do to people.
79. I had a poodle for 15 years which I loved dearly.
80. I love to watch Dr. Phil.
81. I hate debt, especially credit card debt.
82. I have never held a gun.
83. I enjoy high-quality knives.
84. I have many sets of dishes.
85. I dream of living in the country.
86. I would love to have a barn.
87. I dream of owning a bed and breakfast inn.
88. I taught myself to knit when I was 10.
89. I have had eight friends and relatives killed by drunken drivers.
90. My family was very poor when I was growing up.
91. I have always felt depressed since I was in junior high.
92. I drink a lot of Diet Coke.
93. I don’t particularly like French fries.
94. I don’t care for fashion. I’m perfectly happy in blue jeans.
95. I love to watch PBS British comedies on Sunday night.
96. I like to make local road trips to shoot photo essays.
97. I like exploring new blogs.
98. I wish I was better at cleaning my house.
99. I hate mice in my house.
100. I have always had insomnia.

9:01 a.m.

9:01 a.m. April 19.

Wednesday morning, just after Easter.

The weather has cooled today after some warm spring days.

It's "Patriots' Day," although the holiday, observed in some New England states, is now a Monday holiday. It marks the anniversary of Paul Revere's famous ride.

It's a beautiful, clear, sunny morning. It's one of those days that works on the human flesh to create that seasonal sense of hope -- all is right with the world.

Flowers bloom -- winter is really gone; no more teasing us. The earth is renewed. Tree leaves are budding, getting ready for their summer gig of providing shade for the city.

Children are energized, eager to start the day of playing. In a few seconds, a day care class will line up to walk to the library a block away. Moms and Dads are still bringing some of their classmates to join them. Smiles. Laughs. Giggles. Hugs.

That morning, so much like this morning, was 11 years ago.

And then.

9:02 a.m.

The world changes forever.

We will never forget.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

Just a quick post today because I have much to do in a short time.

First, it's a beautiful day here, perfect weather. The sun is shining, the temperature is in the 70s, there's hardly a breath of wind for a change. I think this is the kind of day mail carriers pray for!

Today is Good Friday, the observation of Christ's crucifixion. Tonight will be the Stations of the Cross service at my church. Last night was the Maundy Thursday communion service. These two services are among the most important in the Christian faith, at least in my perspective (and countless others). Without this, without Christ's death, there would be no Easter. There would be no faith.

On a more worldly note, it is a very good Friday because the Vietnam Veterans just did a donation pickup. I just happened to be stepping out my front door as their truck arrived, so guess what....

(giving you guessing time....)


Yes, because of the timing, I was able to raise the garage door and ask them to take this hulking huge machine from me. They had a dolly and their big truck had a ramp so they didn't have to do the heavy lifting that has thwarted other efforts to get this behemoth outta here.

I had been unable to contact the Latter-day Saints as Frenzied recommended some long time back. Every time I tried to call I got no answer. I tried again just a few days ago after a conversation here.

But it is taken care of now. Maybe tomorrow I can clean out my garage and reorganize some of the rest of the mess in there. Oh how I look forward to it! This will be my personal version of an Easter egg hunt! Anyone want to join me? Anyone? Hello? Hey, where did everybody go????

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Prayer shawl No. 3 completed

I finished my latest prayer shawl project this evening just in time to take it with me to church. On Tuesday nights I help lead a divorce recovery workshop, so it's easy to take a finished project to deliver it.

Here's No. 3 -- which I hope will go to an infant or young child at some point, because of the colors used. Forgive the clutter in the background -- this was a quick photo taken in my office just so I would have a photo record of the prayer shawl. All the fringe is there. I just didn't realize that one section was folded under. If I hadn't been trying to get out the door I would have paid closer attention to these little details.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

From the weekend

It has been a busy weekend. Here are a few photos to summarize:

On Saturday was the memorial service for my dear friend Jeanne. It was a great service. The choir sang "On Eagle's Wings" and this was how the altar was presented in her memory.
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Today was Palm Sunday. The children waved palms as the choir sang, accompanied by the handbell choir, a drummer and piano. I was playing in the handbells and managed to snap this photo of the kids during six measures of rest. I don't recommend the technique. Plus I got way too much of our music in the photos!
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Here's the handbell choir in our annual photo. (Advantage of being the photographer: I'm not in the photo!)
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I've mentioned the prayer shawl ministry before. Here's my second shawl at the end of the service as members of the congregation tie knots in the fringe as they pray for the person receiving the shawl. I had failed to photograph this shawl before taking it to the church so that's why I wanted to catch it today.
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After church, there was a luncheon hosted by the youth. They were giving a presentation about their spring break mission trip to New Orleans where they helped work on homes and a church which will serve as a gathering center for future mission trip teams. The presentation was overwhelming. These kids will have stories to share for the rest of their lives.
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All in all, a wonderful, weepy weekend. Emotions have been stretched in all directions.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, JT!

Happy birthday, JT!
Now you're as old as me.
Fifty wasn't bad
But 51's just sad.
Happy birthday to you...
Next up? 52!

And many mooooooore!

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Blogging Bear Without Peer

I've been recommending some of my favorite blogs recently, and there's one you just can't miss. Head over to Junior the Bear's blog at Xanga.

This isn't just some cotton-headed kids' toy talking. Junior has a wisdom that comes only with time. And travel. And I promise, you don't want to miss his travelogues. He's got a lot of pictures of the places he has visited -- some amazing trips! The giant troll is one of my favorites.

While you're there, make sure you leave a comment. He's being heckled by his "friend" -- Fatman. Fatman has taken to taunting Junior in an ugly, ugly way since I'm practically the only visitor who regularly leaves a note.

I know you'll find Junior's blog charming, educational and entertaining. Give it a try and make your day better!

The next few days

Since it's been a fairly quiet week, I'll let you all know what's on my calendar.

Tonight -- singles game night at the church. Snacks and an assortment of games to choose from. Two months ago was our first game night -- a huge success!

Saturday -- Jeanne's memorial service. The choir has been asked to sing "On Eagle's Wings" so I won't be wearing a hat. I will be taking a box of tissues. I'm sad enough to start with, but "Eagle's Wings" is difficult for me to sing without boo-hooing because my good friend Anne sang it for me at the scattering of the ashes for my mom and brother a few years ago. When I think of anyone who has had years of difficulties on this earth with their physical bodies, I think of them soaring once they are free of these bodies.

Sunday -- Palm Sunday! My handbell choir will be playing while the choir sings and the children process in the sanctuary waving palm branches. We'll even have drums as part of the mix! Also I'll be singing "Hosanna!" as part of a women's ensemble group.

Wednesday -- Final choir rehearsal for our Good Friday service. It will be at least a two-hour rehearsal.

Thursday -- Maundy Thursday communion service. This is a Taize style service in which the congregation shares leadership. There is an order of service which includes prayers and readings. Whoever is lead to reads as the spirit moves. The music consists of repetitive prayer songs, much like monastic chants. I find Taize services very, very moving. Communion will be served by intinction.

Friday -- Good Friday. Also called a Tenebrae service (Service of Shadows) or Stations of the Cross. This is a service led by the choir and minister. After each segment of the service, one of the candles is extinguished and/or a set of lights is turned off, until, finally, the congregation is seated in darkness as a strepitus (loud sound) signals the closing of the tomb of Christ. The congregation leaves in silence and darkness.

Sunday-- Easter Sunday! Christ is Risen! Three services at which the choir sings.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


It is with some sadness that I must report that I had a very disappointing lunch. Now, you have to realize that here in Oklahoma City good barbecue is widely available. In fact, in all my years I've never had anything I could remotely call "bad" barbecue.

Until today.

Lately, I have had a major craving for chopped beef sandwiches at lunchtime. Late last week I had one at a neighborhood BBQ place that was everything I've come to expect.

Today, however, when the craving struck again I decided to drive down to the Rib Crib and go through the drive-thru. I don't know why -- it's a false sense that I'll get my food faster and be able to drive directly home with it. Well, yeah, not so much after all.

It truly is a myth -- drive-thru service is NOT fast. You might as well turn the car off until they get good and ready to hand over the food.

But worse today was the dismal quality of the food. I was SO disappointed! I ordered my beloved chopped beef sammich. When I got home with it (less than a 5-minute drive) the first thing I noticed was how greasy the outside of the foil wrapper was. Then there was a piece of PLASTIC WRAP inside one flap of the foil wrapper. Clearly, this was a serious mistake on someone's part, but since it was not IN the food, I discarded it.

Then, finally, I got to the sandwich. Yuck. The bun was so soaked with grease that it was falling apart to the touch. I'm telling you, if I had pinched it, it would have squeezed grease out of it.
I tried to lift the top bun to put sauce on the meat. More yuck. The beef was shredded, dried out and obviously was not today's batch. I'd be generous if I guessed it was from yesterday's leftovers. The grease-filled bun was so heavy it separated into pieces as I tried to pick it up.

Well, the best I can say is they've done me a favor. I won't feel drawn to drive out of my way to park at the drive-thru window any more.

Life is too short to settle for bad Q.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Laid-back day

Happy birthday to me!

Yep, today's the day I flip the calendar over to another year. I am 51. Ye gods!

Who ever says anything nice about 51, I've asked my friends. Oprah's the champion of turning 50 (and she's just a smidge older than I am.) I didn't hear a peep out of her when she hit 51.

Where's the cake? Where are the fireworks?


I did go to Cold Stone Creamery and got a small cup of "Birthday Cake Remix." Whee. I couldn't eat it all. I've managed to wean myself off of most sweets, to the point that I just lost interest about halfway through.

I tried to go shopping at the mall. I had visions of treating myself to something "pretty."

Well, I got there. Dillard's was having some honkin' big shoe sale thing. It took a while to get through the throng. I finally made it to the area that should have had dresses. Yeah, well. Let's just say I'm not a satisfied customer. All the "petite" length dresses dragged the ground. It's not easy being green. It's also not easy being short, heavy and 51 and wanting to buy a dress.

I might try it again during the day in the middle of the week. I've got a little unspoken-for time coming up.

Even if I don't find something, that will be OK. I forgot I also have to pay for my car tag this month. The state sent me a friendly reminder this morning. With that and income taxes, it will be a lean month. Maybe I should think about just making myself a dress for Easter. It would be so much easier than shopping.

I did try on hats this evening, in honor of Jeanne. They were on sale, even. I found one that almost worked, but it was just enough too big to be wrong. But I'll keep my eyes open for other options when I'm out and about.

Well, I think I'll go set the clocks ahead and go to bed. The only thing worse than turning 51 is doing it on the day before Daylight-Saving Time starts.

Don't forget to set your own clocks ahead! You don't want to be late tomorrow!

. . . And many moooooooore!