A Milestone...

I get my 10 year pin from the university today. It's hard to believe that I have remained in one spot for 10 years, well 11 years actually. In all of my lifetime I have never remained in a job other than being a mother for more than a year or two. Being a Staff Assistant is something I enjoy...helping other people.

I had a mobile catering business once upon a time that I really enjoyed doing for two years until I was injured by a careless driver. After much pain over the following 8 months the doctor advised me that if I wanted any kind of a normal life I had to quit lifting 50 lb. coke canisters, 100 lb potato sacks and 100 lb propane tanks. That's when I sold my trailer and contacted a friend of mine at the university. She got me in with the Peak program where you do temp work for different departments at the university on a short term basis. I did that for 16 months then was hired by Project Support and Compliance Assurance to do scanning. The department spilt in 2001 and I moved to the College of Continuing Education to work for Outreach Sponsored Programs where I work with the administrative staff to support the officers who work with grant accounts.

Did I ever feel I would stay at the university this long? No. But I will say this, I have been happy here, doing what I do, helping other people and being a representative of a great university.

Live On University...


A Celebration of Life...Ned Hockman

Today people came from all over the United States and gathered at the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communications for a Celebration of Life: Remembering Ned Hockman.

Ned was one of those bigger than life kinda guys who had an amazing journey.

Jon Vittitow had this to say about Ned, "He was on the front line of history in World War II, in Burma. He was at the dawn of modern film and television and worked with Sony in developing technology for the military that would become part of many consumer products. He captured the glory days of OU Football with Bud Wilkinson and beyond. He has a still photo collection that captures yet another side of his artistry. Ned had an amazing ride in life, and he knew and appreciated it. Ned was down to earth and approachable."

During both WWII and the Korean War, Ned was a combat cameraman. He came back to Norman and became "the" film and photography professor at the university and touched the lives of thousands of students. Many came to day to remember him.

Connie Smith from Norman remembered him this way. "Ned taught us how to take pictures and how to tell a story from our own unique perspective. When a student asked why he he wasn't spending more time talking about developing film, Ned said "Read the paper in the box. That's all you need to know about that!" And he was right, the mechanical part is easy. It is learning to see that is the hard part. In 1999, for the University Women's Cookbook, I staged a table for two, complete with china, crystal and candlelight, at dusk in front of Bizzell Library. Bill Williams took a magical photo of the scene and I showed to to Ned, who said" Aw Connie, it's amazing what you can do with those digital photos!" I cherish that surprised look and big smile he gave me because we had done it " the old fashioned" way. How lucky I was to have taken his classes and know him for more that 30 years!"

Marianne Ray McLean sent an email with this, "I'm sitting in my office here at Walt Disney Imagineering and I know in no uncertain terms that I am here because Ned Hockman slapped a Bolex in my hand and told me to go out and "shoot some movies." He said, "don't worry about the camera...you can drop kick a Bolex and it will still run," and though I never drop kicked the camera, I did drop it once and he was right. It is hard to hurt that old camera. Because of Ned, for the first time in my life I felt I was really doing something that I wanted to do, something I passionately enjoyed. I loved the classes but more than that I loved the times we sat and talked surrounded by all the film cans and equipment. I loved how he so enthusiastically told me how great I was. I needed to hear and believe that and so I worked even harder making little movies and trying to make good grades. I wanted him to be proud of me. What great motivation."

Ned always encouraged his students. He made them believe that they could do it. Ned who was the king of sticky notes left this on one of them, "The success of a teacher is his students."

Ned left us on December 20, 2009 at 88 years young, he will be greatly missed but as one of his former students said, "Everything has a beginning, middle and end, but for Ned, today was not an end to his life but a reset.

If Ned were here he would say just one word..."FANTASTIC!"


Let's Skype Together

OK, I'm hooked. I learned about Skype yesterday from Bobbie Chapman a full timer friend in Colorado. I joined and now I'm hooked...oops I've already said that. It's a wonderful way to stay connected to family and friends via the Internet. And it's free. Anything free is good in my estimation. Go to http://www.skype.com/ and get set up.

When Dave dropped me off this morning he called me a Skyping fool...don't let him fool you, he enjoyed the conversation last night as well, matter of fact he was amazed at the quality and clarity of the program.

So come join the party and let's Skype together! We are available in the evenings to talk.

Happy Trails.....


Tax Day Come and Gone...

Well not exactly, I am still working on them but getting ready to turn in 2008. It's a pain when you loose your information due to a computer crash. But I am getting close to getting it done. I'm so glad I have a wonderful tax consultant. She filed an extension for me so I can breath a little easier for now.

As soon as I finish 2008, then I will start in on 2009. And when I finish 2009 I have a plan...to start entering the data as I get it for 2010. That way at the end of the year I will be ahead of the game...hopefully!

Not much going on here at the moment. Trying to compile a guest list for a baby shower for our daughter. It should be fun.

Happy Trails....


Happy Easter Everyone...

Spring has sprung at last. Flowers, grass and trees are blooming out and about the neighborhood. Today is Easter Sunday. At church this morning the children put on a lovely performance of Caribbean music complete with drums and striking sticks of wood. The whole congregation got into the spirit of things and sang along. Musical instruments included wooden rattles, tambourines, Congo drums and a guitar. It was a lot of fun and quite different. We even had a baptism of a darling baby boy. The little boys and girls were so darling in their Easter finery. We have a new rector for our parish. He is from Kentucky by the way of England. Imagine an English accent with a Kentucky drawl. Well, that will have to change to an Okie drawl for sure. Communion was different in that they used bread instead of the usual communal wafers. And there were chalices for dipping the bread and chalices for the congregation to take the wine.

There was a huge Easter egg hunt for the parish children and I think all had a good time. The little ones waited with great anticipation to burst through the doors to grab their treasured eggs and see what goodies waited inside for them to devour, ah the Easter Sunday sugar rush.

After church we came home and Christie fixed Belgian waffles with apple chunks and Cinnamon in them along with bacon and sausage. It was very good. For our Easter meal later on, I put a spiral ham covered with pineapple and glaze in the oven to heat up, baked up some sweet potatoes and had some Brussels sprouts ready to steam when the time came. I then whipped up some Deviled Eggs to round out our meal and made some cold brew iced tea.

A Spiral Ham with rings of Pineapple with a brown sugar glaze, along with a pot of Steaming Brussels Sprouts

Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika, sweet pickle relish, cheese and green onion...The Completed Meal

It is a beautiful day here with 80 degrees weather with a slightly blustery wind from the south and high cirrus clouds. Christie planted a tomato in her Topsy-turvey tomato planter, so we will see how that turns out. Dave is working in the front flower bed cleaning it out and planting flowers. The phlox is in bloom and looks like a plush carpet of soft pale purple flowers. It keeps growing larger each year. The African Daisey's are starting to push up and will be in bloom this summer. I just love their soft pink to purple petals and bright yellow cones. They are also known as the cone flower. They produce Echinacea for herbal teas. The daffodils have bloomed and are fading, the forsythia and flowering quince are at their peek, our tulips are in full bloom and the grass is starting to turn green.

Yes, I would say Spring is here with the promise of new life...a rebirth after the death of Winter.

Happy Easter and Happy Trails....