Another Semester Done...

Seventy six semesters of cannon fire...cannon fire! I remember oh so well the first time Dave and I ever heard it when we were in our new house and wondered what it was and then a slow grin of recognition grew across his face as he said "The engineers have graduated." Each year, twice a year the engineers fire off Old Trusty for each graduating
Old Trusty at The University of Oklahoma
engineer. Last night there must have been quite a few as I heard quite a bit of cannon fire. 
Shortly after the Carillon bells in the bell tower started their 6:00 p.m. strike. All can be heard from my house. 

We live close enough to the campus that we get the flavor of campus sounds, from game day festivities to the roar of the stadium when the football team scores a touchdowns. Frat house parties when they have a bands playing to the roar of the crowds when OU hits one out of the park at the baseball park or when the girls score a goal you can see the fireworks from our house. Who wouldn't want to live here? 

OU is a beautiful campus just to take a Sunday stroll on to admire the landscaping and the architecture. It's also a great place with great traditions to get an education. I sometimes wonder why you have to leave Norman to see a great play, browse amongst the history of our ancestors or gaze upon the works of Rembrandt or Picasso or listen to fine classical music? Answer is, you don't, it's all right here at OU..ever changing exhibits, artists, musicians and playwrights, its here with the finest faculty and students. Norman is so fortunate to have on its doorstep the finest public university in the United States.  I can say my David would say that David Boren has accomplished the "Yale of the West" here at OU.  

I did not go to OU nor was I born here in this state, but I would have to say after living here in Norman for 43 of my 66 years I would have to declare I am a Sooner at heart no matter where I will be in the world




What is it about a hug that is so important to a person. Is it the physical touch, emotional touch or the touch on the soul that tells you that you are important or all of the above? 

Science tells us a baby who is put in a crib, changed, fed but not touched or hugged...dies. Science also says we need to be giving and receiving at least 9 hugs a day, that it is beneficial for our health. 

We all need that one on one physical touch to tell us we are alive, to let us know we have worth and we are important.  A hug reaches the soul and makes it soar and leap and do a thousand somersaults. It makes us young. A hug releases stress and lets it ebb away. 

A hug lets us lean on another to cry when we need to. To hug back reassures the other person that you understand their pain and will be there for them.  A hug transcends a lot where words sometimes fail.

Hugs are important, so why is it so hard for people to hug each other.  Why has society put such boundaries on hugging? Why is it now so politically incorrect to do so that now you are seen as a stalker or a monster or molester. Enough already! A 4 year old child can't hug their friend and now ends up being expelled from daycare and labeled as a child molester? Really? Get a life people!  Enough of the PC crap!

Without hugs I don't think I could make it though the day and believe me I need lots and lots of them right now. 

Have you had your hug today? Better yet...Have you given a hug today?


Gluten Doesn't Like Me...

I recently put two and two together and came up with...I can't tolerate gluten. I SUCKS! All my life I have had trouble but have never been able to pin point  the problem until just recently. My system just does not like wheat, rye, barley or oats, all the grains I grew up on and loved but never knew they didn't love me back. 

It wasn't until last fall when my daughter put me on a Paleo eating plan that takes those things out of the diet that I started feeling better and started loosing weight. My skin on my legs was itching like a mad woman, so much so that I was actually clawing it raw, never knew why.  Now I do. Such a relief.  

I also found out that corn, any kind of corn, which I love, causes my arthritis in my hands to flair up. Who knew it was an inflammatory food and with it being a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) now, it is not a pure food. Could it be that because it is a GMO, that being so has made it an inflammatory food.

It wasn't until I recently had some New York dogs, you know hot dogs with sauerkraut and spicy mustard and a bun, oh my it tasted sooo good but I had a horrible attack that left me debilitated for about 4 hours.   A week later I had lunch with a friend and ordered a homemade Chicken Pot Pie from a local eatery and before I could get home, had to find a restroom and once home, for the next four hours suffered. 

I can take medicine, but the best course is for me just to not eat/avoid those items that will harm me.
The tough thing is the FDA does not require food companies to put on their labels fillers and binders that contain wheat, rye, barley or oat products whereas Europe does, interesting...                         

The only thing I can think of to do, is to eat fresh food every day. That I can do. I already eat meat that is grass fed and antibiotic free, free range chickens and shop the farmers market. Where the problem lies is with packaged/processed foods. 

I will be developing recipes with my Tastefully Simple products that I sell to see what will fit my lifestyle. I know we carry Gluten Free products. I know that this is not going to be easy but I will find a way to be able to enjoy foods I love. 

I know there are a lot of good websites already out there such as The Paleo Mom. I have already found a bread recipe that looks good and if her kids will eat it, I might too. 

There is so much to learn, but learn I will. I will start posting recipes to my miafoodies site once I perfect them or share recipes that I try from other sites that are awesome and know you will like. 

I will also be reviewing new kitchen gadgets from time to time and letting you know what I think. Is it worth it or not to have in my kitchen at the miafoodies site. 

Oh but I wish to have a nice juicy hamburger with a bun...I will just have to wait until I can figure out how to make a gluten free one that tastes good and not like cardboard!

Happy trails...


Colorado Rocky Mountain High...

I just love John Denver...his music is never far from my heart. Matter of fact I'm suppose to be in Colorado right now basking in the glorious crisp, cool mountain air, painting beautiful vistas upon my canvases, eating good food with friends...NOT! What happened to this beautiful scene? 
Big Meadow

Mount Blanca
"You fill up my senses, like a walk in the forest"...oops there I go again thinking I am there gazing upon Mount Blanca, or at least wishing I was.

Mountain Moss

I was injured in a car accident in mid July and am recovering slowly. At least I can drive now. Before I couldn't, had a headache that wouldn't quit and pain in my back that was...well let me put it this was/is the pits.  This is apparently going to be a long recovery.  
I am in the grey car. Thank the good Lord the lady in the red
car had insurance.

I am determined that this is not going to keep me from getting out and enjoying my motorhome and meeting and making new friends. I have places to go, things to do/see, people to meet. Life to live. 

I have to calculate every move I make now, think things through and write down everything because I can't remember squat. The doctor told me this would happen and said it could/would take months to recover. Prime example: A friend came by this past Saturday to pick me up to go to a meeting in another city. I was suppose to be ready to walk out the door at 7:30 a.m. I woke up at 8:10 to my dogs barking and my neighbor trying to break into my home to see if I was okay. I totally forgot to set my alarm, even though we had discussed it two days before, even then it didn't dawn on me why they were trying to get into my house until I saw her.  Scary huh...! If I do remember something I have to do it right then no matter what else I am doing.  It's a pain for right now, but the doctor says it will get better with time. Such a way to live a life.

Stay well my friends and remember to BREATH..."Rocky Mountain High...Colorado...Rocky Mountain High...Colorado..." Just can't get that tune out of my head. 

Happy Trails...


Who Is This Fantastic Lady?

Gae-Lynn Woods, Author

Three years ago or so, I had just finished reading "Jet" by Indie Author Russell Blake who put up on his Facebook page a freebie book on called "The Devil of Light" by new author Gae-Lynn Woods

I took advantage of the free offer and downloaded the book from to my Kindle. Time got away from me and I set my Kindle aside and got involved with other things.  One evening when I felt like reading I picked up the Kindle and started in reading "The Devil of Light, A Cass Elliot crime Novel." Lo and behold I could not put this book down, it had me hook, line and sinker and I read it straight through.  Wow! What a read!

After finishing the book I friended her on Facebook and left a glowing comment which she replied in kind, never expecting her to reply, one thing led to another and we started conversing. The thing that interested me was Gae-Lynn lives in Marshall, Texas not far away from Longview and the kids house. Her husband Martyn Popey is a British Jazz Guitarist
Martyn Popey, licensed 
that plays at The Blue Frog in Marshall.  My husband loved Jazz and I knew he would love listening to Martyn, however it was not to be as the stars would not align and we could never get together before Dave passed away. 

I promised myself I would meet Gae-Lynn and today I did.  I was not disappointed, she is wonderful!  It's like I have known her all my life.  Easy to talk to, warm, funny, delightful and a great listener to boot.  

We planned to meet at a local restaurant for lunch. I arrived a few minutes early, while waiting, looked at all the wonderful baked goods staring me in the face, oh yum. She walked through the door and we immediately connected, gave each other a big hug like long lost friends that had not seen each other for years and wanted to catch up. She admitted that I was the first internet person for her to actually meet. We decided that we wanted Hot Dogs so we left and went to Hot Dog Express and had our coneys, sat in the cold and had a wonderful conversation on how we met our husbands and such. After finishing our lunch, Gae-Lynn asked if I liked Starbucks ... who doesn't...and off we went to warm ourselves and conversed some more.

Time almost got away from us as she had to get back to work, we departed, determined to get together again. 

I felt so at ease talking to her. What a great lady! 
I look forward seeing her again and listening to her husband play in the near future. 

Gae-Lynn, you are a true gem, and I'm honored to meet you at last. 


Going Live...

My new blog My Big Adventure...With Three Dogs has gone live and is now on-line. 
Read about today's adventure. My blog site is 


Could Have Been Bittersweet...

What is so hard about taking down a Christmas tree?
While I napped the family put up the
tree.  What a surprise!

Nothing really, but my emotions got the better of me and big alligator tears began to fall about mid-day yesterday. This was the first Christmas without Dave. I managed to get through it without too many tears. The family came in for Christmas and my retirement from OU. Yes I am officially retired.  

It was a beautiful tree this year filled with lots of handmade ornaments and pictures of the girls when they were little.
Dave's one year old
Christmas Card. It
has been hung on the
tree every year for
72 Years.  
This is what almost made
the evening bittersweet.
Note the words.

It was perfect.  Dave surprised me a few years back and bought it for our to be 5th wheel. It will fit nicely in the motor home. Our tradition is we set the tree up Christmas eve and leave it up for the 12 days of Christmas and take it down the day after Epiphany. I was several days late in taking it down this year as I needed my helper to get the boxes down from the closet to pack away the many ornaments I have. 
Ornaments from 1942 Canada

Ben, my helper, is a 16 year old who loves manual labor.  He takes care of my lawn for me and is helping me sort out the junk that I am trying to get rid of. He came over to rake up the leaves in my driveway and to move some furniture for me. My angel in disguise went to the tree without any prompts and started removing all the ornaments. He seemed to understand that I would become a sobbing mess if I had to take them off the tree.  He is wise beyond his years and such a blessing to me. 

I spent the rest of my evening watching Downton Abby and tenderly packing way ornaments and other Christmas decorations without it being bittersweet. The evening left me thankful for the many blessings I have. 
My helper Ben

Thanks Ben!