Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A "real" writer

I received my first check for a freelance writing assignment this week and I'm just a wee bit excited about it. I've had things published in the past but this was the first time I got paid for it. I guess that means I really can call myself a writer. Right? Right. 

Here's a picture of the article. You can read it on the Ada Hub website if you are so inclined. This is actually my second published article for the Hub and I have been asked to write additional articles. 


Perhaps this was the kick in the pants I needed to actually pursue writing in a serious manner. Maybe I'll even finish that novel I started so long ago. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just because...

Pretty flowers

David brought these gorgeous flowers home to me a couple of days ago. Just because. They were specially arranged for me by a sweet friend who works at the local florist shop. Aren't those peonies spectacular? And then yesterday my mom bought me some stargazer lilies. Just because. 

I'm a fortunate girl. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Without music...

Without music, 
life would be a mistake.
~Friedrich Nietzsche~

I've got a lot of catching up to do here so fair warning - this post has LOTS of pictures. 

July 1st was our lovely daughter's birthday. A bunch of us went to Vintage 22 for Trivia that night and celebrated with her. I'm usually the photo taker and rarely have any of myself. I figure someday my family might wish they had some of Mom so I asked David to take this one of me with the birthday girl.

My birthday girl
I think you can tell we are related. 

Much of our time these days involves music in one way or another. Our Happyland Music Alliance business has taken off like a rocket. We are pretty excited about the fact that Ada now has a vibrant live music scene. 

Last Thursday Rowdy Folk played at Papa Gjorgjo's. We started on the patio but the mosquitos chased us inside. No worries. These two are pros and they easily switched to an "unplugged" set indoors. 

Rowdy Folk unplugged

The musician who was supposed to play at Vintage 22 the next night became ill so Rowdy Folk filled in. That's one of the great things about "the Alliance" - they all work together and cover one another when necessary. They put on another great show and even had a surprise guest. Josh used to be their drummer until he moved but he was back in town Friday. It was great fun to have the original band back together again. 

Rowdy Folk #oklahomalivemusic #hmagigs

Once in awhile David likes to smoke a cigar. And show off...


Saturday, the following night, two of our bands were playing at The FieldHouse. This was the first official show for Angela and Ashley. They haven't decided on a band name yet but they are amazing.

Ashley and Angela at the FieldHouse #hmagigs #oklahomalivemusic

Then Moloko Litso finished out the night. Always a pleasure to hear these guys. 

Moloko Litso #hmagigs #oklahomalivemusic

We haven't figured out how to clone ourselves yet but it would sure come in handy on those nights we get invited to more than one event. Next up was a birthday party for the guy our niece is now dating. Will has been friends with Chris for years and we are excited that Will and Leslie are together. In fact, she got a job in Ada and is moving here! 

Happy birthday, Will!

The party was still going on but we said our goodbyes around 2 a.m. since we had plans Sunday. We left town around noon and headed for Kansas City. However, we couldn't miss the World Cup finals so we found an English pub in the Tulsa area and watched the game there. 

Watching #WorldCup at an #English pub in Jenks

It was a great place to watch because everyone there was focused on the game and very enthusiastic. Congratulations to Germany!

Serious soccer place to watch.

We stopped in Joplin, Missouri for dinner and finally made it to our hotel in Kansas City around 11 p.m. Yeah, we didn't make very good time. Ha! 

Monday morning David left me in the hotel room and went to his Kansas City location to do some employee training and a few other things. I worked on some things for HMA and a freelance article I was writing. After David got back, we headed out for a quick bite to eat (found a nice little pub with delicious burgers) then to the Starlight Theater, the main reason for this trip. You see, David had bought us tickets to see:

Tower of Power:

Tower of Power at #StarlightTheater #KansasCity


Don't Stop Believin'

It was like a trip back in time to our high school days. So much fun! And despite being July, the temperature in the outdoor venue was actually chilly by the time the night was over. After the concert while I was in the restroom, a couple of women came up to David and asked if he was the bass player in the Steve Miller Band. That isn't the first time he's been mistaken for a musician. It actually happens fairly often...which he just hates (not). A couple of guys asked for his autograph in New Orleans. He asked them who they thought he was. Their response? Foghat. 

It would have been nice to have another day or two in Kansas City but we had to get home. We did, however, eat lunch before we left Tuesday. Kansas City is known for barbecue so we decided that's what we should have. David asked at for a recommendation at the front desk and that is how we ended up at Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue. That's right, Kansas City barbecue at a place called Oklahoma Joe's. We waited about 40 minutes in line but it was worth it. Truly the best ribs I've ever tasted. Turns out Anthony Bourdain considers it one of the "13 Places to Eat Before You Die". One down, twelve to go! 

We ended up eating dinner in Seminole on our way home at a diner called Catfish Roundup. Neither of us had catfish so I can't comment on that but I will say that anyplace which brings you hot fritters the minute you sit down and then freshly baked hot rolls throughout your meal is alright by me. 

The next day Lisa and I did our July grocery shopping in OKC. You can read that post here. Then on Thursday I had a piano lesson and plans for David and I to attend the 4th Annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up At the Movies. I was pleasantly surprised when I had found out it would actually be playing at our local movie theater and had been looking forward to it. However, on my way home from piano I called David only to find out he was rushing home to get some clothes and then heading to Kansas where one of his trucks had been in a roll-over accident. Fortunately the driver was okay but he had to take the emergency response truck up there. And then if that weren't enough, he came up on a serious vehicle accident on his way home. He stopped to help with that. As I drove by I saw him at the back of the ambulance. I rushed home and started packing for him. He ran in, finished packing while I made him a sandwich and then he rushed back out. Poor guy. 

That left me without a date for the show but when Lisa heard that she offered to go with me. What a good daughter. There were only six of us in the theater. Apparently there aren't a lot of Deadheads in Ada. But I really enjoyed the show and was so glad I didn't have to go by myself. I would have but I'm glad I didn't have to. 

David didn't get home until late Friday night and I actually stayed home all day. Amazing. Saturday afternoon we had a nice time chatting with our niece, Leslie, before her trip to California the following day. Then David dropped me off at a bachelorette party for a dear friend. He went out for dinner and then picked me up in time for another HMA show at The FieldHouse. Our newest members shared a show. This is Rasheed Lowery:

Rasheed Lowery #hmagigs #oklahomalivemusic

And Dirty Derringer, along with Dwight Martin on harmonica. They all did great and the place was packed. Word is spreading and people are really starting to come out for our shows. 


I went to church Sunday but just a few minutes before we were ready to go David got a call and had to deal with yet another emergency. This one took him to Lindsay, Oklahoma and then to Oklahoma City to check on the injured driver (he'll be okay). I think it was about 9:30 p.m. when he finally got back home. 

And that is the sort of crazy busy life we are living these days. David just told me he has to go to the city tomorrow to check on the injured driver and bring him some things in the hospital. He asked if I'd like to go along and then we'll go out to dinner up there. Sure, why not? It's not like I have any housework to do. Although I did manage to get my kitchen mopped today so there's that. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grocery Haul - July 2014


Lisa and I did our July grocery shopping this past Wednesday and we couldn't have picked a better day weather-wise. We had a few sprinkles early in the day but otherwise it was just cloudy and in the low-mid 60s. No, I'm not kidding - SIXTIES! - in July! I don't know what has gotten into Oklahoma (well, other than the polar vortex) but our weather has been more like April or October this past week.  We'll be back into more seasonal temps in the 90s this week but it was sure nice while it lasted.

This trip we decided to go to Oklahoma City instead of Norman. We dropped off glass recycling in Norman first and then headed to OKC where we had lunch at Tucker's Onion Burgers. Yummy! We then did our grocery shopping at Sprouts and Whole Foods. As always, we enjoyed our time together and now we are well-stocked. Here is what I bought, plus my two co-op orders for the month:

  • pineapple
  • organic blackberries
  • organic pluots (2)
  • organic raspberries
  • organic red grapes
  • organic strawberries
  • organic black plums
  • organic blueberries
  • organic mango
  • organic celery
  • cereal (6 boxes)
  • green chilies
  • coconut milk creamer (3)
  • coconut milk (chocolate)
  • organic chicken breasts
  • frozen organic cherries
  • frozen organic mango chunks
  • Talenti raspberry gelato
  • organic frozen waffle fries
  • toothbrushes (3)
  • brush on root concealer
  • bag of ice
Total: $128.58

Whole Foods:
  • organic tortilla chips
  • organic BBQ chips
  • patchouli essence goat soap
  • extra sharp cheddar (Tillamook)
  • organic shredded three cheese blend
  • organic monterey jack cheese
  • organic sharp cheddar cheddar 
  • sliced deli chicken
  • sliced deli roast beef
  • mini croissants
  • sourdough bread
  • French baguettes (2)
  • organic red bell pepper
  • organic green bell pepper
  • fresh corn (3)
  • organic bananas
  • tangerines (3 pounds)
  • organic garlic
  • frozen tilapia 
Total: $85.05

Oklahoma Food Coop:
  • toothbrushes (2)
  • organic eggs (1 dozen)
  • organic grass-fed hamburger patties
  • all-natural, free-range split chicken breasts
  • all-natural, free-range whole chicken
Total: $69.69

Azure Standard Food Coop:
  • grass-fed beef hot dogs
  • coconut milk (2 cans)
  • organic instant potatoes (for sourdough starter)
  • organic crackers (2 kinds)
  • pomegranate cherry granola
  • organic pineapple juice
  • organic cherry cordial ice cream (1 pint)
  • organic salted caramel ice cream (48 oz.)
  • Biokleen hand dish soap
  • shampoo bar (2)
  • organic brown sugar
Total: $62.33

Total: $345.65

We popped in to Half Price Books for a few minutes because it was in the same shopping center as Sprouts. Lisa bought three very old National Geographic magazines (from the 50s - very cool!) and I picked up a few music-related magazines. We looked at the vinyl albums but didn't buy any. Now I'm wishing I had gone ahead and bought this one:

As a friend pointed out it would have been worth the $4.99 to see the look on people's faces as they thumb through our record collection and run across this one. 

If you post grocery hauls or if you even just read other people's, leave me a link in the comments. I would love to see them. Yes, I'm weird that way.

*You can read Lisa's grocery haul post here

Friday, July 11, 2014

French Friday ~ "Forever Chic" (Chapter 6)

Chapter Six
Exercise? Bien Sur!
La Femme Française Formula:
Fitness For the Fun of It

It is a common notion that French women don't exercise. According to Tish Jett, the author of "Forever Chic", this is not true. Exercise classes are extremely popular in France. Pilates, yoga, tai chi and aquagym classes are are all very well-attended. Women of all ages are even taking up jogging. 

French women do, however, prefer an element of fun in their efforts to keep fit. Biking, walking, skiing, tennis, golf...these are activities which provide the French woman with exercise as well as a dose of fresh air, something considered to be very important. 
"Aeration is part of the French esthetic, another aspect of taking good care of oneself."
One thing the French seem to do better than Americans is simply including more movement in their day-to-day life. The government gets in on the act, too. Along with messages about teaching your children not to snack between meals, the word "Bouger!" (Move!) is periodically flashed on the bottom of the television screen. It would seem that the French, as a culture, take health seriously and aren't offended by government efforts to encourage healthy eating and exercise. If only that were true in America. 


You can read my reviews of previous chapters by clicking on the links below:

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Tales From the Trip (Part 2 - Somewhere around Barstow)

Thirty eight years ago David and I met on a bus as it passed this sign. What a long, strange trip it's been.
"We were somewhere around Barstow 
on the edge of the desert 
when the drugs began to take hold."
(Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson)

David and I both grew up in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. And we are both so happy we no longer live there. If you love the desert I hope you won't take that personally. In many ways it wasn't a bad place to grow up but I just cannot imagine living there anymore. Even as a young child I wasn't happy about how brown it was. Our family would go "down below" (honestly, that's how everyone in the desert referred to going to the L.A. area - which, now that I think about it...oh, never mind) to visit relatives or to the beach or to our cabin in Big Bear and I'd be so disappointed when we came home to all those shades of brown. After all these years of living in Southeastern Oklahoma which is lush and green a good portion of the year it's all the more difficult to return. 

But we didn't go for the sightseeing. We went to see David's mom. She lives in Idaho but when we found out she and David's sister were planning a visit to the desert we decided this was the perfect opportunity for a visit. Both of David's brothers live there, as well as two of our nieces, and it was good to see all of them. 

Both of our families originally lived in Victorville before later moving to Apple Valley, a neighboring town. Route 66 runs through Victorville which is kind of cool. I took this picture from a moving car at night but this is a pretty great sign over 7th Street, the town's main street and where David I used to cruise our Mustangs back in high school. 

Victorville, California

We picked up David's mom and sister from the Ontario airport and took them to the desert. We did a bit of driving around through David's old neighborhood before going to his brother, Chris' house. Our sister-in-law, Roberta, had a nice dinner ready for us and then we all sat around their pool visiting for a couple of hours. Our niece, Mandy, and her two adorable little girls were there, too. We all enjoyed watching the kids swimming and playing in the pool. And then the three year old said, "Mommy, I'm sorry but I pooped in the pool." Ha! That's one of those situations when I am reminded that, however much I adored raising my kids, I'm kind of glad that phase is over. 

Here is a picture of David's mom laughing at something his brother, Rick was saying. I have no idea what, although it might have been when he was trying to convince her she had another son, Bobby. 

David's mom, Pat

I don't know when we will all be together again so family photos were taken. Mandy had her camera with a timer so we got some of the entire family but I haven't seen those yet. I snapped a few with my phone, though. 

David and his siblings
David, Rick, Laurie, Chris

Don't they look almost normal?

Our last night there, as we were heading back to our hotel, I noticed a car ahead of us driving a bit erratically. I made the comment that I hoped he wasn't getting on the freeway with us. But of course, he did. He barely negotiated the onramp and then drove along the freeway at widely varying speeds and crossing over two lanes of traffic and back again. David had me call 911 to report it. They patched me through to the Highway Patrol dispatcher and I gave them running commentary on the car's location and activity until they got an officer to pull him over. 

They asked if we'd be willing to wait in case they needed a statement. Here's David waiting in front of our rental car. 

Adventures in #Victorville

We had assumed it was a drunk driver but it turned out to be an elderly man who had either taken some medication or was having some sort of health problem. They called an ambulance and took him to the hospital. We had been a bit nervous about following him through Victorville late at night since David's brothers had both said they NEVER go there after dark. At one point the driver had pulled over and got out of his car. At that point we had no idea who was in the car or if he'd noticed us following him or if he had a gun. We held back a safe distance just in case and after a couple of minutes he got back in his car and continued down 7th Street. Whew.

I'm sure some who live in the area would think we were crazy but I'm glad we were able to help get him off the road before he caused an accident. Besides, a good story is worth it, right?

#California smog #drought
Taking off from Ontario, California 

Good to be back in #Oklahoma
Back in the land of green grass, very little traffic and good iced tea...