Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do I have a life? Let's see...I guess I do! Only 17!

SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen more than 85 of these films, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list. Then, put x's next to the films you've seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom. Have fun. I got tagged by Frenzied Feline.

(X) Rocky Horror Picture Show
() Grease
() Pirates of the Caribbean
() Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
() Boondock Saints
() Fight Club
() Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(X)Blazing Saddles
(X) Airplane
Total: 4

() The Princess Bride
() Anchorman
() Napoleon Dynamite
() Labyrinth
() Saw
() Saw II
() White Noise
() White Oleander
() Anger Management
() 50 First Dates
() The Princess Diaries
() The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 4

() Scream
() Scream 2
() Scream 3
() Scary Movie
() Scary Movie 2
() Scary Movie 3
() Scary Movie 4
() American Pie
() American Pie 2
() American Wedding
() American Pie Band Camp
Total so far:4

() Harry Potter 1
() Harry Potter 2
() Harry Potter 3
() Harry Potter 4
() Resident Evil 1
() Resident Evil 2
(X) The Wedding Singer
() Little Black Book
() The Village
() Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 5

() Finding Nemo
() Finding Neverland
() Signs
() The Grinch
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
() White Chicks
() Butterfly Effect
() 13 Going on 30
() I, Robot
() Robots
Total so far: 5

() Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
() Universal Soldier
(X) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
() Along Came Polly
() Deep Impact
() KingPin
() Never Been Kissed
() Meet The Parents
() Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
() Joe Dirt
Total so far: 6

() A Cinderella Story
() The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
() Dumb & Dumber
() Dumber & Dumberer
() Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
() Final Destination 3
() Halloween
() The Ring
() The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
() Flubber
Total so far: 6

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
() Practical Magic
() Chicago
() Ghost Ship
() From Hell
() Hellboy
() Secret Window
() I Am Sam
() The Whole Nine Yards
() The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 6

() The Day After Tomorrow
() Child's Play
() Seed of Chucky
() Bride of Chucky
() Ten Things I Hate About You
() Just Married
() Gothika
() Nightmare on Elm Street
() Sixteen Candles
() Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
() The Grudge
() The Grudge 2
() The Mask
() Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 6

() Bad Boys
() Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
() Lucky Number Slevin
() Ocean's Eleven
() Ocean's Twelve
() Bourne Identity
() Bourne Supremecy
() Lone Star
() Bedazzled
() Predator I
() Predator II
() The Fog
() Ice Age
() Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
() Curious George
Total so far: 6

() Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
() Darkness Falls
() Christine
(x) ET
() Children of the Corn
() My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
() War of the Worlds
() Rush Hour
() Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 8

() Best Bet
() How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
() She's All That
(X) Calendar Girls
() Sideways
() Mars Attacks
() Event Horizon
() Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
() Forrest Gump
() Big Trouble in Little China
() The Terminator
() The Terminator 2
() The Terminator 3
Total so far: 10

() X-Men
() X-2
() X-3
() Spider-Man
() Spider-Man 2
() Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
() Catch Me If You Can
() The Little Mermaid
() Freaky Friday
() Reign of Fire
() The Skulls
() Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
() Shrek
() Shrek 2
Total so far: 10

() Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
() Old School
() The Notebook
() K-Pax
() Krippendorf's Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
() Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
() The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 10

() Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
() Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
() Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(X) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
() Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 12

() Baseketball
() Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
() Highlander
() Mothman Prophecies
() American History X
() Three
Total so Far: 13

(x) Titanic
(X) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
() Shaun Of the Dead
() Willard
Total so far: 15

() High Tension
() Club Dread
() Hulk
() Dawn Of the Dead
() Hook
(X) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
() 28 days later
() Orgazmo
() Phantasm
() Waterworld
Total so far: 16

() Kill Bill vol 1
() Kill Bill vol 2
() Mortal Kombat
() Wolf Creek
() Kingdom of Heaven
() the Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
() The Last House on the Left
() Re-Animator
() Army of Darkness
Total so far: 16

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
() Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
() Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
() Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
() Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
() Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
() Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
() Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 17

() The Matrix
() The Matrix Reloaded
() The Matrix Revolutions
() Animatrix
() Evil Dead
() Evil Dead 2
() Team America: World Police
() Red Dragon
() Silence of the Lambs
() Hannibal

Grand Total: 17

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Day After Christmas!

Hello my friends! I've been away from blogging for a bit, as I'm sure you noticed. Part of that is due to cutting back on a LOT of things and working on rebalancing my life.

And, part of it is a result of the rebalancing -- I've rediscovered my love of sewing and I've been taking advantage of little parcels of time to really go for it! In the past bit I have made a fleece coat with a hood and collar (given to a co-worker's mother); made a fleece swing jacket for myself; started another jacket for me; made two skirts (yes, for ME); made six zipper pouches from elegant fabrics to give the women in my office for Christmas. And today I shipped off a package to an online friend who recently had surgery -- three flannel nighties that I made for her and her two daughters. That one is a surprise -- I hope she gets the box by New Year's so they can have a mommy-daughter slumber party!

I also am in the middle of a nice jacket that will match a dress that's in the lineup, in a gorgeous midnight blue. I had hoped to wear it to the company Christmas party, but I wound up taking election results that night while everyone else was at the party. It was my job to text the results to the boss as they came in.

Great news medically -- a cardiologist re-read my echocardiogram and found no enlargements of the chambers and no valve problems. I don't know why the other doctor said their was tricuspid valve regurgitation, but hey, I'll take good news. Also, the MRI just showed some sinus inflammation. A trip to the ENT should help get that cleared up.

I'm not complaining too much about the orders to reduce my work load. I miss the money from the overtime, but I also love having more time for my other interests. What I do object to is being made to feel like an invalid on death's doorstep while I was waiting for concrete answers. That actually ticks me off. As soon as I heard I was fine, I FELT FINE!! Goes to show you the power of suggestion, I guess! Eh, maybe there was more to it than that, but at least for now I feel just great.

As soon as I know my friend has received her parcel, I'll post some sewing photos. Hey, part of this is my way of dealing with the current economic crisis we all are facing. Part of this is finally having some clothes that are made to fit ME.

And.. as I've said before ... it's all about me, right? (LOL!)

And lest anyone take that too seriously, I've made a pledge to myself that at least every third item I make has to be for someone else.

I hope you all had a great Christmas. I attended the late Christmas eve service at my church. It was just right. I spent yesterday alone here at home just chilling. And today was nice -- just a half-day of work. I'm off this weekend, so I'm counting on more ... SEWING TIME!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What a week -- so far!

Yesterday was a busy day, which made today a big news day for me!

First of all, the city commissioners named a new city manager last night. Big story No. 1.

Second, they set the date for a municipal election to elect two new members of the Board of Commissioners. Two commissioners whose terms expire in April 2009 have announced they will not seek re-election. This has the potential of severely shifting the balance of the board. Already a previous commissioner has announced he will seek one of the positions. This is a good thing -- he is experienced and brings a very cool, level head and calming spirit to the position. I don't know yet who else will seek one of these offices.

Third, the school board met last night and voted to extend last year's teachers' contract to end an impasse between the school district and the Association of Classroom Teachers which has been ongoing since negotiations bogged in September. The two sides have tried to negotiate a settlement but they were unable to, even after a three-member fact-finding commission held a hearing and made recommendations. So it is done, over, finished for this year and the board and teachers will find themselves right back at work on a contract for next school year.

And today we have a city election on extending a half-cent sales tax for another five years to cover cost overruns on a project to build the city's Aquatic and Family Center -- YMCA. The original sales tax was passed overwhelmingly when the projected cost of the center was $16 million. When bids were opened in July this year, however, bids came in at $23 million, $24 million and $26 million.

City commissioners and the board of the YMCA hired a construction manager at-risk to do value engineering on the project and then the commission called for a special election which would extend the sales tax for an additional five years, expiring either at the end of the five years or when the tax has raised enough money to cover construction costs.

Today we are having a winter snow storm (it is becoming severe even as I type!) The weather definitely will play a roll in this vote. Emotions are high on both sides of this issue.

One salient point is that ConocoPhillips recently announced that it will be pulling an additional 700+ jobs from here, which puts the issue at risk of not passing, certainly moreso than when the election was set. Talk about bad timing -- the crash of the economy coupled with this pull-out, coupled with rising construction costs...

I have come home to work this afternoon in order to get myself off of the snow-laden streets. I am in to stay. I've arranged to call the election board through the evening for updates.

Tonight is also the company Christmas dinner, which I had planned to attend. Instead, I'll be working on some school issues and relaying election information via text messages to another worker at the party, who will post via laptop to the company web site (and also keep the boss informed of the results.)

This accomplishes much. It gets me home earlier this afternoon; keeps us current on the election count without having to drive in this weather to the county election board in the county seat 21 miles away, and keeps me from having to dress up for a company party at the country club.

I don't care so much how the election goes -- the people will speak. But I count ALL of that as a win for ME! (And we all know it's all about me, right?)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A few days off

After working virtually every day since June 4, 2007, I now have some vacation time to use before the end of the year. Twenty-two hours, to be exact. Yep, not even THREE DAYS. However, I'm going to blow the budget and add two unpaid hours to that (or make up those two hours with some extra time next week -- whatever squares).

No great plans for travel, obviously. So I'm "hiring" myself out to me to get some things done around my house. I might be able to make a small dent.

Now, right to my health update for today. I went to my doctor yesterday. The results of the MRI are not back yet; however, I do have some preliminary info from the carotid artery dopplers and the echocardiogram. There is some plaque in the carotid arteries, but not enough to consider surgery. It's just a huge warning sign.

The more serious issue is what they found on the echocardiogram. It seems I have a tricuspid valve problem -- regurgitation. The valve is "floppy" and is allowing blood go flow backwards. Not enough that it can be heard by stethescope. And the physician's assistant wants a cardiologist to read the test results. A different doctor read the results and it wasn't who she asked for specifically. So.... we'll see if there's more information to come on that.

Apparently they are really backed up on MRI results so it may be another few days before they get those.

Now, the reason the tricuspid valve problem worries me so much is because I was a longterm user of the diet drugs Phen-Fen during the 1990s. I was probably on the combination for two years. They consider four months "long-term" use. And just recently there has been even more news about former users having valve damage more than 10 years later. I think I may be one of those people. And that is scary.

There's more to come in the way of big changes, but I'll wait to post until I can firm up some things. Big dreams may be on their way to becoming either fulfilled or dashed hopelessly forever. Whichever way it goes, I've got to do something big while I have some chance at it. Cryptic I know but there's nothing concrete to report, just dreams and hopes and plans at this point. And since I have a rather long history of dreams being dashed and plans being thwarted, I'll just keep some of this quiet for now, to protect my emotions.

Off I go to report for duty for the day. I think I'll crank up some high-energy music to get me going!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Technology bites sometimes

Last night I was reading one of my favorite message boards when someone posted about Black Jewel popcorn. I've never heard of it, but the mention sparked a fierce craving for popcorn, so off I toddled to the kitchen for one of my evil treats, a mini-bag of Pop Secret (it's called that because it's supposed to be a secret from my doctor. Don't tell.)

Anyway, I got the spark I wanted plus some to the 10th degree. Halfway through the designated nuking time, my little cheap microwave belched a terrible sound and emitted a flash of electricity or nuclear power from the chamber. I didn't know whether to approach it and try to shut off the dial or to run for the hills. I tried desperately to remember what people did in that movie, "The Day After." You know the one -- the 1983 movie where the nuclear bomb explodes in Lawrence, Kansas, and the last thing people saw was the image of their own skeleton as they went to heaven in a hurry? Quite a step up from the Kansas-Missouri war with Quantrill's Raiders.

Anyway, I digress. The daggone microwave went and blowed itself up. And it scared me. I haven't heard a sound like that before and sure haven't seen a nuclear meltdown in my kitchen before. But I ate that popcorn, and it was the best I ever had, even if I glowed on about it all night.

However, I paid the piper this morning -- the coldest morning so far this year -- when I decided to dress up and wear a skirt and blouse to work. And then the car wouldn't start. Not a single crank left in the cranky thing. I was supposed to go cover a county commissioner's meeting this morning, but it was too late to make the drive to the county seat once I had a co-worker come pick me up and drive me to the office.

The good news is I got some work done, then contacted the handy-dandy Goodyear car repair store a couple of blocks from my office. I made arrangements to have them drive me over to my car to try to jump the battery enough to drive it to their store to get a new battery, and an oil change while I was at it. (O Lord, for your tender mercies on my car, I do humbly give thanks. It has been xxxsometimexxx since my last oil change.)

I had inquired about the cost of the services before making these arrangements. Dude-O says $79.99 for a two-year battery. Fine. $29.99 for an oil change. OK, fine. It's cold. I'm in need. I'm also poor, and I figure $100 spent today will save me more than $100 in cab fare this week.

Off we go to my house. Dude-O says "why don't you give it a crank so I can hear what it's doing." OK. I expect the same dead nuthin' I got this morning. Oh no! The girl has ONE. LAST. CRANK. LEFT.

I wipe the egg off my face and we drive back to the store. I left the car and went on my way to cover a city commission meeting. And then I piddled with some other work, including a front-page story for tomorrow and stuff. I call over to the Goodyear store about 4:40 -- inquire about my darlin' car. "Oh, he's just about to start that and should be done by 5." Er, OK. cutting it close, ain'tcha? Cold beggars, however, cannot be picky. So I walk, in my ridiculous short skirt, to the Goodyear store, freezing more with each step in the darkening afternoon. No, it's not done at 5. It's not done at 5:15. Finally, it is complete at 5:35.

Meanwhile, Dude-O has given me a figure for the work.

"$198.98," he says with great satisfaction.

I did not faint on the showroom floor, because it would be unladylike to fall down in that dang short skirt. I didn't want to lose all of my dignity, or all of my money, for that matter.

I called him on it and asked how a $79.99 battery and a $29.99 oil change came up to near on 200 bucks.

Oh, well, you see, there's the $41.95 installation fee for the battery, and the $44.95 electrical system check we ran....

Not once in the 36 years that I have been driving have I ever, ever paid a fee to install a battery in any car I've owned, not even the one in 1972 that exploded when I started the Datsun station wagon in our front yard, causing both of my parents to run from the house fearing they would find pieces of my mangled body scattered across the block. Fortunately for me, that did not happen. I just wet my pants and sat staring blankly into space from the front seat until my dad dragged me out of the car to make sure I still had my lower limbs. I was fine once I changed clothes; they were fine when they reached the guy at the Datsun dealership who drove over and put a whole brand-new battery in the car for free, "cuz it shouldn'ta oughta done that."

So, here I sit, with a pile of bills I can't pay, but by George I can start that old car again. Of course, there are those other things that need attention, like, I supposedly need new wiper blades (how many times a year do garages think we need to replace those?) Oh, and the air filter needs to be changed next oil change. Oh. One other thing. That front left tie rod needs to be replaced and you need an alignment.

OK. Thanks. I'll start getting estimates for that -- at other places. I'm afraid you might charge me a fee to replace the air in my tires next time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I've been memed!

I've been memed by that big osu fan, Erudite Redneck! And I'm tagging Tech, Drlobojo, Junior The Bear, and anyone else who wants to play, too!

1. Five names you go by:
a) My real name
b) Trixie
c) Zerelda
d) Mini-me
e) "Crash"

2. Three things you are wearing right now:
a) A white sweatshirt
b) Blue sweat pants
c) Red -n- white checked tennis shoes.

3. Two things you want very badly at the moment:
a) A Diet Coke
b) To get out of this here town to a better place.

4. Three people who will probably fill this out:
I hope Tech, maybe Drlobojo, and I would love it if my friend Junior The Bear did.

5. Two things you did last night:
a)Went through a box sorting out various connectors, wires, antennae, transformers and phone cords.
b)Cut out a jacket I'm working on today between other things.

6. Two things you ate today:
a) Dressing.
b) Turkey and noodles

7. Two people you last talked to on the phone:
a) Co-Worker Sharon.
b) Friend Dee.

8. Two things you are going to do tomorrow:
a) County Commissioners meeting in the morning
b) City Commissioners meeting in the afternoon. Then I'll be out of commission. (ers)

9. Two longest car rides:
a) From my hometown 21 miles from Oklahoma's north central border to Vancouver, British Columbia, then east through Canada land, down through North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri (detour to relatives), Kansas and home.
b) Hometown to Seattle, Wash., to Vancouver, B.C., back through Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Texas Panhandle and home. We took BIG driving vacations every year when I was a kid.

10. Two of your favorite beverages:
a) Diet Coke
b) On rare occasions, a Sonic chocolate/cherry Diet Coke.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Late Sunday evening

Hi there, I figure it's time for me to check in again. It's been a week of limbo. I had the echocardiogram and the carotid artery doppler exams last Tuesday and the MRI will be done in the morning. The doctor added Plavix to my mix of meds -- the WD-40 of red blood cells to keep things from clumping together and forming a blood clot. I can feel a difference -- don't know that I should, necessarily, but I do. My blood pressure is down CONSIDERABLY. It was 130/70 today which is a great improvement from the 220/117 less than a week ago.

I don't mean for this to become an organ recital. I am truly looking for the best news out of this situation. Good bits of news: I am cutting back on my working hours. I didn't work on Saturday and the orders are not to work more than 40 hours a week any more. I've gotten tons of cards from friends and people who are concerned about me, which is nice (and surprising. I really didn't expect that). Also tons of phone calls.

Funny story about the phone calls -- I'm supposed to be trying to rest, so I missed answering a few this afternoon. I've also been doing some sewing this weekend and at one point had taken off my jeans to try on a skirt I was working on. It fell off me, so as I was trying to pin some deeper darts in the waistband, my cell phone rang. I went to grab it, sans pants, and for the next FOUR HOURS I was on the phone constantly. I was getting COLD!

And people were fussing at me. "Well, I hadn't heard from you so I thought I'd check to see if you were dead." "I sent you a card, but I didn't hear anything so I didn't know if you got it."

People, I love you, but please. If your goal is to make me feel better, please don't fuss at me right now. It's not helping.

I hope you all are planning great Thanksgiving feasts. I have an invite to join friends for lunch. I miss making a big meal but there are definite pluses to being a guest. Whichever you are this year, count your blessings!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two down, one to go

I don't know what I was thinking, but I mixed up the order of the tests I'm taking. Today I had the echocardiogram and the carotid artery dopplers, since they are both ultrasound tests. We did them at the same time on the same table -- just moved the goo around from the chest to the neck. Easy peasy tests. Now what they show? I don't know. I just know they are expensive and the hospital asked if I wanted to pay my couple a' thousand today to get the 20 percent discount. Der, um, NO. They ought to give that discount to those of us who CAN'T pay thousands at the drop of a hat!

The MRI will be next Monday.

Meanwhile, I'll spend the bulk of today at home.

It has not been a good day for my co-workers. One co-worker, whose mother is fighting cancer, called me at 6 a.m. to let me know they were on their way to the emergency room again and we'd probably all be at the hospital at the same time. After my tests were over, I checked and they had gone home. I called her and found out my boss had taken her son to the emergency room for food poisoning and had left the E.R. about the time co-worker and her mom arrived. So, that is three of us out today. Don't know who's going to provide the news for today, but I cannot worry about it.

And if you wonder -- they heated the ultrasound goo so it felt pretty nice, a nd it smells like baby powder. Certainly nicer than the cold wet goo from my last ultrasound many years ago. Now that's an improvement, baby!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tuesday's Tests

In the morning I will have an MRI and an echocardiogram.

The changes in my medications have brought my blood pressure down significantly over the past few days, but it's still not in the optimal range. However, the drop is significant enough that it leaves me sleepy. My blood sugar levels are still high but showing some improvement too.

We'll know more after all the test results are back, of course. I am adjusting to a less vigorous schedule. I hope to find out if I am successful at finding some balance.

I've scheduled myself off tomorrow except for a couple of hours to cover a planning commission meeting in the early evening. I know, you all wish you were me.

It's crazy, but I actually enjoy attending these meetings and there will be some significant business handled Tuesday night. I just can't stay away.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bad news from the doctor today

The verdict at the doctor's office this morning was that I had a TIA (mini stroke) on Monday during the announcement about free city-wide wireless internet. The mayor was speaking when my whole right side went numb. I was writing notes furiously and suddenly became afraid that I was going to drop my pen. I knew if that happened I would not be able to pick it up.

It lasted only a few seconds --I actually never missed writing anything. And had I fallen over and hit the floor, all the ambulances and EMTs in town were right there in the same room with me, demonstrating the wireless mesh system.

After the announcement, I proceeded to City Hall to cover the city commissioners meeting.

What. A. Woman.

Tuesday when I got to work I didn't say anything because my boss's husband had a stroke Monday afternoon and everyone was talking about him. I couldn't really go and be a copy cat, right? So Tuesday I continued working and covered a lengthy evening meeting, after a long interview with the superintendent of schools Tuesday afternoon.

And, etc.

Yesterday I finally called and said I had to get in to the doctor today, and they got me in.

I have some residual right-side weakness and I'm scheduled for an MRI, echocardiogram and carotid artery dopplers before returning to the doctor's office on Dec. 2.

There will be huge changes coming -- first is they have ordered me to cut back to no more than 40 hours of work a week.
That will be a HUGE change from the 56 to 61 hours I work now.

The motto is: Work KILLS.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In support of love

I just opened an e-mail from my cousin Michael, a gay man in California, with this link. Unlike Olbermann, I don't have to think hard to come up with the name of a gay person in my family or among my friends. I have had many, many gay friends throughout my life, and, indeed, many of my closest friends now are gay.

Michael and his partner John had hoped to marry this fall before Michael had to undergo some radical surgery and treatment for cancer. They postponed their wedding; now, with the passage of Proposition 8, they may not be able to marry until and unless it is overturned.

Two of my women friends here went to California in October to be married. The irony is they received their marriage certificate in the mail last Tuesday, the day Proposition 8 was passed. They, at least, have their certificate.

I am not gay. I am a straight, single female, divorced by choice and circumstance -- once married to a man, who, although not gay, was dealing with his own gender identity problems. The man I married no longer exists. Instead, the person I married is somewhere out there, living as a woman. I do not know where she is. I do not know if she is even still alive. Our lives are no longer connected, by my choice. All I can say is that I hope that person has found peace and love out there somewhere.

And I hope someday I find love too. Love everlasting, like Michael and John. Love everlasting, like Patricia and Gloria. Love everlasting, like Ron and John. Love everlasting, like Mildred and Donna. Love everlasting. Love recognized. Love that is stronger than disapproval from people who really don't even have a reason or a right to care or judge.Simply, love.

What business is it of ANYONE to deny anyone the right to love and marriage? What I don't understand is how two consenting adults loving each other threatens anyone else.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Chicken and Noodles

I'm making my chicken and noodles tonight. I was going to make them last night but cratered before I had the chance. I've also been cleaning my kitchen, trying to eliminate "The Smell" I posted about previously. My fingers are getting pruney, but I'm enjoying a little domestic bliss this evening.

It seems so late, since the time change. It just gets dark so early now, but I guess I better get used to it now.

It's been kind of a productive day -- several loads of laundry done, plus I've been going through things and throwing out what I can. There's so much clutter, but I've made a dent in it. You will be glad to know that I found my third- and fourth-grade science reports, several junior high honors and my incredibly high Iowa test scores from ninth grade, just in case I have to prove something to someone some day.

I also found some photos and some greeting cards that I will be able to use before long. I once had the luxury of stocking up on such things -- it comes in handy now!

In my purging stage, I've made several trips out to the garbage cans. The sanitation truck will appreciate my efforts tomorrow.

I'm also thinking about making a skirt tonight. There are so many pretty and interesting new patterns -- I am addicted to this site: Sewing Pattern Review.com Absolutely addicted! Any of you who sew clothing might want to take a good look around there.

Alas, although I would love to try some of the new patterns, I have to use what is in my stash right now for economy's sake. The nice thing is, some of the details I am seeing in the new patterns can be used with what I have, with a little ingenuity. You might think that someone with incredibly high ninth-grade Iowa test scores could figure out some of this stuff.

We'll see!

Someone please explain

Explain to me, please, how I can spend such few hours at home during the week (Monday through Saturday) and yet there is more housework to do on Sunday than I can possibly get done? Does the house dirty itself while I'm gone trying to make enough money to keep the utilities on? Not fair!

The math just doesn't add up. One person x 7 days should not equal four loads of laundry and two dishwashers full of dishes!

And please. Someone check out the peculiar smell in the kitchen for me. I'm afraid to look!

(Note: Please do not call adult protective services on me or code enforcement. Some statements could be slightly exaggerated for effect. Or not. And I'm not tellin'.)

Seriously. What IS THAT SMELL?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

In Honor of President-Elect Barack Obama

Voting can be very interesting

I've never had such an interesting time at the polls! First, there was a woman there who was obviously distressed, crying as she went to put her ballot in the machine. A county election official was at the machine and asked the woman to put her ballot in the alternate slot so it could be hand-counted because there was some adjustment or check she was making to the machine. Anyway, this crying woman finally got her ballot put in and on the way out shouted "Everyone needs to pray because things are really messed up in this nation!" OK...
Meanwhile, a woman in front of me was not on the poll book. She whines "But I always come back here to vote!" Uh. Seems she's moved a few times since the last election. The poll workers called the county election office and discover the woman is now registered to vote at the technical school on the other side of town. "Oh!" she said. I don't know if they sent her away or allowed her to vote. I was ready to sign the book when a police officer showed up. All the election officials looked at him stupidly. Then he asked if the woman in black who just left was the one they called about. "Yes," one of them said. That's all. "Well, I can't hold her if I don't know what happened." Waits for answer. None is forthcoming. "So, is everything OK then?" he finally asks. They stare at him. Someone finally says they asked her to talk to the county election official who was there with the machine, but she wouldn't say anything.

"ohhhKay, then. I guess everything is OK," the patient officer says as he leaves.

I sign the book, and a second officer stops by on the same call. Asks if everything is OK and the poll watchers again are just sitting there looking at him.Like a cop always shows up on election day. Finally one of them says "Another officer was just here about that," one finally says.

"So, everything is OK now?" he asks.

"I guess," the poll watcher says.

I step over to my fine plywood voting booth, support it with my foot so it won't rock while I'm marking my ballot with the super official special pen. I finish and head to the machine with it. I turn in my pen to one of the dense poll watchers who is talking to the woman at the book who has failed to reregister. I say "Here's your pen back" and go ahead and insert my ballot. It says I am No. 13 for the morning. I wonder how accurate that is... just 13 in an hour? With all that's already happened? Anyway, I wait for my "I Voted" sticker. Pollwatcher finally looks at me and hands me a sticker. I turn to leave and she shouts at me "DID YOU TURN YOUR PEN IN? WHERE IS YOUR PEN?"

I snap back around and told her I had put it right in front of her while she was paying attention to the other people and ignoring me. Then I left.

It was all very exciting.

Happy Election Day!

If you haven't voted already, GET OUT THERE and do the right thing. This is our future we're talking about. No excuses. Vote!

Friday, October 31, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Stranded on a desert island
I've been tagged by Kirsten for this meme.

First off, the rules:

You are stranded on a desert island for an indefinite amount of time. You can bring along five food items and are allowed one sentence to justify your decision. It is an island so assume plentiful fish, coconuts, and sea salt. Storage is not an issue, as you also have a large solar powered refrigerator. Play along, tag who you want, and link back!

Part of the difficulty here is, of course, limiting myself to five items. But it’s also that I can’t decide how practical to be. Ok, ok — it’s just a hypothetical, there’s no reason for me to go all logical, especially with the addition of the solar-powered fridge. I just can’t help it.

Also, in addition to the stated fish, coconuts, and salt, it’s probably a given that seaweed would be available. That’s good stuff, and good for you! But while most folks who play this game seem to want to take along an animal of some sort, I think I’ll stick with the ocean for my protein. There’s a lot of variety there, and finding forage for an animal might be difficult. (See, there I go with the practical.)

1. Watermelon. And not one of those "seedless" ones. I want one with the seeds so I can grow more.

2. Tomatoes. Also need to be the kind that will let me grow more.

3. Zucchini. See a theme here? Doesn't take much to grow this either.

4. Graham crackers. To use with the coconuts and the final item...

5. Chocolate. Enough to eat straight, or with the coconut and graham crackers!

Tagging: Erudite Redneck, Dr. Lobojo, Tech!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My car is home!

It still smells of fresh paint, which is just like the smell of wet fingernail polish. My 13 1/2-year-old car looks almost new! It should. The driver's side was repaired and repainted in April after the February wreck. The passenger's side has just been repaired and repainted after the early October wreck. While it was already in the shop, I asked them to paint the front part of the roof, which has just recently been showing its age with damage to the paint. I attribute that to living in the shadow of both a refinery and a carbon black plant. There's a lot of corrosive materials in the air here. If it is doing that to the roof of my car, I hate to think what it's doing to my lungs.

Little damaged rent car has gone home to Enterprise tonight. They think they can have it repaired through a paintless dent removal process and then buff off the paint transfer from the late October wreck (yesterday). Everyone I've had to deal with, from the police officer to the municipal court clerk to the insurance companies to Enterprise have done everything they can to put me at ease and make me feel better.

It's just a little accident, they tell me. It's not an on-purpose. It happens. No one was hurt. The damage is minor.

All of this is true. It's just metal, in all cases. No one injured, Thank you God.

Of course I've gotten a load of grief from my co-workers, who have delighted in calling me "Crash" and recommending forms of protection from oversized training wheels to toilet-paper roll protective bumpers surrounding the car.

I'm kind of thinking about a novel costume for Halloween -- a bike helmet and an inflated inner tube that would deflect any incoming hazards.

If the adage about things coming in threes has any merit, I should be fine for another good long time.

Oh-- even though I pleaded no contest on my ticket for unsafe lane change, I am going to go to municipal court for two reasons: One, I can get a payment plan to split up my fine into three equal amounts; Two, I'll keep the ticket off my driving record, which means a LOT to me.

Things will be OK, but I do still have some tender feelings, despite all the good efforts to boost my spirits. This too shall pass, given enough time without any repeat performances.

On another positive note, gasoline here has dropped below $2 a gallon, so I can now afford to fill up my car. When it went to the shop, it was considerably higher!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This is unbelievable

OK, so you know about my last wreck. Oh wait, NO YOU DON'T. It was today. In the rental car which I am still driving because MY car is STILL at the body shop.


I stayed home today because my blood sugar was too high. So I spent the morning drinking a lot of water and peeing and then retested until it came down to a somewhat safer level. Then I decided to make a run to the grocery store for some food. I never made it. I got to the end of my street three blocks away, where it ends in one of the main collector streets. I'm just a block west of the main north-south highway, which is the main business road.

Anyway, as I was leaving my residential street and turning right, then trying to make the quick left to get in the left turn lane to the highway, IT HAPPENED. Crunch. There is a difference of opinion about who is at fault, but I got the ticket and the police officer spent sufficient time explaining it to me when he gave me the ticket for "improper lane change."

I swear to you I have gone through my whole life with no wrecks until I moved back here, and this now makes No. 3 since February. And it HAD to be in a rental car. I'm sickened.

The good news is, there were no injuries and the damage to the vehicles is very minor. The rental car has one dent which looks like it will easily pop out, and there is some minor paint transfer. I am hoping it can be buffed out. The other car has minor scratches and one small dent on the passenger side front fender.

Well, I guess having to take the blame for one of the three accidents may not be the worst thing in the world. It sure is better than having half the car demolished. I can certainly speak to that times two.

So, I never did make it to the grocery store. I am thinking about giving it another try now, because I am hungry. Should I chance it?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


They are going to fix my car. It should be ready next week. It's a little hard getting used to a different car, especially one I will have the use of only for a little while. I've got a Ford Focus as a rental, and as nice as it is, it is a Ford and I am a Honda girl.

I've had only two cars since 1987 -- that's 21 years. Both have been Honda Civics. For a while I had another car, my mom's Honda Accord. I sold it to a former co-worker, though, because I couldn't justify keeping two cars and I preferred my own.

Anyway, it's been a busy day at work and I'm a little drained so I'm going to be a little early.

Come back tomorrow -- I'll have some news to share about a project going on here. If I'm lucky there will be photos as well! And I'm not talking about the tap-dancing senior citizens who are visiting our senior center from Yukon! Though there MAY be photos of them as well.

For now, sweet dreams!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Greetings! I'm stealing an extra few minutes on my lunch hour to post from home. I came home for lunch (actually, to get a break from the office. Too much stress there.) I haven't eaten, but that's OK because I still have a raging case of heartburn.

Instead, I kind of got lost in a spur-of-the-moment attack on my office space. It's a nice little room, or it could be if it hadn't been loaded to the gills with stuff for the past year-plus. I dragged a lot of stuff out of there in the past half-hour-ish. Now it has the potential to be a great room.

I've identified some key problem areas for myself -- these are the categories of things which overwhelm my life. Now, I have a theory that once identified, I can deal with these problem areas, one at a time.

Here they are:

1. Books. They are taking over my life. Subcategory: Magazines.
2. Fabric. I could sew all my fabric together and cover the planet twice.
3. Yarn. Yeah. I could knit a sweater for the moon and still have more than a human can use.
4. Kitchen items, specifically dishes. Have I confessed here before? I have 12 sets of dishes. Right now I'm using my least favorite because I haven't gotten through all the boxes on the back porch to find my favorites.

When I get home from work this evening I'll return to my office space and work on creating a haven there for myself. I will also schedule a time to have some extra phone jacks installed so that I can get my laptop off the kitchen table.

Part of why I hate living here is that I have nothing that functions as it should. This is a giant step. I will work on conquering the four areas of excess and establishing an office that is good for me. The rest of the place will take care of itself after this is done.

Stay tuned to this station for the latest in updates. And no, I'm not just doing this because my car is in the shop and I'm waiting to hear if it lives or dies. Well, maybe.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The car

Now my widdle car won't start. I had to walk to work today. Thunderstorms are moving in -- I have to cover a city commissioners' meeting at city hall tonight so I'll be walking home after dark, hoping there isn't lightning to go with the rain.

I've talked with the insurance company representing the woman who hit me. I have little to no confidence in their claims adjustor in Oklahoma City, who didn't even know where my town is. "Are you near Tulsa? Can you take your car there for an adjustor to see?" Der, no. I'm 100 miles from anywhere, and my car will not start now because your client hit it and tore it up.

"Oh. Well. That's too far away for us to send an adjustor to. You'll probably have to get some estimates. And then when I complete my investigation, if we decide our insured was at fault, we'll pay $23 a day for a rental car while it's repaired."

So... I have to wait until you get around to it before I can get a rental car, even though I'm having to walk to work in thunderstorms?

"Yes ma'am. We'll contact you when I complete my investigation."

You, who doesn't even know where my town is, you are doing the investigation?

I talked to the local agent after talking to this cheesehead. She said "That's crazy. We have an adjustor up here every Tuesday!"

Well, the local adjustor just called me back and told me to go ahead and get my car in to the repair shop. I can use the one close to my house and they'll include the towing as part of the claim. I still don't have authorization for a rental car, though. Peachy.

Friday, October 03, 2008

If It's Not One Thing, *SMACK!*

Greetings, from your blog hostess.
I want to tell you something. I'm 53 years old, and until February of this year I had never had a car wreck. That changed one fateful night as I was driving home from a board meeting in Stillwater, OK, and hit ice on a bridge over the Salt Fork River south of Ponca City. You may recall my blog about that roller-coaster ride, wherein I slid around, spun, hit the side of the bridge head-on, feared being flung over the side, slid the front of my car down the length of the bridge for a while before spinning some more, then was T-boned from another backwards vehicle which also spun out behind me. It was an adventure, I tell you! A true E-ticket ride!

Well, my friends, today I was driving to work and playing my usual morning game of counting the number of cars that I had to wait for at intersections on my 10-block commute. I was a block away from the office with a perfect Zero score (number of cars I had to wait to clear my path). Until.

*SMACK!* In front of the cable TV office a woman in a much larger car pulled out like I wasn't there and hit my car. Not just a tap, no. It wasn't a creep-out backing situation. She flat did not see me, pulled out as though her path were entirely clear, hit me at my passenger side headlight and continued to tear up my car all the way back to the tail light. Every inch of the passenger side of my car is damaged.

The car most certainly will be totaled this time. We were barely under the limit in February when it was the two doors on my driver's side. This time the damage is much more extensive and eight months later my car wouldn't be worth as much.

This time I am a little stiff -- my neck would do well with a heating pad and a beer. And a nice nap.

I'm taking this personally. I believe it's a sign from above that I need to flee this town.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Squeak! Squeak! Can you hear me now?

Hello everyone! I'm still dragging around a bit. I'm getting better, but still am not fully well. Mostly I'm getting through the work day and then coming home to go to bed. I'm even missing a concert at my church tonight by the Ugandan Orphans' Choir. It would be great to go hear them, but I just do not have the energy. I've been missing a lot of church lately.

I also still have very little voice. Laryngitis is something I never got until just a couple of years ago. I hate the squeaky attempt to speak, knowing that I'm wasting my time and no one can hear me anyway. That certainly has contributed to my hibernation mode.

Tonight I stopped by the grocery store. I'm going to attempt to cook -- maybe -- later this evening. First I'm going to drink a Diet Coke and probably catch a quick nap.

In addition to feeling punk, I've had to pull extra duty because of a co-worker being out with her very sick mother. Co-worker had to leave the office today and just minutes later I heard an ambulance dispatched to their house to take her to the emergency room. I'm trying to do everything I can to cover the major parts of her beat on top of mine. There certainly is a lot going on and it won't be long before I drop one of the spinning plates. Not long at all, I'm afraid.

Well, I don't suppose any of this is new -- it's really been going on for a while but I felt like I needed to check in again.

If I actually summon the strength to do it, I'm going to marinate boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a combination of lemon juice and soy sauce, then roll them in seasoned bread crumbs and bake. I'll make a baked potato for the side and slice up a tomato.

Right now, though, I really, really need a beverage and a nap. It's warm enough I'll probably crash on the couch with the front door open for a while.

Hope you're all doing well and enjoying fall!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Checking in

I'm alive. Not completely well yet from my upper respiratory infection. I still have a lot of residual coughing and some head-spinning from my cures and vapors. I can sleep at most an hour or two at a time before the coughing wakes me again, so this week has not been a great one. I worked from home last Tuesday morning and then didn't come out of the house until Thursday; I've worked as much as I can, including on Saturday. I'm having to do more than I would in this condition because I'm also having to take up the slack for a co-worker whose mother is very ill with cancer.
Yesterday I stayed house-bound, but at least I was able to shine up the bathroom to a high degree. Everything is clean -- I even hand-scrubbed the floor and cleaned the venetian blinds. Shower curtain and rug washed. Fixtures and walls scrubbed and polished. Every cubic inch is clean, clean at last!

Now, someone find me a replicator so I can just push a button and have the rest of the house equally clean, please!

We've had a lot of flooding in the county this week. The South Fork River is currently at 25.8 feet -- flood stage is 17 feet. There were a lot of emergency rescues around the county this weekend -- people trapped in chest-high waters.

The thing I reported on that tickled me most this weekend was someone who drove a car through a local cabinet maker's shop.

"I shouldn't have been in the car," the errant driver told me after I got photos of the vehicle still inside the business, poking through the wall.

No kidding.

"It's going to be in the G.D. NEWSpaper!" the car's owner wailed at him (while wailing on him).

"I'm sorry, I really am. But that's what happens when someone drives a car through a building," I told her.

"Did you get good pictures of my car?" she asked.

Priorities. It's all about priorities, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Down for day two

I've succumbed to some sort of illness. Yesterday I did a few hours of work from home before giving up -- made my deadline on a couple of stories and then died. (That is why they call it a deadline, isn't it?)

Today, I can't even rally enough to do that much. I'm just up for a few minutes right now to breathe. I've called in to the boss and will be crawling back in bed. I particularly hate being unable to work today because my good co-worker is out of town, taking her mother to her first chemotherapy session. This is going to be hard enough for her, having to drive 100 miles to the big city, finding the right building at the big hospital and then going through all that, then having to drive her mom home, unsure how she will react. Then the next couple of days are going to be rough. This cycle is just starting and will continue for several weeks until the tumor has shrunk enough to allow surgery. And then, the "fun" really begins.

This will cause a hardship on our small staff. Most of the remaining chowderheads have already chimed in to say "I'm NOT doing it" when it comes to her work. Well, right now I CAN'T do it, and someone is going to have to suck it up and just do it. Sorry, I'm getting a little peeved about this.
And I'm too sick to be getting upset on top of it.

Food-wise, I'll be scrambling to find things to eat here at the house while I'm down. I think there's still some soup around, and I have milk (if it hasn't expired) Plenty to make-do with if I just think about it. There will be no feasting until I'm better, though. Heck, for that matter there won't be any feasting for a couple of months because of some huge bills I've got to work into the strained budget. No, I'm not going down that path today!

I'm going back to bed for now, folks. Hmm. It looks foggy out there through the slit in the curtains. Maybe I'm not missing much today after all.
I'll sure be glad when I'm no longer barking like a dog and my nose isn't wet any more.

Monday, September 08, 2008

It must be one of two things

Either it's:
1) the change of seasons, or
2) everybody is hungry.

Most of the blogs I frequent have been synching to one common thread this week, particularly today: Comfort food!

There's been banana bread at Posie Gets Cozy; creamy carrot soup at Pioneer Woman as she cooks with her kids; scrambled eggs with prosciutto over at Drew's "How to Cook Like Your Grandmother" (Men who cook -- and men who eat: Check out Drew's blog and tell me you aren't slobbering on the screen.) and a GRREAT essay on home cooking vs. eating crap at Crazy Aunt Purl's place.

There's a new hope in America, my friends. Real food is making its way back to our tables, replacing "food by-products" that came packaged in styrofoam and cardboard for lo, too many years.

Real food has roots in its roots, literally. Real food is grown in the dirt, and is harvested by people, washed and eaten fresh. You can tell it is real food because there's not a long list of things typed on the side of it. It's food, not chemical formulations.

And it is GOOD.

Often I buy my beef from a local meat market/butcher shop where I know the cattle are locally raised in small operations rather than large feed lot operations. But still. I'm not fooling myself into thinking that most of the beef I eat just willingly jumps into plastic-wrapped packages.

I wish economics would still allow most of our food to come from small, wholesome operations, but I think those days are passed forever. I remember our extended family's farm, where cattle and hogs and chickens were raised along with crops. More than enough to feed our own family, it was enough to provide my uncles and grandparents a living and good food for a region. Now corporate farms are taking over.

Anyway, my point was: It's time for GOOD food. Slow food. Make some; share some. Tell me what you're eating now that it's turning cooler! Visit these other blogs and take a look at what they are eating. Maybe it will inspire you, too!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Greetings again! Today is Sept. 6

Although no one has asked me to post again, I thought I would anyway. Hey, I can... it's my blog!

I've dropped out for a bit because my inner peace has been disturbed. The world has be out of kilter here and my spirit and energy have been drained. At this point I'm thinking that I've got to try the "fake it to make it" approach and start visioning life the way I want it, rather than the way it is.

When I feel like this I go searching for beautiful, peaceful, creative blogs. I like to read about people who are living a gentle life, who feel rooted and loved and through whom good energy flows. Those are the things I want.

I yearn for soft calico fabrics to replace the harsh, scratchy burlap of life. Beautiful dinner tables to replace the starving spirit. The warmth of puppies snuggled up on the couch beside their person to replace the emptiness of the house.

Sometimes I make a little progress through such daydreams. Creativity is its own medicine -- right along the curative powers of laughter. I think they go hand-in-hand.

At times like this I search for soothing colors and textures. How providential that fall is approaching -- the word "comforter" is so rich in meaning in so many dimensions right now. A comforter offers warmth, softness, tactile pleasure. But there's also a deeper quality that comes with it, one that touches the spirit in its own special healing way. It offers a cocoon in which to hibernate during the low seasons, whether that be created by harsh weather or a harsh world.

Now is the time when I pull out my favorite collection of "home" books, too. Books like Alexandra Stoddard's "Creating a Beautiful Home;" or Terry Willits' "Creating a SenseSational Home." Similar names, similar ideas. The home appeals to our physical senses as well as provides shelter from the outside world. Sometimes we forget how important it is that our homes appeal to those senses through things such as light, smells, sounds, tastes and touch. In this thread of thought, the "extras" like candles, flowers, pretty dishes and soft bedding are not extras, but essentials to our wellbeing.

And there's where I've been negligent for the past year. All these "extras" have been boxed up or piled up where I can neither use nor enjoy them. I've been living in a hovel, not a home. Some of that is changing. Two weekends ago I hooked up my electronics so that I can use my stereo and the DVD player/VCR. I still don't have cable, so I can't watch television (what a pity during this political season) but I can use the television to watch movies, and I have taken advantage of that.

I've put away piles of books into real bookcases, which has decreased the clutter in my "living" room. There is still a ways to go, but there has been progress. At this point, I need to go through the titles and pull out books that I don't like, won't read, don't need. Others can take their place and I can move on, creating more spaces and making the house more comforting.

I wish this wasn't such a long journey, but I guess in some ways the journey is the fun part. Taking a mess and turning it into a home should give a sense of accomplishment, peace and self love. We'll continue to see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Greeetings to all my visitors

I've just checked the report from Sitemeter, which is very cool. It gives me a statistical report of the number of visitors to the site, but most cool is the world map that pinpoints where my visitors live.

So good morning and hello to those of you in Ireland and Mozambique and Indonesia who have visited today! And hello to my U.S. visitors in Sherman, Texas; Los Angeles and Sacramento, Calif., and Sioux City, Iowa!

It is amazing how electrons can make the world a smaller place -- a neighborhood. Welcome, neighbors.

And now, I must be off to work! Back later!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Morning Rain

It's raining this morning. It's that glorious sort of "break-the-August-heat" rain that drops the temperatures about 20 degrees and makes the hot pavement smell so good.

On days like this it is really hard to come to work. These are days for reading in bed, with a window open slightly (just enough for the smell and sounds to come through without the water.)

It's the kind of day for baking bread, making soup and sewing. Or ironing.

Yeah, I said it. Rainy days are perfect days for ironing. I really kind of like ironing, when it's not overwhelming or urgent. I did quite a lot this past weekend. Now that I have the ironing board set up in my dining room it's easier to throw something on there and give it a good steamy press.

My closets are filled up again. Sometimes I don't realize just how many clothes I have when everything is stuffed into hampers and baskets or living in the dryer. When everything is pressed and organized in the closet, it is easy to be grateful for the blessings of plenty. And how nice it is to have sections of skirts all together and sections of slacks and then shirts. I am grateful indeed.

Do rainy days trigger memories or attitudes in you like this?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Searching through the stash

Not what some of you may be thinking -- it's the fabric stash! Here's a photo I took last night which shows just a fraction of my stash:


(click to see the full photo)

I also pulled out another big stack from a box still residing on my back porch. One piece was sadly sun-faded where the light has leaked in over the past year. I am hoping I can still use most of what was there.

Along with the fabrics I've rediscovered armloads of patterns for things never made (yet). I ache to do some sewing! Even if it's a simple skirt or a pillowcase for ConKerr Cancer (A Case for Smiles).

Since I'm in the midst of re-collecting and re-organizing my stash, however, I've not made it to the sewing process this weekend. It is unbelievable the things I own that I have forgotten about -- and the things I remember that I have not yet found again. I do not know which pain is worse.

I have an idea for a stash challenge, however. In addition to making pillowcases, I'm feeling impressed upon to issue myself a "100 skirt challenge" to make 100 skirts in various sizes for girls served by one of our church missions. I'd like to be able to do it with what I have in hand -- I think I could make a big dent in the project with what's in the pipeline.

I've read of another woman who did a "100 skirt challenge" like this. She paired the skirts with coordinating T-shirts in matching sizes to provide a complete outfit for each girl in her project group. I forget now who her beneficiary group was, but it was a children's home of some sort with her religious affiliation. It really doesn't matter because there is always, always a need somewhere for such kindnesses. Even if it's the local clothing closet for a public school, there is always a child in need somewhere nearby.

I remember so very, very clearly when I was in grade school. My sixth-grade teacher and the janitor's wife worked together to make sure everyone in our school had appropriate clothing to wear in order to attend. On top of that, my teacher and her sister made clothing for the Baptist Children's Home. Every morning before school she would make a dress for a girl. Every single dress she made was completely different from every other dress she made, so the girls wouldn't feel like they were just getting some mass-produced cookie-cutter outfit. They had different materials, different patterns, variations on the patterns and different trims. One dress, every morning, from each of the sisters. Imagine making nearly 400 dresses (maybe more -- in the summers they had more time for sewing!) each year to clothe a girl in need!

The thing is, they didn't stop with the girls. They also made shirts for the boys, back when boys wore woven shirts with buttons and collars.

What discipline -- and discipleship -- these women modeled.

More about ConKerr Cancer -- a Case for Smiles. This is a project in which the participants make pillow cases for children with cancer. Upon each child's admission -- every admission -- to the hospital for treatment, they are allowed to select a new pillowcase made by one of the volunteers in the project.

I started out as the state chairman for Oklahoma, but I am having to pass this responsibility on to someone else because of my difficult work schedule and my distance from Oklahoma City, where Children's Hospital is located. I've collected a lot of pillowcases locally, and several have been sent to me from people who aren't local who read about this project in a national sewing magazine or through Martha Stewart's show and magazine.

I have real mixed feelings about not working on this project. It needs to be run by someone with the time, as well as the desire. I have the desire but not the time. I can do my part by doing some sewing and preparation of pillowcases and by getting out of the way to allow someone else the blessing of coordinating the state program. I have two people in mind -- one in Oklahoma City and one in Tulsa. I am checking with the originator of the project to see if we can have two groups in Oklahoma, one in each of the metropolitan areas.

This project started with Cindy Kerr, whose son was a cancer patient. To learn more, please check this link: ConKerr Cancer

A great, fun, colorful, cheerful pillowcase for a sick child is such a small, easy thing to provide. If you'd like more information, please feel free to leave a comment here if the linked site doesn't answer your questions. The reward for this is HUGE compared to the minor effort.

I'd also like to hear from you in the comments if you've got a project of your own that uses your creative gifts to help someone else. What are you inspired to do to make the world just that much better? Speak up! You never know what idea you might trigger for someone else!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

To the Farmers' Market!

Click to see the whole photo.

This morning's haul from the farmers' market about three blocks from my house. Some of these items will find their way into a 15-bean soup planned to cook later as it cools down from today's expected high of 103. The rest will probably go into a large salad. Together these will feed me for most of the week, I expect. The jar of chow-chow? I bought that as a sentimental purchase because it reminds me of people I knew in my childhood -- neighbors who canned and made such things. I'm not sure this recipe is anywhere close to what they made, but my memory from being a 10-year-old is a might lapsing when it comes to homemade relish recipes. I seem to remember the chow-chow of my youth being heavy on green tomatoes. We'll see later if the taste of this jar brings back memories.

There are still some things I need to pick up at the store which aren't available at my local farmers' market. After all, it's just a tiny market. Today was a big day with MAYBE 8 trucks set up. What peaches were available were small and wormy. No pie from them. Makes me miss my peach tree at my last abode.

We tend to be heavy on things like squash, cucumbers, cat-faced tomatoes and onions. There are a few bakers who tempt me with homemade rolls, cinnamon rolls, loaves of fresh bread. I can make my own much more cheaply. I might whomp up some nearly kneadless bread today so I can bake it tomorrow. I've posted the recipe before, I believe. At least I posted photos of making it. Home Made Bread
Looks like I'll have to dig up that recipe since I didn't post amounts... what kind of recipe-sharer am I? I'll post if I bake it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday evening

Ah, yes! We made it through another week without murder! Yes!
It was a nice, abbreviated work day. Friday is our day when we get breakfast at the office and four of us, at least, eat together. Usually I'm the runner who goes to pick it up at the cafe, so that gets me out for a little while. Then the eating thing is a little more time away from the desk.

I got a few things done in the rest of the morning, then had a meeting at city hall with the historic preservation advisory panel. It's one of my favorite city committees. It meets at noon. Today's meeting was very interesting -- and it was over by just after 1 p.m.

I grabbed an icy drink at the cafe catty-corner from city hall then headed home to lounge, to nap, to read on a novel by one of my favorite writers. It has done me good.

Tomorrow is one of my rare Saturdays off, so there will be more lounging, more napping, more reading. And perhaps a few other enjoyable diversions. It will be nice to have some long hours of solitary time. I think that people need more time and distance apart when it's this hot and humid. And it is ALWAYS humid here. Having people nearby is just too much of a stressor on top of the climate.

Maybe this weekend will give me enough time to patch myself back together to face another week.

I've also got a lot of topics in my mental notebook that I want to mull over this weekend too. It's nice to be able to make an appointment with myself for mulling.

Hope you all are having a pleasant Friday evening and are looking forward to a restful weekend.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday night

Just. One. More. Day. to. This. Week.

Thank goodness. I so need some time away from work. Today was nothing but irritation piled up on aggravation. My patience, which has always been the only thin thing about me, has just all but worn through.

Nice thing about tomorrow is that I have a meeting to cover at noon, so I'll be out of the office for a couple of hours. That will give me a bit of a respite.

I finished a big project this week -- it's one of those special section things that comes in the Sunday paper that people just pull out and throw away without even looking at. But by golly I wrote every dang story in it and put the section together, so it's all mine (except for two tiny fillers that I edited down from wire stories. Not bad for a 24-page tab.) Anyway, it's one of those thankless worthless time-consuming jobs we all have.

I think most of us in the office are having a major crank-fest this week. One person in particular seems to be taking great joy in pissing everyone off. You might guess it's the one person who doesn't lift a finger to do anything. So I daydream terrible things and make myself as scarce as possible so I don't follow through. And I pray for Saturday's quick arrival.

Sorry to be so down and grumpy, but that's the way things are here for now. I'm sure that at some point things will be more positive. I'll definitely will let you know when that moment comes. It's only fair!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Morning

It's one of those mornings where it's not as early, clock-wise, as it seems.
We've had a rain, apparently recently ended. The sky is still mostly gray with clouds, with just slivers of silver trying to break through in the east.
I've just had to go out to the garage to grab an armful of clothes out of the dryer, hoping that I've scooped up at least one outfit in the bunch that I can wear to work in a few minutes.
To get to the garage I have to go out the back door of my kitchen, across the screened-in back porch.
This morning the air is so cool and so fresh from the rain that I just want to stay on the back porch and absorb this fresh beginning like a sponge. My spirit needs to soak this up. I'm going through a dry patch -- wrung out and growing a bit crunchy.
Part of me so wants to call in to work to say I'll either be late or I won't be in at all... but what would that call sound like?
"Sorry boss, can't make it in today. No, I'm not exactly sick. I'm just calling in rainy. See you when it's nasty hot again."

Meh. I've heard worse excuses when I was the one people called in to.

And now, I'm off to check that pile of laundry and find out what I'll be wearing today. Here's hoping you found matching socks today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday night

The weekend is winding down and I'm trying to get pulled together to start another week in just a few hours. I need to throw a load of laundry in so I'll have something to wear tomorrow. Seems like laundry is the thing that perpetually gets the short end of the stick around here, getting done only when it becomes a crisis. No, wait. That doesn't make it much different from everything else. *Le sigh.*

I mowed the lawn tonight and finished just as my light was running out. Clouds covered the sky just as I was putting the mower away -- it would be fine with me if we got some rain tonight. The soil is dried out and clumping, but I'm not a grass waterer type person. I really think the water should be saved for people.

I'm sure my neighbors are probably glad that I finally broke down and mowed. I'm not sure how long it has been -- certainly longer than they would all go since the last mowing, but it's dry enough that it's really healthier not to cut it too short when it's this hot. That's my position and I'm stickin' to it!

Anyway. I did get a good long nap in this afternoon. I had thought about going in to the office this afternoon right after church, but I would have had to have gotten there before the circulation guy left and locked the building. I don't have a key. And I started thinking about it, hard. Then I decided that Sunday is my Sabbath, the only day I don't work, and I was not going to start violating that just to get ahead a little. My attitude is poor enough about things right now (which some of my astute friends have picked up on... is it THAT obvious?) I don't need to succumb to that kind of self-punishment.

This evening I also was able to clean some trash off of my screened-in porch. That gave me a little more room for maneuvering out there, so maybe I'll get to sort through some more of the stuff which STILL lives out there. You would think that a year would have been more than enough time to sort, purge and put away, but not for me. I moved in on Aug. 3, so I still have a week. Ha.

Oh. Last week was the garage sale. The one that was supposed to be my garage sale here at my house, which then became a group garage sale. We then were going to have it at a friend's office with a lot of traffic and a large drive. Then it moved to her house because she had furniture to sell and didn't want to have to load it up. Uh. OK. She lives in the country across the river in the neighboring county. I wound up making $7.

Yeah. That's going to help with my hospital bill.

Why do I do this? *Le Sigh.*

Good news: Wednesday is payday, and since it is the third payday of the month, it won't have the usual deductions. So it should be slightly larger. Plus, as usual, I have plenty of overtime. This will help a little. I just hope it's more than $7. Ha.

I should get the laundry going and start thinking about going to bed. Here's hoping you have a fresh start to your week tomorrow and that you enjoy the last week of July 2008. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Taste and See That the Lord Is Good

All day long this verse has been running through my head as I would catch a few seconds here and there to reflect on my weekend trip to Missouri.

See, this happens every time I go up there. My Aunt Dot has such a God-granted gift of hospitality and especially of cooking for people that I am drawn into an altered state on every visit. I love seeing her garden, but what really gets to me is looking in her refrigerators and pantries. She has two refrigerators upstairs. There's another out in the machine shop for my uncle and his special beverages that aren't allowed in Dot's house. And I think there is another freezer down in the basement. I haven't been down there in 40-plus years.

Anyway, Dot is the epitome of a prepared woman. At any given moment, even at the age of 79, she can prepare and take a meal to someone who is sick or bereaved. She could, on an hour's notice, put together a family dinner for 15 people or more, depending on who drags friends along.

We're not talking about fast food or junk, folks. We're talking about REAL food. Fresh veggies from her own garden or from a neighbor. Home-made dishes. Only in the past few years has she started keeping a few frozen commercial dinners in her kitchen freezer for lunches when she simply doesn't have the strength or energy to cook.

This woman cooks three meals a day and ALWAYS always always has leftovers ready to send home with anyone who may drop by and need something to eat. My cousin who lives nearby is her most usual beneficiary -- cousin is proud to say she never gets too close to the stove to cook, but just try keeping her out of Dot's fridge. HA.

When I arrived on Friday, we had leftover roast beef sandwiches. Divine beyond the scope of human understanding! Deviled eggs, made from eggs from Bill Brightwell's chickens. They will be served at every meal Dot makes. Fresh green beans from her garden. Salad. Freshly made cole slaw using a neighbor's cabbage. A lemony cream cheese dessert she made for guests at lunch. Maybe some cut-up watermelon or cantaloupe. Freshly brewed iced tea or lemonade.

Breakfast includes pumpkin bread she makes for my visits. These are always cooked in coffee cans to create a round loaf with ridges around them. The slices are slightly less than a half-inch thick, perfectly even. The whole loaf is cut in half so the pieces resemble a D. The meal also includes a choice of cold cereals, toast, fresh fruit (blueberries this week!) Uncle Jean always has cooked prunes. And the coffee pot is on for those who want a cup.

Lunch is similar to dinner -- always fresh, always home made. Always a reminder of God's extravagant love for us.

So when I return from these trips, there's usually a pack of food that comes back with me. This time it was a few leftover pieces of chicken my cousin from Atlanta made for our supper one night, plus a big zip bag full of green beans. Denise picked five gallons of beans off Dot's plants Saturday morning so they simply HAD to come with me so there would be room for more through the week.

And the other thing that comes with me is this altered state. It's a renewed appreciation for the food of the earth that God Himself provides, with no preservatives, no artificial colors, no added sugar or fake sweeteners. And as if I'm in a zombie trance, I'm drawn to the produce section at the store. Tonight I bought blueberries, Ranier cherries, four different colors of peppers, corn on the cob ... well, you get the idea. I also had some fresh tilapia for supper and a little bowl of the cherries for dessert. Oh, the energy that filled me up was unbelievable.

This is exactly the kind of holy moments I wanted this blog to be about when I started it. If you'll note the header again, you'll get it.

All day, that verse was filling my head -- Taste and see that the Lord is Good. I couldn't quite place where it is found, until I was flipping through my new Gooseberry Patch catalog that came in today's mail.

Do you suppose it was a God wink when I found it on a Thanksgiving platter in the catalog? Taste and See That the Lord Is Good -- Psalm 34:8.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday Post #1

I've finally had a chance to do some shooting, so I have new photos! And I'm posting them!

You know the secret -- click on the photos to see the whole thing. What you see isn't what you get, necessarily.

These are from my weekend trip to see my aunt and uncle north of Kansas City, Mo. They are all at the family farm.

This was my grandparents' house. It is right across the road from my aunt and uncle. I realized tonight I didn't take a photo of their house. It's one my uncle built by hand. A mid-century modern 1950s house with a flat slanted roof.

The farm has been sold to different farmers in the area since my aunt and uncle retired from farming. They owned the land (a LOT of land) with another uncle and his wife. The sale was so they could equitably split the estate. No one feels like things were done correctly, so they probably were.


It was harvest time for the wheat while I was there. Combining:


Sunday morning the farmer was raking the straw into windrows. Later he came through with the baler which gathered up the straw and bundled it into the great big round bales and then pooped them out of the back of the machine.

The old dinner bell is a multi-generational relic. It really was used for decades to call the farm hands to dinner.

My aunt's garden. It's small this year. Tomatoes, green beans, corn, onions and radishes.

Please Farmer McGregor! Please don't throw me in that briar patch!

Her flowers:
Thanks for visiting with me. I didn't take my camera to the fireworks at the next tiny town over, but they were the BEST fireworks ever.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Off to Missouri!

Happy holiday, my friends. I'm heading to the family farm just north of Kansas City International Airport to visit my aunt & uncle and their daughter who is in from Atlanta for the weekend.

It's a normal "traveling day" for me -- not an early start like I always have dreamed of. Not packed. Not sure what clothes I have that are clean. It must be nice sometimes to have a plan for daily living. I've heard of such things and even pretended a time or two to try it out. But right now? I'm not fighting nature. Just rolling with the flow and trying to keep the stomach acids under control instead of stressing about my imperfections.

Hey. I'm old and getting older. I'm tired of constantly feeling guilty about these things. So here's my declaration of independence today:

I have dirty dishes. It's OK.
My laundry needs to be washed. It's OK.
I'm not packed. It's OK. It's just a two-night weekend trip.
I didn't start driving at 6 a.m. It's OK. I was asleep then.
I need to shower. It's OK. That's just a 10 minute task, more or less.
I do not drive straight through. I stop at almost every opportunity. It's OK. It's faster to stop than to have a disaster because I didn't.

I am a grownup. I am 53 years old now. I can make my own rules.

(On the positive side: I am leaving with my bed made and my car empty, instead of looking like a mobile trash dump. I might stop at the vacuum at the gas station and do a quick hit even. That would be nice.)

You have a HAPPY, independent and self-directed day today, you hear? See you when I get back!

Monday, June 30, 2008

OK, I feel better. Plus, I just have to tell you...

Thanks to those of you who commented on the previous post. Sorry for being a bit petulant this morning.

It's been one of my "peculiar" days. I honestly don't know if other people experience these type of events, but often I feel a synchronicity with the universe with odd events that really do all tie together. This is one of those days.

A week or so ago my best friend from childhood e-mailed to say she would be out of touch for awhile making a final visit to her mother, who was expected to pass within the week. I kept waiting for some news. This morning I saw it, in Sunday's paper -- her mother's obituary. Peggie died on Thursday; the funeral was in Missouri yesterday afternoon, but the graveside service is this afternoon here. Of course I will be there. I'm just so glad I happened to see the obit.

Now, my friend and I have shared some uncanny timing on other of life's milestones. Her dad died in July 1976. My dad died exactly a month later.

And, oddly, today is my dad's birthday. It doesn't surprise me in the least that Peggie's passing ties in in that same odd way.

After my dad died and my mother and brother were left alone to mourn in the family house (I was heading back to my last semester at OU), my friend and her fiance showed up at the house with an Irish setter named Barney. He was a stray, and my friend said "We just need a place for him to stay while we try to find the owner, before we take him to the pound." Yeah, my friend's not one bit stupid. She knew that dog was exactly what my mother needed. She spoiled and pampered that dog for the next 10 years or so.

And so, in serendipitous style a stealth dog followed a coworker and me back to the office after lunch. We don't know when the dog fell in with us; I just happened to notice her suddenly acting like "maybe they won't notice me if I just act like I'm one of the girls." Back at the office I found a large plastic bowl that I filled with cool water. She came to me and drank from my hand, then sat on my foot and lapped up a little more water. Then she laid down on my foot. She loves me.

She wandered off so that I could go on in to the office; she made friends in the back by the press room too. We called the local radio stations and animal control and described her in case an owner is looking for her. A while ago someone down the block called and asked animal control to pick her up so she wouldn't get hit by a car.

I think I'll be keeping an eye out on this sweetheart. If no one claims her I will bring her home with me. I think that's the way it's supposed to be.

Oh, by the way. She had on a leopard print collar edged in pink, but there were no tags. If you have an animal, PLEASE TAG THEM in case they get lost!

That's it.

I get called "stale" by Junior the Bear, my best bear buddy in blogdom. Nothing but a few responses on the past several posts, except from all the nice people who saw the award post.

People are busy. It's summer. No one has time. No one is interested in what's happening here.

Junior's right, I guess. Maybe I am stale from working 60+ hours a week and not having much going on outside of work. Maybe the dog days of summer are here. And here I am without a hound.

My best friend from childhood lost her mother last week and the graveside service will be here this afternoon. I know only accidentally because of spotting the obituary a day late. I'll be there this afternoon, though. Our homes were interchangeable as we grew up. From back door to back door took us about 23 seconds -- yes, we timed how long it took to run out the back, across the street and three houses down through the alley.

And I'm mourning again the loss of my young soldier a year ago. Derek was like a nephew to me and he was killed a year ago by and IED in Falujah. His funeral was July 3. This is yet another somber holiday.

I had hoped to start a local news blog but given that no one's reading this one, I see little point in launching a new venture at this point.

Maybe it's the humidity that's really got me down today. Or maybe it's this darn echo around here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I promised you fire photos

Since I promised to post some of my fire photos, I've been unbelievably swamped. However, with the escape of the primary suspect, the fire remains newsworthy. Plus I'm just a little proud of the work we did reporting it, so if I have the chance to show off the photos again, I'll take it.

You'll have to click through for larger versions of the photos. Please let me know if you have any problems seeing them. I believe my photobucket is set for public access when you click on these. If that's not the case, let me know and I'll move a set to Flickr. I would just do that, but hey, that's more work than I want to do right now if I can avoid it. Yeah, I'm lazy. That's how I roll. PLEASE DO CLICKY BIGGY -- what you see on the front screen here is just a portion of the photo and doesn't well represent the shots. I need to work on that sometime when I can do some digging into the page construction.

Also -- it's a "Two-Fer" Wednesday. Please don't miss the post directly below this one for more news.








The news is still broken

Night before last the suspect in the lumberyard arson case escaped from the county jail He happened to follow the escape route left by another prisoner. This was the second escape in about a week for the second prisoner -- previously he was one of three who escaped and were recaptured at a motel about six blocks from my house. Upon the recapture of the three, they were returned to the jail in lieu of $1 million bonds.

The arson suspect was being held on many counts and his bond was $200,000 on the eight original charges in connection with that case. He had just bonded out on some other counts the day before the arson was committed, so the bond was revoked on those counts. In other words, both of these guys are SUPPOSED TO STAY in jail.

The day of the arson's suspects initial court appearance, I went to court to watch. I wanted to see this punk up close. It was a real family affair for him that day. The two juvenile accomplices had their closed hearings that morning. One of those was his 16-year-old brother.

His 24-year-old sister also was on the same docket on three or four counts of her own. They were brought to court separately and sat facing each other. Other family members came to the courtroom and attempted to sit near the two but the jail custodian stopped them and told them to get back and sit on the back row.

That day in court was a good day to watch justice in action, as another "frequent flyer" appeared on new charges on his long rap sheet. The previous weekend he had been involved in an arrest in which he tried to escape and physically assaulted an officer. A lot of stolen property was discovered in his 91-year-old grandmother's garden shed. Unfortunately, she refused to help officers with information and got to spend some time in the back of the police cruiser for that bad choice. Of course they later released her, but that punk should be ashamed for involving her in his hot mess.

Somehow one of my co-workers happened to make it to the scene with his camera while the fracas was going on and got photos of the struggle and then of the officer's scraped-up arms where he tackled the punk. There's one great photo which shows a muddy footprint on the top of the officer's shoulder where the punk tried stepping over him to run.

The arson suspect was recaptured last night about 6 p.m. while I was in a public hearing about a mile away. Now if they can locate the other jailbird who got out of the cage, I can breathe easier.

Speaking of the public hearing: The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality held a public hearing on the issuance of a permit to operate a leachate pond at the city landfill. This is a common practice and is a step in every single landfill project in the state. This is for the expansion of a cell at the landfill, which has been operating since 1977.

What makes this a difficult situation is that the landfill is located directly across the street from a tribal cemetery (Ponca tribe). It is also within 500 feet of the Salt Fork River, a tributary to the Arkansas River. The confluence of the two rivers is nearby.

The tribe originally approved an agreement with the city to allow the city to use the site of a former quarry as the landfill in 1977. They are saying now that the agreement was to restore the quarry to level ground.

Now, however, 30 years later, the landfill is a 30-foot mountain rising above the level of the surrounding land. And it is growing taller daily. The landfill has polluted the groundwater in the area as well as being an eyesore. The landfill continues to operate even when tribal funerals are taking place.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is doing a combined environmental health risk assessment on this area to study the various contributing factors which may be polluting this tribe's community. The landfill is one of a half-dozen or so contributing risks.

Sadly, the last full-blooded Ponca died in the last year to two years. His well was tested and was found to contain a laundry list of carcinogens. The river, which is a stone's throw from the cemetery, contains toxic metals and other chemical and has been shown to be unfishable. But the tribe is dependent on subsistence fishing from the river.

Members of the tribe spent about two hours presenting their comments to ODEQ last night and the record remains open for additional comments until July 18. Many referred to the landfill as "environmental genocide." They also challenged the Angelos, as they call us, to locate the landfill in the northeast quadrant of the city, which is in the 20 wealthiest zip codes in Oklahoma.

I didn't understand the full scope of the problem until after the meeting. My co-worker who has been a friend of the Poncas for years needed a ride home because he had a flat on his car (had to take a taxi to the meeting.) He asked if I was in a hurry or if I had time to run out and take a look at the site. I'm glad I agreed to go and got an honest look at the land. I'll have to go back with my own camera to show y'all the situation, but honest to God, the landfill is a disgrace to us all. Where once these people had an unfettered view of the prairie, that is now obliterated by this "monument" to garbage. You can get a real understanding of how threatening this is to the area, especially the river, and how this is crushing the culture and spirit from the Poncas.

Those who know the history of the Poncas' forced removal from Nebraska to north-central Oklahoma will understand why members of the tribe say that this is yet another example of the Seventh Calvary's attack on a sleeping peoples. The ancestors of this community were forced here on foot. Learn more by studying the history of chiefs Standing Bear and White Eagle.

And stay tuned. One thing certain about news is there's a new story every day. And because of that, I am pondering creating a new companion blog which will focus on the daily local news. More on that anon.