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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sweet Ending to a Blessed Year

This is it... The end of 2011. As I sit here recalling the events of this year, my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude. Time actually does mend, and although scars may remain, perhaps they will begin to fade with the passing of time. At the beginning of this year, I was hopeful that the fog would continue to lift leaving pieces I could recognize as the old me... It did, and I have and I'm thankful for every little sliver of myself that has been restored. We just got home from an evening of laughing with friends, really nothing rings the old year out like hysterical belly laughing that gives you a headache. The ending to 2011 has been sweet. All of our kids are back in the same state, everyone is healthy and enjoying life. Those are blessings you should never take for granted. I am enriched by those around, and blessed beyond what I deserve. May the beginning of 2012 be as comforting as the end to 2011.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sleep Eating Through Christmas

I lay in bed Christmas Eve night, not listening for sleigh bells, but listening to my stomach roll and rumble from eating approximately 4 cups of raw sugar cookie dough. Another perfect example for why I should not bake.... Nothing ever makes it to the oven, at least not in one piece. How is it even possible for a cookie that is so bland tasting when cooked, to be so absolutely to die for delicious in it's raw form? This is a question that has haunted me for years. As if 4 cups of raw sugar cookie dough isn't bad enough, I have to top mine with butter cream frosting. To my credit I only ate about 2 cups of the frosting, but that was because my stomach was already starting to swell from the cookie dough.  All evening long I followed my family from room to room with my tray of sugar cookies...  I implored them to eat the cookie because I knew if they didn't, I would. All three of the kids sat there, with their Dad's skinny genes pumping through their veins and snubbed my cookies except for a few bite (Hey! Don't judge my cookies, they were good). Sure enough, Christmas Eve night I was so jacked up on sugar I couldn't sleep. I popped an Ambien and the next morning the cookies were still there.... But the frosting had  been licked clean from each and every one of them... I was guilty of sleep eating AGAIN! I made myself get out of the house yesterday for a 7 mile walk. I figure I could have walked all the way to Arkansas and back and still not walked off those freakin cookies. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll get a bad case of fat eating worms from the flour. The problem with this theory is.... I have never been lucky. Oh ugh!

Kind of Like Old Times....

Christmas has really been a difficult time for me the last few years. With my older two kids grown and gone (in some cases gone as in out of the country gone) it was difficult for me to maintain the traditional holiday
feel around the house. Everything seemed out of sync. Don't get me wrong, I am tickled pink that my children are thriving in their adult years. I'm happy to see them fulfilling their dreams and going on adventures I would have never even dreamed.
I'm not one who usually struggles with change, but I am not ashamed to admit that I have struggled with the nearly empty nest syndrome. Last Christmas I pretty much
stayed in a fetal position.
I was starring

the one year anniversary of my fall in the face and had enough residual side effects that I was in complete panic mode about facing New Year's as a different person (I'm still not real crazy about the
new me). The year before that we just packed up the the boys and literally ran away from home. We ran to the mountains of Colorado along with our best friends and their families and enjoyed probably the best Christmas ever just pretending the rest of the world didn't exist. This year my daughter was back in the plains of Oklahoma, my son had finally decided that maybe God didn't call him to a life of singleness, so his beautiful girlfriend joined us and for the first Christmas in a long time we were all together. The last few holidays we served at the homeless shelter but this year we had a family dinner with my brother and his wife and my parents. It was nice to have everyone together under the same roof for a change.... Kind of like old times.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Unexpected Christmas Treats are Just Food for Thought

Yesterday I lost the diamond out of my wedding ring. Everyone in our department thought I was having severe back problems because I was walking around all hunched over trying to find my stunningly large stone (lol). One of the guys whipped out his pocket sized flashlight (probably from his pocket protector)to aid in the search Despite me roaming the office on my hands and knees we found nothing except piles
of glitter from my blingy Christmas ornaments and possibly from some of my inappropriately gaudy fashion wear. I knew I should have worn my contacts! This morning I continued my search in my office. I dug through the files I worked on yesterday, scavenged underneath my desk and trolled the nether regions of my one hundred year old desk chair. I peeled back the cushions of my chair to find an
array of crumbs, screws, paperclips, staples and even a well preserved Cheeto. Not far into the journey the thought occured to me that this chair which had held God only knows how many people over the decades, with it's flattened cushions and squeaky wheels, also held the butt juice of each and every one of those people... And that my friend is the juicy food for thought on this the Friday before Christmas day. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Monday, December 19, 2011

30 Years into Forever

Today I'm 30 years into Forever with my husband. A lifetime to love him is not nearly long enough. He took my dreams and turned them into reality.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Feng Shui of Memories

I wouldn't say I'm comfortable with the stage of life I'm in right now. It's kind of like being in a perpetual state of limbo, no little kids at home, no grandchildren to spoil, just kind of blah. Life seemed more natural when I was juggling home, husband, a job and three kids. Now, I feel like a boat with no sail, a ship with no shore, a kite with no crossbars to keep me from collapsing. I have a friend who became a first time grandparent last week. It's exciting to watch the next phase of the journey begin. When the kids were little, we had traditions. The Easter Bunny came at Easter, in the fall we had a pumpkin carving party, and of course Christmas time was full of wonder that can only be seen through the eyes of a child. My oldest son told me a couple of weeks ago that we no longer had any "Feng Shui" in our holidays. I couldn't agree more! This Stella had lost her groove, misplace the Yin that went to her Yang and couldn't find the Jo in her Mo if her life depended on it. So, this year I'm trying to get that "Feng Shui" flowing again. First on the list was what I hope will be a new tradition...Girls Spa Day. My son's girlfriend will be spending Christmas with us. I'm super excited about getting to spend time with her, not only does she seem really sweet, but she makes my son light up like a Christmas tree which just sets this Momma's heart on fire. I wanted her to be more comfortable Christmas by getting to know her a little beforehand. What better way to get to know someone than to get naked with them??? LOL, just kidding (kind of). I booked a girls day at a spa for myself, my daughter and my son's girlfriend. It was wonderful. The spa was tranquil with dim lights, wonderful soothing smells, and soft gentle music. We all had one hour facials, and one hour massages... We were happy limp noodles when we were done. I believe "Spa Day" has put the Feng back in our Shui as we head towards the Christmas holiday. Great traditions create great memories and great memories bring Feng Shui to all things.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Glass is Full

One thing I can say for sure about my weekend.... It wasn't boring. Friday night was our Christmas party for work. We had a great time eating wonderful food, listening to amazing jazz, receiving service awards,
winning prizes and watching Reflections the local High School performing choir sing and dance. I was up bright and early Saturday morning preparing for the wedding shower for another one of our boys. My husband (who is a wonderful sport) helped me get the room ready at the church and kept me calm and collected although I'm not really sure how he does it. It was well after two when we got home from the shower and all I wanted was a quick nap before heading to the Bedlam party. The OSU/OU game is a big deal. As my
husband says, OSU is the Rodney Dangerfield of football.... We just can't get any respect. We may not have gotten any respect Saturday but one thing for sure is we kicked some OU Sooner butt in a big way. Yes, I understand that OU has won Bedlam more times than OSU but we're living in the present people, and in the here and now, we are good! It was late when we got home from the football game so we slept in Sunday morning... That is we slept in until Sunday afternoon. It felt so good not to need to get up and have to be anywhere at any certain time. Later in the afternoon, I pulled out my walking shoes, harnessed up the horse
and headed out for our 2.5 hour walk. After the walk I threw in a little grocery shopping, dinner making and then bath taking to wrap up a weekend that was absolutely more full than empty... It's a very good feeling.

Monday, November 28, 2011

You Can Lead a Horse to Water.....

This is a frolicking horse
My daughter and I love all of God's furry critters. We play hide and seek with our cats, fetch with our dogs and believe anything with a fur-like substance should be petted and cooed over. We've had all manner of critters over the years, a pet pig, rabbits, ferrets, lizards, fish, birds, cats and lots of dogs. When she moved back to Oklahoma, being around the family pets was as big a treat to her as being around the family. My brother raises horses, so she was excited to spend Thanksgiving at his place. She has been wanting to go riding, so she asked him about it a few weeks ago. He raises horses, but doesn't necessarily ride his horses and much to her dismay he doesn't "play" with his horses either (I know, it seems almost inhuman not to play with your pet), but then again, they're really not pets. See, I have a hard time understanding this too. It's the same with people who have hunting dogs but they don't play with them, they're considered tools (like a DeWalt electric drill), or insert quote from the Tom Hanks movie "Big".... Josh (Tom Hanks) is shown a new toy that his employers are working on. It's an immobile skyscraper that turns into a giant robot. "So what's so fun about playing with a building? That's not any fun!" What's fun about having horses if you can't play and frolick with them? I didn't specifically ask him about frolicking, but I will. Thanksgiving day my daughter brought two large bags of carrots and apples.... "To feed to the horses!" As we tromped through the mud to get to the horses my brother explained that his horses had never seen a carrot or an apple and probably wouldn't be too keen on eating either. We weren't deterred by his negative thinking, hey, they were horses weren't they? They came to the fence and in spite of our determination they weren't interested in our
offerings. Seriously, have they not seen "Mr. Ed?" My brother came lugging buckets of horse feed and told us to try the feed instead. Sure enough, lickety split, they nibbled it right out of our hands and headed to the trough for more as he poured it in. I guess it just goes to prove that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it eat a carrot if it doesn't want to... And apparently they also don't talk :-(

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Warm and Fuzzy

I just couldn't help myself this morning(I have that problem a lot), I just wanted to listen to Christmas music. I tried to put it off until after Thanksgiving, but with the cool damp weather, it just seemed like Christmas music kind of time. I love the old scratchy Dean Martin, Bing Crosby music, it just sounds right. Even if I'm not snuggled up on the couch, or sitting in front of a fire place, Christmas music makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cokernut Pie!!! Tis the Best

Looks pretty huh? Yeah, it's not the one I made :-)
Have you ever done something knowing you shouldn't do it? Knowing that you would reap what you sowed for years on end... Yet you went ahead and committed the act? That's me tonight. I just had to have a coconut pie (pronounced cokernut, which drives my daughter crazy, but I'm more redneck than I admit to so my bad). I got the recipe from a lady who makes the best cokernut pie ever, hands down, because I don't even like cokernut. I even made the crust which always ends up looking like the quilt made of human skin on Silence of the Lambs. I have a Suzy Homemaker cousin who could make a pie crust in her sleep that would win awards, but I just didn't get that gene. Instead, I  combine my sewing skills (which are nil) with my baking skills, which aren't pretty but they'll do in a pinch and this is the result of my talent... A crust that looks like it's been formed from the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The reason I shouldn't be making cokernut pies isn't just because of my haphazard crusts, it's because my family isn't exactly sweet eating machines. My husband will eat chocolate cake but that's so ordinary. Plus, the last time I got on a pie kick I gained 15lbs which sadly, to this day, still hangs limply on either side of my hips.  But, it's the holidays. It's the holly, jolly, jiggly, wiggly holidays and by gosh I plan on jiggling and wiggling with the best of em.... Just me and my cokernut pies.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gentle Touch

How many times have I felt like this little deer that was literally caught in the headlights? I've stood in the highway of life before, completely paralyzed with fear and shock. Times like those I'm thankful for the gentle touch of the Master or one of the Master's helpers that come up beside me, gently lift me up to deposit me out of harms way. The video perfectly depicts those times in my life where I was just grateful for a gentle loving touch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

You Have the Most AMAZING.....

God has a reason for everything he does. Some people (apparently that would be me) couldn't handle wealth and so he allows them to be poor. Some people couldn't handle fame so he allows them to be obscure. I've always said that God didn't make me a size 0 and beautiful because I couldn't handle it. It's absolutely true! Unless you consider shoe shopping and party planning a talent, I'm a Jac (get that?) of all trades and the master of nothing... Until a few weeks ago when I received a phone call from the Oklahoma Blood Institute. The nurse told me the last time I gave blood they noticed I had an amazing platelet count and wanted to know if I would consider donating platelets. Being the goodhearted, civic minded person I am, I thought that sounded like a swell idea. I showed up last night for my first platelet donation and the nurse that checked me in commented on how AMAZING my platelets were. I'm kind a shy when it comes to accepting a compliment and gave her the ole' "You probably say that to all the donors" look. When they got me settled into my recliner (great way to spend a Tuesday night!), the two nurses hooking me up to the machine, were both bragging on my AMAZING platelets. It was getting down right awkward and I could actually feel my head begin to swell from the pride. See! This is exactly why I'm not a size 0! I can't wait to schedule my next donation. I'm terribly afraid that God is going to humble me by zapping my AMAZING platelets and turning them into mediocre ones that no one wants. If that happens I'll be nothing more than a girl with a lot of shoes who knows how to throw a great party. Right now I am all that with amazing platelets to boot.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Things are a-Changin'

This summer I would have said Fall was going to be a colorless season this year. The record breaking heat wave of 2011 made everything a dry, drab canvas. It's simply amazing what cooler temperatures and a little rain can do. The yards have filled up with clover, trees thought dead have come back to life. Flowers that I thought were too far gone, have come back bolder and brighter than when I bought them this Spring. The view outside my office window is spectacular. Just when I thought things were going to be dreary forever, color rained down on me and I realized things are a-changing.... In more ways than one.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We Have it All, Shake, Rattle & Roll

This weekend Oklahoma wasn't notorious for it's wind... Well, no more than usual. We didn't set any record breaking lows, because we did that in the beginning of the year (-31 in Nowata). We didn't break our scorching heat of this summer (115). No, this weekend was relatively mild and uneventful except for the earthquakes (yes that would be multiple). The largest of which was 5.6 which shook us up and rattled our
cages. There's just never a dull moment around these plains. My initial thought was it was just the Sooner fans jaws dropping as they realized the Cowboys had just moved to the #2 spot in football while they remained #6. Then I realized that part of it was probably due the the magnitude of the angels doing the happy dance for the underdog. Whatever the cause, it rocked our house, rattled our mirrors and made me feel all funny inside. I chalked it up to another experience checked off my bucket list. Yesterday things were back to normal, tornadoes, flooding, that kind of thing. We had an aftershock last night (I guess that's what it was), but I didn't worry enough to get out of bed to find out how big it was. Like everything else in Oklahoma.... After a while it just gets boring. My brother posted on Facebook, all we needed now was a hurricane and  volcano and we'd pretty much have all of the bases covered. If you feel like you're missing something, just move to Oklahoma where you can have it all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

There! Satisfied?

Tired of all of the Sooner fans whining because I hadn't posted their new ranking for this week.... Hey, I've been busy! So, here it is your new rating came up from last week. Satisfied? Yea, I didn't think so. Rumor has it ya'll are a lil worried about Bedlam this year :-)

Moments later a revision was done.... Guess it really wasn't good enough.

Fuzzy Socks

What is it about watching the blue skies of a cold front blow in that makes me feel warm all over? Maybe it's the anticipation of snuggling, cuddling and fuzzy socks. Yep, that must be it :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sets My World Right

Memories of defining moments wrap around my heart today. Upon remembrance, a mixture of comfort and terror sweep over me as I view the ever changing tide of life. Questions of how I made it through and what will tomorrow bring assault my mind. Amid the questions a deep peace shrouds my heart. Life is such a contradiction of emotion; the moment you have it all figured out, everything changes. The unconditional nature of your love substains me, settles my mind and quiets my soul. It amazes me what one look, one touch or one word from you will do... It sets my world right again.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Perfect Solution

When we were walking out of church yesterday, I heard two different people comment on how cold it was in the sanctuary. One lady said she was going to start bringing a blanket to church. I understood the feeling oh too well, not because I was cold yesterday, but because I used to be cold all of the time. For years I dealt with ice cold fingers that would turn dark blue or lose all color until they turned dead white. I used to work in fingerless gloves that held a hand warmer in the palm. I used to carry hand warmers in my purse all the time, I was just miserable. The doctors said it was Reynard's syndrome and there wasn't anything to help with it outside of what I was already doing. Little did they know that they were wrong. The perfect solution to my problem was flinging myself backwards into a 9 foot concret hole and knocking myself unconscious. Since my drop into the rabbit hole, no more blue fingers and no more being miserably cold all of the time. If you mention to me that it's cold in the room, I might stop and realize it is, but left to my own, I simply don't notice. It may not sound like a big deal, but my husband is completely amazed at the transformation. It's hard to enjoy yourself when you are shivering from the cold and turning blue. I feel like I should include the following warning if you suffer from the same problem. Do not attempt this at home or alone. The solution was purely accidental and was darn near deadly, but I sure am enjoying the outcome.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Baby Whaley! What More Could You Ask For?

The Girlfriends and I  have raised our kids together and now we are beginning toward the path of raising our grandchildren together. Hang on girls, this is gonna be a fun ride. Today we had the first of what I hope will be many baby showers to come for The Girlfriends. The Mother-to-be was very patient with us as we ooh'd and goo'd over her
buldging belly, swapped baby weight stories and did all the things mothers tend to do when they gather together to celebrate the anticipated birth of a new little one. I see a time in my future when I won't have to borrow other peoples children to take to the latest
Disney movie, play in the park, or admire the Halloween costume of some strangers kid. We had a blast looking at the cute little baby socks, the new gadgets they make and the old true and steady must-haves in child rearing.  We dined on strawberry and chocolate cake, fruit, veggies and fancy sandwiches. The best part of it all, was feasting on the love we felt for one another and the sheer excitment of knowing there is another journey ahead and we all get to travel together!! What more could you ask for? Welcome to our world Baby Whaley!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rivalry Wall/The Time is Now

It started out harmless enough. I work in an office full of OU fans. When I first started, there were only a handful of OSU fans and we were a quiet bunch…. Well, they were a quiet bunch. I think it started out with me putting an OSU item in someone’s office to see how long it took till they noticed it. Then an OU bear showed up in my office. I sat the bear on my cubical wall facing the conference room. The OU bear had a “Touch Me” sign on his belly and when you touched it, the OU fight song bounced off the walls. On a daily basis, certain OU fans would sneak up and push the button (gag me with a spoon). I did a little Internet shopping (imagine that) and found an OSU cowboy that could sing as well. When my Cowboy arrived, I 
took both him and the little bear home for some handy work. As my husband and I watched T.V. that night, I dismantled both items…..

Mike:  Didn’t you just get that in the mail today?

Me: Yep

Mike: Why are you ripping it apart?

Me: Because I’m tired of listening to the OU song. I’m ripping out the OSU music box and putting it in the OU bear so the next time someone sneaks up to push his button, they will get the OSU song instead! GENIUS!

I carefully exchanged the music box, sewed everyone together again (much like Humpty Dumpty) and sat them beside each other on the wall. Well, I take that back, I think my Cowboy was dangling the 
bear over the wall by his heels, but you get the picture. A few weeks ago, little bear was brought up to sit beside Cowboy. Somewhere along the way another OU bear joined the club and they are all sitting like birds on a wire, holding hands and playing nice. After the loss to Texas Tech this weekend I felt lead (it was almost a spiritual thing) to put the current BCS rankings on them. I came in Tuesday morning and found someone (no one will take credit) decided to put OU vs. OSU stats underneath them. I 
understand their pain only too well. I thought OU fans needed some encouragement so I put some (timely) quotes next to the stats. There comes a point in everyone’s life where you just have to let go of the past and embrace the present. As a Cowboy fan, the time would be now.Oh, I know it's dangerous to count your chickens before they hatch, but this ain't chickens, it's football and I don't get braggin rights often.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Unconditional Love

 I love my dogs because they love me unconditionally. They take me as I am,  all of my faults, failures and imperfections mean nothing to them because they love all of me.

You could snap pictures all day long and never get one good shot of Riley. The only way to get a good picture of her is to take it when she is sleeping. She is just like a Wilda beast that's house trained. She loves to wrestle, but beware... She can cross over to the dark side in a New York minute. The reason I got Sailor was because I needed something to drain some her energy. The idea worked quite well, especially when Sailor got to where she out weighed her by 100lbs. Aja shares my love for animals. When this first picture was taken Aja was getting Riley wound up. When Sailor perceived Riley was crossing to the dark side she started to jump in to defend Aja. Mike caught Sailor just in the nick of time. We weren't interest in having a giant dog fight in the kitchen.

Sailor is just as calm as Riley is hyper. She is sweet through and through.  Catching ice cubes happens to be her special talent.
One of my favorite things to do is to sit on the front porch with the dogs. We love to and watch leaves blow by, or watch it rain (haven't gotten to do that in a while).
After playing with the dogs, You're just plain dog tired.