Monday, June 29, 2015

Love is All You Need...



This past Friday was a great day for love. We went to Tulsa to attend the wedding of a young lady and her beloved. It was a beautiful church ceremony and a really fun reception at the Hard Rock hotel

#thisishowiewed

Our son, Chris, was one of the ushers. This is him with a dear friend:

Chris and Laura - #thisishowiewed

They had a photo booth set up at the reception so this happened:

#thisishowiewed

Our 34th anniversary was last weekend but since we were going to be in Tulsa anyway, we decided to celebrate this weekend instead. Saturday we slept in after a rather late night. We decided we'd like to see the Women's World Cup game so we found a sports bar/restaurant - Fat Daddy's. I had read some reviews, one of which highly recommended the Reuben sandwich. I decided to go with that, along with onion rings. Both were absolutely delicious:

Reuben and onion rings at Fat Daddy's in #Tulsa

We ate and hung out for awhile watching the game. It wasn't the most exciting game we've ever seen and since we were a little sleepy we decided to go back to the hotel for a little nap since we would up late again that night. 

After a nice nap we went to Charleston's for a light dinner (soup and salad) before heading to Shrine, a music venue where we had tickets to see "Let's Zeppelin", a Led Zeppelin tribute band. We had no idea if they'd be any good but the tickets were only $8 each so it was certainly worth a shot. They were surprisingly good and we thoroughly enjoyed the show. They were also really nice guys and we ended up chatting with them for awhile afterwards. 

Let's Zeppelin @Shine in #Tulsa

A friend of ours manages a food truck and it happened to be set up across the street from Shrine. After the show we went over to visit with her. It was well after midnight and we were a little hungry so we got some food from the food truck. It was exceptionally good and really hit the spot. 

I think it was almost 3 a.m. before we turned in for the night so we didn't get out of the room until a little after noon Sunday. Our food truck friend had recommended the Dilly Diner for brunch/lunch so we decided to give it a try. I love chicken and waffles so when I saw that on the menu that's what I had to order. The food was really good and I love the fact that much of their food is locally sourced and all made from scratch. 

Dilly Diner in #Tulsa #localfood

After lunch we checked out a record store but didn't find anything we couldn't live without. We decided to head on home after that. 

It was a nice little getaway and a fun way to celebrate 34 years of marriage. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Grocery Haul ~ June 16, 2015

Grocery haul - June 16, 2015

Lisa (my daughter who blogs at Retro Housewife Goes Green) and I usually do a major grocery shopping trip once a month but for various reasons we hadn't done one since February. We finally found a day that worked for both of us and that's what we did yesterday. Good thing, too, because today we are getting what is forecast to be a ridiculous amount of rain.

We made it out of town at a pretty decent hour so I had time to stop at the mall for the dreaded swimsuit shopping (I did find two so I should be good for another 15 years - ha!). We then met up with Lisa's friend, Audrey for a lovely two-hour lunch.

As always, we had a great day together. It's so nice to have a daughter who is also a friend.


Sprouts:
  • apricots
  • artichokes
  • meyer lemons
  • tomatoes
  • apples
  • green grapes
  • green beans
  • orange bell peppers
  • russet potatoes
  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • raspberries
  • bananas
  • onions
  • yellow squash
  • cereal x4 boxes
  • chocolate syrup
  • Herbs de Provence
  • ground black pepper
  • whole peppercorns
  • cumin
  • parsley
  • tomato paste
  • chicken broth
  • black tea
  • coconut milk creamer
  • muenster cheese
  • sliced cheddar
  • deli roast beef
  • boneless pork chops
  • chicken and apple sausage links
  • pork sausage links
  • baguettes
  • frozen french fries
  • essential oil
  • root concealer
$190.34

Natural Grocers:
  • prunes
  • cheese slices
  • shredded parmesan
  • cheese x3
  • gourmet mayonnaise
  • gourmet ketchup
  • yogurt x3
  • butter
  • red leaf lettuce
  • new potatoes
  • dishwasher detergent
  • corn on the cob
$63.97

Dodson's:
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • bbq chips
  • blood pressure tea
  • Sun Cups x2
  • red grapes
$22.96

Braum's:
  • head of lettuce
  • 1/2 gallon milk
  • chocolate chip ice cream
  • half and half
  • cream
$13.58

Oklahoma Food Coop (will pick up tomorrow):
  • all natural chicken breasts
  • goat's milk patchouli soap (3 bars)
  • tomato plants (yeah, finally going to plant some!)
$48.99

Total: $339.84

You may notice that my grocery hauls can vary a lot and may seem to be missing some items. For instance, this time there is no pasta, rice or beans. I happen to be well-stocked on those right now. Most of this shopping trip focused on fresh produce. I love this time of year when so many yummy things are in season. During the summer we eat a lot of meals which feature mostly vegetables.

I bought several spices this trip because I recently sorted through my spice cabinet, noting things I was running low on. We don't eat a lot of meat and I do happen to have three packages of ground beef, some bulk sausage, bacon and a few other items in the freezer. And speaking of the freezer, I MUST make a concerted effort to use up some of what's crammed in there in order to make room to freeze peaches when they come into season - which should be soon.

I quit designating which items are organic. The majority of what I buy is organic and I just got tired of writing that by everything. If you are curious about specific brands or anything I do or don't buy, feel free to ask in the comments. Also, if you are interested in what I actually do with what I buy, you can check out my weekly menu which is usually posted on Mondays on Dee's Kitchen. If you do grocery haul posts I would love to read yours. For some reason I find it fascinating. Yeah, I may be a little weird. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tea, Tissues and I Love Lucy

This is what my week has consisted of:


I thought I had successfully fought off the virus which kept taunting me last week but then it pulled a fast one and clobbered me Sunday night. I've spent the past few days blowing my nose, coughing, drinking tea and watching I Love Lucy. So far I think I have watched 33 episodes this week. I'm feeling better except for the lingering asthma symptoms and the back pain from all the violent coughing.  

The worst part? We had to postpone our appointment to get satellite internet installed. If you are wondering why it's been a month since my last blog post, it's because we have the crappiest internet provider on the planet and our service has been down way more than it's been up. I'll spare you the details...mainly because talking about it raises my blood pressure. I know there can be issues with satellite internet - and frankly, that does scare me - but we reached a point where we decided it was worth at least trying something else. When you live in the boonies your options are minimal. 

Hopefully by the middle of next week I will have a reasonably consistent internet connection and then there will likely be an avalanche of posts and pictures and giddy expressions of glee. Until then I'll just go watch some more episodes of I Love Lucy. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tornadoes and flooding and tigers...oh, my!

Oklahoma is one heck of a place in the springtime. One minute you can be driving along the highway admiring the dense carpet of wildflowers and the next you are in a deluge dodging tornadoes.

Last Wednesday we went to Oklahoma City for the Clutch/Mastodon concert. We were supposed to meet up with musician friends who had bought tickets for us and we were really looking forward to a fun night together. David needed to take a couple of his employees to the city to pick up their trucks which had been repaired so we left early in the day. After dropping them off we had some time time to kill and then were going to meet our friends for an early dinner. We arrived at the restaurant about 30-45 minutes early, figuring we'd each work on some things via our phones until the others arrived.

We were sitting in the parking lot facing North where the skies looked pretty clear when we got a call from our friends who were visiting someone in the hospital. They were being told that they shouldn't leave the hospital because of the weather. I turned around and saw rather threatening skies South of us. You see, we were just barely North of Moore, Oklahoma which seems to be a tornado magnet. David decided we needed to get out of there. The concert didn't start until 7 p.m. so he decided we would go to the Skirvin Hotel, let them valet park the car in their covered parking garage and we would hang out in the bar until the storm passed. It's a very old (and beautiful) hotel in downtown OKC with lots of other tall buildings around it which makes it safer in a storm.

There were only about half a dozen of us in the bar at that early hour. We were all watching the weather on the television and talking about our plans. The bartender (who, it turns out, grew up in Ada - the little town we live in) told us that if there was a tornado warning for our location we would all evacuate to the basement of the hotel. I asked if we could take our drinks with us and everyone in the bar - all men - chuckled. The bartender said yes. See? You never know unless you ask.

Gradually the bar started filling up. We discovered that quite a number of people who live nearby routinely come to the Skirvin during tornado watches/warnings. We kept a close eye on weather reports while chatting with others in the bar. We always meet the most interesting people in that bar. I was sitting next to a man who is an artist and works for the Choctaws, which happens to be the tribe I belong to. He told us about the new concert venue the tribe had just built and the next thing I know David has bought tickets to see Boston there on my birthday in August. And I have a new Facebook friend.

At one point we were evacuated to the basement but almost as soon as we got there they gave us the all clear and we returned to the bar. Later in the evening we made a second trip down there - that time for perhaps 15 minutes or so. It was all very orderly and civilized. They had cases of bottled water down there for anyone who wanted it, although most of us brought our own beverages. We chatted with a guy we have seen at the Skirvin quite often. He lives in the neighborhood and apparently hangs out there all the time. As soon as were told to go to the basement he bought three beers, had them open two, and calmly proceeded down the stairs where he promptly downed the two that were open. David opened the third for him with a key - and thereby taught the guy a new skill.

At some point it became apparent the we were not going to the concert. The venue is little more than a metal building in an open field. Not exactly where one wants to be in a tornado. We tried to dissuade our young friends from going but without success. They saw the warmup band but then the power went out. Because a tornado hit a block away!!! We were worried sick about them. When the rest of the concert was cancelled they headed for home which took them a very, very long time because of the torrential rains and flooding.

Oh, did I not mention the flooding? Yes, while California is drying up and is about to blow away, Oklahoma has been issuing emergency flood warnings. They even closed the airport which got over 7 inches of rain that night.

David decided that we shouldn't try to drive home so he went to the front desk to see about getting a room. The regular rates were crazy high that night but he's a Diamond Club member with Hilton and asked what sort of rate he could get under the circumstances. They knocked $100 off the rate and gave us a suite. Sweet! As they say, membership has its privileges.

So, with a room for the night secured and after knowing that our friends were safely on their way home and away from the dangerous storms, we settled in to enjoy the rest of the evening. There had been a couple of earthquakes in the state earlier in the day, plus the tornadoes and flooding. One would think that would be enough for one day. But one would be wrong. Reports started coming in that an exotic animal park had been damaged and there were wild animals roaming the streets of Tuttle, Oklahoma. Soon my Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with references to "Tigernado" and some clever person quickly started the "Tornado Tiger" Twitter account.  It was later determined that, while the exotic animal park did sustain major damage, all the animals were accounted for. Still, it was rather surreal to think that on top of the crazy storm, tornadoes and flooding there might be tigers roaming the streets. Or maybe swimming in them:



After things settled down we went to our room. Of course, we hadn't planned on spending the night so we had no luggage. We asked for toothbrushes at the front desk and they gave us a nice little selection of toiletries - toothbrushes (really nice ones), toothpaste, comb, deodorant (one for each of us). Fortunately I carry a couple of days' worth of my asthma and blood pressure meds with me and enough makeup that I can at least look reasonably decent.

We carried our last drinks with us to our room and then ordered some poutine from room service. We had split a burger at the bar early in the evening when we still thought we would be going to the concert and then doing the usual post-concert IHOP thing. As we sat in bed eating and watching Jimmy Fallon, I was very grateful that we were safe in the nicest tornado shelter ever.

#poutine #roomservice

We slept well and got up early the next morning because David needed to go to work. One thing about having to be up early is that we actually got to partake of the free breakfast the hotel offers its Diamond Members. We've never been up early enough to do that before. They have a very nice breakfast buffet. Maybe we will have to drag ourselves out of bed in time to do that again next time we stay there.  Or maybe not.

So, while our night didn't quite go according to plan, and sadly, there was much property damage, several injuries and one death, we were lucky. Oklahoma is beautiful in the springtime but it can be one wild and weird place.

Sometimes people even find a stray camel in their backyard:

This camel and his 4 cow friends went for a stroll when their fence was knocked down in the storm. 
Word spread quickly on Facebook and they were soon back where they belong. 

It continued to rain pretty consistently the next several days and the flooding has been rather serious. It almost never floods in our town but we've had flash flood warnings several times in the past few days. All I can say is, so far the locusts haven't been unleashed. 



Monday, April 27, 2015

Back from New Orleans, still recovering...

On the river #NewOrleans

We got back from New Orleans late last Tuesday. We just couldn't tear ourselves away and ended up staying rather late Monday night. We only went as far as Baton Rouge that night so Tuesday was a fairly long day. I then drove to the city Wednesday because my dad was having a procedure done up there. David flew out on business Thursday and returned Saturday afternoon. We then attended a local event that evening. Yesterday I did some volunteer work. This morning I took my daughter to get a wisdom tooth removed. I have a meeting in just a little while, another tomorrow night and probably one on Thursday. In fact, I have something on my calendar almost every day for the next few weeks. David leaves tomorrow for yet another business trip. And so it goes...

Our internet was down when we got home and we just got it back this morning. I have lots of pictures from our trip to share, as well as some hilarious videos of pirates "singing", dancing and being silly. I'll try to get those posted over the next few days so stay tuned. 

Oh, and in case you were wondering, we do still love New Orleans. 

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Good Friday

As we were leaving the Good Friday service last night I glanced back and saw this: