Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Losing Track of Time

Here is what happens to me on a regular basis: I am trying to come up with an interesting topic for my other blog (OR trying to come up with a new trivia question for the Historical Society's Facebook page) and I begin browsing through the Beryl Ford Collection of photos. And soon I think I have an idea of what I want to say (or ask). But then, I see a random picture of, well let's say the Douglas Bomber Plant that was built here in Tulsa in 1942. Hey, my grandma worked there as an inspector! Let's see what other photos are in here; maybe she's in one of them. And so I start going through photos linked to the Douglas Plant. The information I learn from some of them lead me to Google for more information. Already, an hour has passed since I began this endeavor.
Soon, I am learning about the Liberator and other planes. Which leads me to wondering about the airplane-carrier ship my dad was on in WWII. And what was the name of the CV9 he was on....? Oh wow. There is a lot of information on the U.S.S. Essex! More so than the last time I searched the Internet for it. Other veterans have added their own photos and memories. I begin reading diary entries from other Navy veterans that were on the ship at precisely the same time that my dad was. You see, we have the letters he wrote to his parents so I know when he got on the ship (and where, now that I have more info). 2 1/2 hours have now passed and I am immersed in those letters of his. The last of the letters were sent towards the end of the war. When he was on the ship, he couldn't say much because it would be censored out (literally cut out). Another thing is he kept writing how boring it was on the ship and how bored he was. As I now read the documentation on what was happening, I know he was just saying that rather than the scary truth to his folks. I have again learned something new about Dad. These letters were not discovered until the year 2000, after having moved into an assisted living facility. My very private father had kept them in a cigar box up in the top of his closet all those years. I am so thankful his mother kept them. Reading them helped us, his 3 girls, get to know him better and learn so much about his wonderful relationship with his parents that we never knew.
And now it is almost 4 hours since I sat down. It is lunchtime and I'm still not even dressed. Where did the morning go......? And what am I going to write about?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Wishes

Been bad, really bad, about blogging here. I have had thoughts, ideas, taken photos and then.....get sidetracked. So I'm going to post all of the photos I've taken since I put that cute little kitten below on here and just take it from there!
Well, first of all was my hubs birthday at the beginning of the month. I surprised him with homemade cinnamon rolls the morning of his birthday. Yep, made them from scratch the night before and put them in the fridge before bed. Hub appreciated it :o)We got an early Christmas present 2 weeks ago in the form of modern technology. 4-D pictures of our little grandson, Cade, who is due to arrive April 3. Now tell me this isn't cool:
God is great.

I have also been getting ready for Christmas which means these demons are around to tempt us:
So what do I do? I make more demons and try to save them for everyone else! These are chocolate covered peanuts, in case you can't tell. And I made a LOT of them.
We are super excited this Christmas because we will have a baby in the house on Christmas! This baby:Is she a cutie pie or what? She is my great-niece (one of 3 that I now have). She is the only one who will be able to be here though, so Santa's going to spoil her rotten.
We celebrated Christmas last weekend with my husband's family and I took a few shots:

We meet in a building because there are usually at least 25-30 of us there:
That's because my hub is the oldest of 7-- and some of our kids are having kids now:
Here is one of the newest members; she is 2 yrs old and really into opening presents this year:
This was the desert table:
After we gorge ourselves, we play Sneaky Santa which is always, always a good time.
And that's what its all about, folks. Family, friends, laughter and most of all LOVE.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cutest Kitty!

If this 17 seconds doesn't make you smile then all hope is lost!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I've Gotta Say.....

Learning how to use a Mac computer after using a PC for 14+ years is a challenge. I've been playing around on this for 4 days and am finally feeling comfortable on it. OK, not really playing on it; more like trying to figure out how to blog, edit photos, upload tunes etc.
I thought I was so smart; I have been using Carbonite to back up my files, photos and music for almost a year. I was somewhat smug that it would be a cinch to download those to this new computer. Yeah, well guess what? Carbonite doesn't do PC to Mac restoration "at this time"! I am always the one who has to do things the hard way it seems, and this was no exception. I had to download the files I wanted from the Carbonite website (where thankfully they all were) onto an external hard drive, then manually install them onto the Mac. Wow, that sounds so easy and simple. I guess it was, in the big scheme of things. It's just that doing all of this in the land of Mac was like being blindfolded and trying to follow someone. I did, however, have my trusty little netbook handy; it runs Windows XP and was my safety net during this transition.
I can say now that this is all so worth it. When I disassembled my Dell to take to my son, it was the biggest mess of power cords I've ever seen- nothing new to PC users though. This Mac has ONE cord to plug in. That's it. And everything else on it is as simple to use, once you learn the language- so to speak. Did I mention that I barely passed French in high school? Yeah, new languages are difficult for me but this one was worth every bit of my time. I am looking forward to a long, wonderful time with this new baby. I am in love.
p.s. Yes I do know that Apple stores have workshops for new Mac owners but I couldn't wait to start figuring this out and using it. Patience isn't one of my virtues. :o)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gone To The Dogs

I just returned from visiting my son and daughter-in-law in Kentucky. Whew, what a trip! It was fun and went by way too fast. I got to see their cute new house and also meet their cute, new dogs. Well, new to them. They rescued Hobbs and Marquise from the local shelter. They came together. Marquise "raised" Hobbs and is therefore the alpha dog of the two.
This is Hobbs- he is a South African Mastiff that weighs 175 lbs. He is 2 yrs old:

He's a BIG baby! He loves Bryan soooooo much that he cries if Bryan goes outside without him. This is him laying by the garage door, crying:

And this is sweet, sweet Marquise. She is an American Staffordshire Terrier. Also known as a Pit Bull. And I have never met a nicer more gentle dog before. Look at this face!

She is just a sweetheart. On Saturday we took the both of them back to the shelter to visit the people there who took care of them for 4 months. The workers were overjoyed to see them! I guess many people don't bring their adopted pets back for visits. I rode in the back of the Explorer with the dogs.
These guys were hard to adopt out. Hobbs because of his size and Marquise because of her breed. I'm glad my kids found and rescued them. They are great dogs.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Drive By Shooting

A couple of friends and I are working on a project for the Historical Society. Hopefully this will turn into another educational program to take to the schools. Anyway, it involves photos of various places around town- that's where I come in. The first time out, we went downtown and walked to all of the neat buildings; it helps when you have an experienced travel agent with you who knows all the ins and outs of places. The 2nd time, we did alot of driving; or should I say, she did alot of driving. Mostly I just gawked, as I am want to do when not having to drive. The rest of the time I was jumping out of the car and snapping pictures.

But some photos I was able to snap from the car.
This is the McBirney Mansion, taken from the passenger seat, through the front window:

This was a tricky shot through the rolled-down drivers side window (thank you Karen for not minding my leaning on you!)

This one was a challenge because my friend was turning the corner (making a left) as I was snapping away:

Of course, when you can pull up right in front of a place, that makes it super easy. Wilson Middle School:

I was out Saturday, driving through downtown- it's so much easier to do this when there isn't any traffic. I pulled over and got Boston Avenue Methodist Church:

Well that's all for now. Hope you have a good week!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Random Thoughts for the Day

Someone sent this to me and I just have to share it.

Random Thoughts for the Day

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18. My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "What would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

19. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Veterans Day always makes me choke up a little. When I think of Veterans, past and present, and their courage and strength, it just gets to me.

My dad was a Navy Fighter Pilot in WWII. He served in the Pacific Theater, bringing home a Distinguished Flying Cross, among other medals of honor. And yet, we didn't know that (or much else) about his Navy career until he passed away. Then many, many things were discovered and unearthed as we went through his personal belongings. A new side of our father was discovered when a cigar box full of his letters, written to his parents during his tour, was found. These letters, beginning with his enlistment at the age of 22, show a close relationship with his parents, our grandparents, that we didn't really know about.

My dad's older brother enlisted first with the Army in 1942:

and dad the Navy a few months later.

By following his journey of training through these letters, we learned how long it takes to become a navy pilot. That it really was a "weeding out process" as they went from training to schools all around the country. And that, truly, only a few- with the right stuff- make it.
photo of dad getting his wings:
By the time my dad actually made it to the navy carrier the U.S.S. Essex, the war was winding down. The letters from him are much fewer and farther in between at that time, with some of the letters having been censored- neatly cut squares of paper removed. They are not as cheeful or happy as the ones prior to that time.
And then, the war was over.
And Dad eventually returned home, put his memories and war experiences behind him, and resumed his life, never really mentioning or talking about that period of his life much again, as was typical of his generation. They just did what they had to do and moved on, trying hard not to look back.
I am so proud of my dad - and all of the veterans past and present- for their service.

Thank You Veterans

Thursday, October 29, 2009

PW Comes To The Big City

The Big Day was finally here last Tuesday. The book release of Ree Drummond's cookbook and it was being held at my home-away-from-home: The Tulsa Historical Society! I have had Ree's link to her webpage over here on the side since I started this blog ---------------------->
I can't remember where I got the link to her blog way back but once I stumbled upon it, I was hooked. Actually, it was reading her mini-Harlequin-romance-novel "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" that hooked me. She's a very gifted, witty writer. I love her humor and her stories from The Ranch (which is just outside of Pawhuska, OK).
And I'm not the only one who loves her! Her website/blog gets over a million hits a week! This woman is popular, I tell ya! And so............they began arriving early for this big event Tuesday night. The doors were to open at 6:00 pm and at 5:00 pm it looked like this:

Jeff Martin of BookSmart Tulsa was handling the details (with a little help from some friends) which included 700 wondermous (yes it's a cupcakes from Merritt's Bakery. PW (that's what we call her) ordered 3 different kinds: carrot cake, red devil cake and chocolate cake delivered for her friends and fans. I'll show you a picture of 2 of the 3 kinds. The carrot cake just didn't make it around long enough to get a picture: Aren't they yummy looking? And I love the PW on the chocolate one- cute AND good! Ree Drummond is just the most generous, kind-hearted person ever. Not only did she order these babies for all of us to munch on, her hubby Ladd, aka Marlboro Man (because he's that good lookin' in Levi's) also brought tons of pop (including Coke in glass bottles- I loved it) and water. The big give-away, though, was the t-shirts. Now those of you who don't read her blog don't know this but Ree gives away lots of fantastic prizes every week. Ranging from KitchenAid Mixers to cameras to cute little earrings. You just never know with her! So, in typical Ree fashion, she had these darling t-shirts made:

And on the lower right-hand back of the shirts:
Cute or what?

As I said before, MM brought lots of stuff to drink. He backed his rugged pickup truck up to the museum's dock:

and proceeded to unload cases and cases of drinks, ice and the large buckets to put it all in. My friend Michelle (a staff member of THS) and I looked at those forearms and those Levi's, turned to each other and said, "Oh my. Now I get it." (meaning we now know why Ree ran away to the country with this man).

And nice? You want to talk about a nice, sweet man? He posed for so many pictures and signed probably at least half as many books as Ree did later on. Now where was I.... Oh yes, well as you can see people were already in the museum waiting in line to buy a book (or 5)
...or going through another line to get a free, cute t-shirt:
And the seats began to fill up...

(weren't these 3 girls cute??)

as we anxiously awaited for Ree who was, at that moment, Tweeting how scared she was. I cannot blame her, I would've been too. But arrive she did!

She was whisked upstairs while we volunteers worked at getting things settled down and people seated. And then: it was time! Jeff Martin came out to welcome the crowd. And introduce Ms Ree who looked cool as a cucumber to me. Such a pretty lady.

Ree took questions from the audience and introduced her family. This is what's wierd about following and "knowing" someone you've never met: I knew that her sister and nephew were sitting in front of me.
I knew her sweet brother Mike was there.

I've "met" these good people on PW's blog and the surreality of actually seeing them in the flesh is just WIERD (in a good way).
So when Ree introduced her brother Mike, he came up to hug her and she asked him to stay up there with her. He had a calming effect on her, she said. I say: whatever works!
The questions and especially the answers from Ree were great. My favorite exchange:

Guest: Ree, can I ask you a personal question? Is that OK?

Ree: Sure, go ahead.

Guest: OK. Well, how was it you met your husband in a crowded, smokey bar? I mean, what were YOU doing there?

Ree explains. (ed: read Black Heels to Tractor Wheels for the answer)

Next Guest: Ree, how much butter do you go through in a week?

Ree: Now THAT'S personal!

The lady cracks me up.

Then it was time to sign books and boy, did she have alot of books to sign.

Friends, fans and family were all content to eat cupcakes, drink Cokes, visit and flip through the new cookbook while waiting (some for 3 hours) to get their books signed.

What a gracious, lovely lady. Thanks Ree.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So, there was this

I enjoyed a gorgeous, beautiful fall day last weekend. I was taking in all of the sites surrounding my drive through the cemetery by my house. This is where my parents (and other relatives and friends) were laid to rest. A "10" of a day for sure. Mother Nature at her finest, especially the trees....

The geese...

And the- huh? What is this?

I don't mean to be rude, but you look so....different....

What are you? A cross between a goose and a duck? ***gasp**** A Guck????

OK, OK, calm down!!

Don't get your feathers all ruffled! heh heh heh Man, some birds are SO sensitive! OK little guck, as you were. Sorry to get you so riled.

You're a cutie, by the way.