A Winter Wonder Land...

First you have to understand that we don't get snow very often around here. We had 13.5 inches in December and we measured the top of our trailer and we got 6.5 inches yesterday afternoon. So I would safely say we are getting more than our fair share of the white stuff.

Since I am not able to get about in this type of weather and enjoy a winters walk in the snow, our daughter went out for a stroll and captured the following snaps.
A Quince bush in our front yard.

These arborvitaes are at least 15 feet tall. Now they are on the ground.

The front of The Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at the University of Oklahoma.

A lone sentinel guarding the Museum of Natural History.

A girl with her sheep and dog and baby in arms going for a walk.

The storm is over and the sun is lighting the sky with hues of pink.

At the end of our block we have a "Secret Sidewalk" that connects our neighborhood to the adjacent neighborhood. As you can see in the right conditions it could be rather spooky as there are no lights in the area at night.
The girl's winter walk has come to an end as she come up on the back side of the house. I love lots of color and leave my Christmas lights up all year round in the window of my office. Outside my window is a bird feeder and birdbath which allows me to see the feeding and bathing frenzy.

The older you get, the more important it is not to act your age. ~ Ashleigh Brilliant, British-born U.S. writer, cartoonist, and columnist

Just another day in the life of...

Amore and Arrivederci For Now


Ice, Ice and More Snow...

Here in central Oklahoma we are known for our ice when there is cold weather and precipitation. It's so far and few between episodes that everybody forgets how to drive in the stuff. Yesterday and today is no exception. Everything started shutting down around noon yesterday and I dare say not too many people are out today. At the moment Dave is on top of a ladder with a hair dryer in hand trying to get the ice off our satellite dish.

It's a good day to be indoors and stay warm with a good hot soup and a hearty bread for sopping up the excess. Hopefully the power lines will stay up this time around. Back in December of 2007 we had a horrible ice storm that took over a week for us to get our power back on, hence the generator we now have.

The dogs love to romp and play in this weather. It's fun to watch them release their pent up energy. I really hate keeping them inside all the time but muddy paws don't go well on carpet.

I have been working on getting some packages mailed out and tackling the... ugh! dreaded word...taxes. Also I have been pulling discontinued product from my stock. It helps to weed out what you are not selling and get rid of it. I think I will donate it to our local women's shelter and in some cases pitch it altogether as some products are date sensitive.

My knee is progressing although it still hurts at times and I suspect it will for a while as the swelling recedes. I have strained my right knee though and secretly wish I could get it fixed now but I have to wait until next December when I have built up enough paid leave so I can take the time off for the surgery. The surgery was so worth it. However, I will say this...If you are not mentally prepared for this surgery and do exactly what the Dr. and Physical Therapist says to do, you might have a tough time recovering. I was so ready for this surgery. Matter of fact I have been ready since I was 25. I had to wait until now to have it done since they can only do a knee implant twice. Hopefully that will make me 75 when I have to have it done again.

If you are in the Great American Desert stay dry, if you are points South of here stay dry and if you are North and East of here get inside where it is warm.

I have long thought that the aging process could be slowed down if it had to work its way though Congress. ~ George H. W. Bush, U.S. President

Just another day in the life of...

Amore and Arrivederci For Now


Oh What Winter Will Do...

Years ago my husband had an employee who went on to become a reporter for a Cincinnati television station. Our two families became good friends and even tho we have not seen each other in years we stay in touch. Just recently Brian called us to say that his television station put on YouTube some out-takes from a story he was doing. The more I watch it the more I laugh. It is funny stuff. Keep in mind that Brian is an athlete...So enjoy!


Sunday Trip to Tulsa...

We had not seen my brother and his family since we went to Tulsa in July to see Harry Potter at the IMax Theater. Since I am able to sit longer and tolerate a 2 hour trip, we decided this was the weekend to go to Tulsa and visit them. We left the dogs outside and hoped that they would not bark too much.

The trip up was rather uneventful. I took my book "Mrs. Mike" to read. It is a great little book that I have read and re-read over the years, and I never seem to get tired of it. Somehow I lost my mother's copy of it, but at a garage sale this past fall I found another copy in mint condition for $1.00 so I snatched it up.

We arrived in Tulsa at about 12:30 and met my brother and his family at Goldie's in Broken Arrow. Goldie's is a Tulsa landmark. It started out as a little burger shack at a par three golf course. They sold the land for apartments but expanded the burger shack into a diner and the rest is history. The burgers were great as always.

Dave is having his dinner with fries while I had cottage cheese and a salad with mine.

After lunch we went back to my brothers house and had a wonderful visit and watched the football playoffs for the Superbowl. It was a lot of fun so I guess it is going to be the Colts against the Saints. That should be a good. game.

Karen getting fish ready for a fish fry.

Uncooked battered fish ready to be deep fried.

This past summer my brother and nephew went fishing at a pond and caught about 120 bass which they filleted out and froze in water. My brother fixed two bags full about 100 pieces of fish. He first brushed them with a thin coat of mustard and then dipped them in cornmeal and then deep fried them. My niece fixed a wonderful salad and we had corn on the cob along with french fries and homemade tartar sauce. When our parents were alive we would have wonderful fish fries and mom would fix beer battered fish with fries, corn on the cob and coleslaw. Oh my what a wonderful feast that was, such great memories. The fish at this dinner tonight was wonderful, and the mustard added just the right amount of flavor, boy was it good. I even brought some back with me for my lunch on Wednesday.

The spread, oh sooooooo gooooooood!

Christie and Kelsey dishing it up and digging in.
After dinner we said our good-byes and had an uneventful trip home. The dogs were very happy to see us and we got them fed and tucked in for the evening. Now to tuck my tired body into bed and get some sleep.
A person never grows old if he's fishing. The thrill of the fight keeps you young. ~ Pat Smeal

Just another day in the life of...

Amore and Arrivederci For Now


Tis Saturday My Oh My...

This week has pretty much been the same, go to bed...try to sleep...get up, get dressed and go to work. I have been busy with a conference that we are hosting next Tuesday.

I did however get my computer back from my IT Tech friend Eve, who lives in Missouri. As I was working on my taxes back in October the motherboard crashed and I had to send it off to her to diagnose the problem. Once she discovered what it was, which did not take long, she sent it off to the repair center in San Antonio to have a new motherboard put in (Thank the stars for extended warranties, I guess, it was not going to an HP repair center but to a repair center for Office Max). It came back weeks later and as she was trying get every thing up and going the original start-up disks were not working, so she had to contact HP and order new start-up disks, more time waiting. Once she had them the darn thing still would not load or work. So she had to send it back to the repair center in San Antonio, again another delay, to have another motherboard put in and told them that if they could not do the job correctly that she wanted them to give me a new computer. She finally got it back from the service center the 5th of January. I got it Tuesday. Boy does it hum along. I think it is performing better than when it was brand new. Eve said that she has only had one other computer that was worse than mine. That's a scary thought. I lost a lot of data but it taught me a valuable lesson, back-up, back-up, back-up. I only had one program that I really needed to back-up but it was my life line to my Mary Kay business. It was my inventory and customer contact list. I have learned my lesson. I can pretty much recreate what I lost but it is going to take time.

Earlier this week I renewed my membership at the "Huff" and went there yesterday to work out. After figuring out what equipment I needed to use to get my exercises done I finally got rolling. I started with 5 minutes on the bike as my right foot is having a tendency to cramp up. I am doing leg presses on the weight machine at 60lbs and I found a chair that I could raise the seat on to do my leg swings. Everything else can be done at home. While I am there I think I will work on the back of my arms and reduce the flab there :). The only thing that I have to wait for are the students to free up the machines. But hey I'm willing to wait so I can get my therapy done. I decided to get a locker so I could lock up my purse and other stuff in it and not have to carry it around with me. It was free so why not. I keep my towel and water bottle in it. The "Huff" has a purified water refilling station in it. I can handle that. I found out that it is only a five minute walk from my office. With my walking gait I thought it would be longer but that's not bad. I can go over on my lunch hour and work out...if i can get on the equipment that I need...then head back to the office and eat lunch at my desk. I like that idea or even go after work to work out.

Today I am in my office at home trying to rebuild my inventory list. It is a daunting task but it will get done. It may take me a week to do so but I will persevere. It's great when you figure something out...I became brave and took out my photo San Disc from my camera and put it in my computer to pull pictures from. I had never done that before. Yea for me. Here some shots of all the inventory I have to enter.

I have included a one of me with my new do and glasses.
I have some company today helping me so I have included some shot of them as well. One is of Lizzy, she is a sweet natured dog that is a cross between a Belgian Malinois and a Golden Retriever. The other one is of Fitz and Bear. Bear is the little black Belgian Schipperke and Fitz is half Lab and German Shepard. He is a big fellow but it's the little dog that rules the roost. They love to play and romp and Bear loves to bark non-stop at squirrels which we have to break him of. Fitz is a gentle giant but will not hesitate to protect his domain. Likewise with Lizzy and don't forget Bear, he may be an ankle biter but he thinks he is a big dog like the other two.

Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Just another day in the life of...
Amore and Arrivederci For Now


Sunday Morning...

It's Sunday morning and it's the one day that I nestle down in my bed and raise the head and foot of the bed and drink a cup of coffee while watching "Nature" on the local PBS station. This morning it was about the amazing hummingbird. I love hummingbirds and am quite fascinated in watching them. On this mornings show, the photography was great in that it allowed you to see the speed of their wings dramatically slowed down. The hummingbird is located only in the Americas. The narration by F. Murray Abraham talked about their color markings, their life cycle, mating habits, how some of the birds adapt to their habitat and how flowers play an important part in this change and how truly amazing these little birds are.

For years I have set out hummingbird feeders in order to watch them. However one of the most exciting thing that ever happened to me was on a vacation camping trip to Colorado in the summer of 1988. We were camping at Arapaho National Forest just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a beautiful site and we were having a wonderful time. We were camping in our pop-up trailer and had our screen room set up to give us more living room for our stay.

Early one morning I was awakened by a strange noise that would not quit. It was like someone was brushing the side of the screen room. No one else in the trailer was awake so no one could verify what I was about to witness. I got up and hurriedly put on some clothes and peeked out the door window slide and lo and behold there was a tiny female hummingbird batting herself against the inside of the screen room trying to get out. How she got in was a mystery. I had always heard that they sting with their beak. What a misconception. They might stab you in defense but they don't sting. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get her out of her predicament when I just decided to come up under her and gently close my hand around her tiny body. And boy are they tiny. She was all out of gas and totally tuckered out. I took her to the screen door opening and unzipped it and stepped out of the screen room. I slowly opened my hand expecting her to take off immediately and was surprised when she did not. She sat there for a good 15 seconds perched on my finger, her looking at me and I looking at her. What a delicate little thing she was. Then without warning she took one last look at me and flew off.

I could not have been more surprised in that I was allowed to hold one of these tiny creatures and witness a little miracle of life. God is good!

This past Thursday I was released by my surgeon with the understanding that I continue my Physical Therapy at home. I was also told to loose the cane and to walk without assistance. I can tell you that it is not as easy as it sounds. My gait is totally off and I have to make sure that I am stepping heal to toe with the left leg while taking a little larger step with the right leg in order to lengthen my gait and to loose the limp. I kept wondering why my left knee on the inside right and the tendon up to the top of the pubic tubercle was so sore. The Dr. told me that my leg had been out of position for many, many years and that it was suppose to be at a 5 degree angle and in order to put in the new knee they had to reposition that leg to the correct angle and now I,m having to re-stretch those tendons so they work correctly. FUN! NOT! He also told me to go to Wal-mart and get something called Scar Care. He said that it was what Plastic Surgeons tell their patients to use so they don't get keloid scar tissue. I have to put a special oil on the scar and then this silicone pad over the scar so it does not get bigger and hopefully will cause it to disappear. I then went over to the Huston Huffman Center to renew my membership so I can use the exercise equipment since I no longer have access to the recumbent bicycle and leg press. I was also released to go back to work full-time.

Friday was my first day back and I had lots to get done with some deadlines to meet. It will take me awhile to get caught up but it will not be difficult to do so. Everyone was happy to have me back to work and I had been missed. I was glad that I had been able to work at home because it meant that I would not be so far behind. I have to make sure that I don't sit too long at my desk as my knee gets stiff. I'm happy to have some room under my desk in order to straighten my leg and to do leg lifts. I will have to bring the plant that the office sent to me over the holidays to the office so they can see it when it blooms. It should be spectacular.

Yesterday was rather quiet as I was tired from working on Friday. So I rested most of the day and just took it easy. I did however get out of the house and went walking for awhile. Got to keep moving to get stronger.

Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy man has no time to form.
~ Andre Maurois, French biographer, novelist, and and essayist

Just another day in the life of...

Amore and Arrivederci For Now


More Improvement...

Six weeks out from my surgery as of today, I go to the clinic tomorrow for my six week check up with more X-rays and who knows what else. So we will see what the Doctor has to say. Hopefully I am closer to loosing the cane. Another PT appointment today. Karen measured my knee flex and I have improved to 120 degrees. Only 15 more degrees and I will be at full flex with my other knee. I have a new exercise to do at home, stand with both feet on the ground and flex my left knee back in an L shape, 3 reps of 10. It feels rather strange I must say.

I still have...not necessarily pain... but tons of tenderness and ache in the bone next to the kneecap and in the hamstring tendons behind the knee. The knee is still somewhat stiff so that means that I have to get up ever so often and walk around. The other thing that is tender, and at times hurts, is the incision. I have to put Vitamin E oil on it and massage it to break up scar tissue. I hope it breaks up soon. Another thing I have noticed here lately is how sensitive the skin is on my leg. Some materials causes it to tingle like a thousand little needles gently pricking it, a very strange sensation I must say and not necessarily unpleasant.

We went to our first movie of the season yesterday, Avatar. And yes I sat there for the three hours that it played. I had to rub my leg ever so often and at least I was able to put it up on the space in between the seats in front of us as there was no one sitting in those seats. What a movie. The technology in this film will change the way films are made. We really enjoyed it in 3D. I would however like to see it in an IMax theatre although the Warren is nothing to sneeze at.

My time at home is quickly coming to an end. I have enjoyed being off of work, wish I could have gotten more done around the house but when you are incapacitated as I have been it will just have to wait until a later time when I have more stability in my legs and I don't wear out so fast, I still don't have all my strength back. Hopefully I will be much better by my birthday in March.

I will be happy to get my computer back from my friend who is a computer tech. I have been without it since the middle of October. The motherboard crashed and I sent it to my friend for her to check it out and as it was under warranty she sent it in to be repaired. She got it back and could not get it to do what it was suppose to do that she had to send it back to be repaired again. She is making sure all the updates are loaded and is making my recovery discs. Hopefully I will have it by the middle of next week. That means that I can finish my 2008 taxes and start on my 2009 taxes. It's tough to finish something when the tool you need is not available since most of your information that you need is on it. I think I may purchase a membership to an online back-up service that is secure.

The weather here was lovely today after all the cold we have had. It got up into the upper 50's today. Alas nothing ever lasts long around here as we are due rain in here for the next few days. Oh well. Ce qui sera sera.

The secret of stying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. ~ Lucille Ball

Just another day in the life of...

Amore and Arrivederci For Now


Back to Work Part-Time...

Well I knew this day would eventually come...going back to work. The good thing is that I'm working from home. I started this past Thursday working 4 hours a day on projects that my office wants me to do, mostly Internet research. I will go back to work next Friday for good, the ole 8 hour day. We will see how much I can tolerate. I have my 6 week check up on Thursday and we will see what the good Dr. has to say.

So far my knee is feeling fairly good even though it feels like I've got a 5lb. weight that I am carrying around. It gets sore from time to time but for the most part it's not too bad. Got 8 hours of sleep Thursday night and 6 hours last night. I have not had any pain pills since Wednesday and have quit using the pillow between my legs. Am starting to find that comfortable position. Wish I could find a warm water pool to use, one that I did not have to pay $600.00 to use. The University pool is too cold, 86 degrees, as the high school uses it for competition swimming and they have to have it cold. I will figure something out.

Fun is like insurance; the older you get, the more it costs.

Just another day in the life of...

Amore and Arrivederci For Now

Post Script: For those of you who are interested I have attached a YouTube clip to the November Diner, Dives and Drive-in's post. Check it out.


Physical Therapy and The Sam Noble Museum of Natural History...

Last night I managed to get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep which felt good. Today was Physical Therapy day. I was quite interested in knowing how I had done on my exercises at home since there had not been any PT since Christmas Break started. I did my normal routine and then Karen added in some new exercises for me. The total gym workout machine, I have to lay on the board with my legs bent against a backboard and push my body up 30 times. Then the big test came...the bicycle. Karen said that I most likely would go backwards the first time around...well, not this kid. I went forward and quite easily I might add. So I did that for 10 minutes. Then I worked on the blue ther-a-bands in three different positions. Karen measured me again and I now have 115 degrees of extension. So 15 degrees improvement in 12 days. Needless to say I was quite pleased.

I came home and washed and fixed my hair since I could no longer stand the rag-a-muffin look I had given myself earlier in the week. I then took Dave and Christie to lunch at the Red Horse Grill for lunch. Their chocolate malts are wonderful and made with real malt. Their onion burgers are very good as well. They would even be better if they had some Tony Chachere Original Creole Seasoning to sprinkle on it. I just love a good Cajun Onion Burger since I used to make them when I had my own concession trailer and worked the auction circuit here in central Oklahoma.

After lunch Dave and I decided to go to the Sam Nobel Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma. Admission is free on the first Monday of the month otherwise Adults are $5.00 and Seniors 65+ are $4.00. I was quite impressed with the new layout of the museum. Lots of hands on exhibits. One of the visiting exhibits is the Charles Darwin exhibit. It was quite interesting and very informative. The museum is very family oriented and friendly. Be prepared to spend some time there as there is a lot to see. They have lots of parking spaces even for big rigs, motor homes and buses. One of the fun things to do is to ride the Dinovator up and come face to face with a dinosaur's head on the second floor. Dave got these pictures. (Pictures coming soon)

After we finished and came home I decided to take a much needed nap as all the walking had done me in. Later we watched the "Heroes" 2 hour season premier and this coming Sunday "Chuck" will have it's season premier. I just love "Chuck", it is a fun show to watch. Then we started on "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull" I could not get all the way through it as I was falling asleep. So...twas time to hit the sack.

If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old. --James A. Garfield, U.S. president

Just another day in the life of...

Amore and Arrivederci For Now


Happy New Year!

We have a long standing tradition in our family that on New Year's Day the family attends at least 3 currant movies. We will not be doing that this New Year's Day but will do it sometime in the near future when I can sit for that length of time and not feel uncomfortable.

It's been a fairly quiet day apart from watching the Rose Bowl Parade. The Oklahoma Sooners won their game yesterday and ended their drought of win-less bowl games. For the first time in some while I managed to sit through the whole game without getting uptight and leaving. Last night I made the chili recipe from The Diner here in Norman. I went to and found The Diner Chili video clip and downloaded the recipe from Diners, Drive-in's and Dives with Guy Fieri. I think the show was aired in October. Between what was shown on the video clip and the recipe (they don't match up) I produced a wonderful pot of chili. Instead of 5lbs of ground beef I used 3lbs. and 7 cans of diced tomato's, 1 being blended down in a blender.

Today we went and did a bit of shopping and took a short drive to get some much needed sunshine. After coming home I prepped the pork ribs and have them ready to pop in the oven when baby girl gets home from Stillwater where she went last night for a New Year's party. Dave is currently watching his sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica. He bought the DVDs and some headphones and is out there somewhere enjoying his little bit of space. I think I am going to go take a short nap before having my shower and washing my hair (another big production number).

For dinner we are having Pork ribs, french fries, fried cabbage, and the ever necessary black-eyed peas for a prosperous new year.

Here is a fantastic recipe for Texas Caviar, make it and enjoy.

Texas Caviar

1(15 1/2oz)can yellow hominy or corn, drained

1(15oz)can black eyed peas, drained

3 green onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1 medium sized green pepper, seeded; diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded; minced

1/3C chopped fresh parsley

1/3C chopped cilantro (optional)

1/4C chopped onion

1/2C commercial zesty Italian salad dressing

Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs

Tortilla Chips

I was given a book several years back and while I was doing some cleaning out I rediscovered it and decided to use quotes from it this year. I hope you will enjoy them.

To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am. --Bernard Baruch, U.S. business executive

Just another day in the life of...

Amore and Arrivederci For Now