Thursday, September 03, 2015

Garden Disaster

Yes, I said garden disaster because that is what happened this year.  Even though we needed the rain, it messed up most everyone's garden this year.  Last year my garden went gang-busters in the tomato department but this year we've hardly had a bud, except for cucumbers which love the rain.  
It started out really nice and my hands got all dirty for the cause, but produce abundance just didn't happen. 
(Don't you love the mirrors!  They are all around our fence.  The Hubby finds them at the flea market and they look great on the fence.)
It's nothing but lush green weeds and overgrown tomato plants with no tomatoes.  

Years ago when my first garden in our first home was huge probably 10x20 sq. feet. and I tilled the entire thing myself.  I had no idea about how to do it.  My mother was awesome in guiding me.  I read constantly and watched The Victory Garden.  
In fact, I became so enthused with gardening that when I finally got the chance to go to college my very first class was horticulture which I aced.  I was going to be a horticulturist.  Sadly, that was the only class I took for a few years as I had another baby and the business was booming.  I kept gardening but we then moved and the backyard we got had a pool and a tiny corner raised bed.  I continued gardening successfully in that little corner.  
Ten years later we moved again (we tend to move every 10 years and we are in our 4th house now right at 10 years there) but the yard had no appeal to me and I just got too busy to garden.  I epically failed in this yard.


We moved yet again after 10 years into the house we have but the yard did not lend itself to a "garden," and The Hubby was not about to let me dig in the middle of the yard where there was a maze of a sprinkler system.  That was a good thing, a sprinkler system as I got very tired of dragging hoses and watering.  On the downside of that is that if it is programmed the plants can be over-watered and add to the over abundance of rain this year, well, none of the produce as was last year (see pictures!!!)


This photo is of the son-in-law's previous garden, I reference this to show the TG&Y tiller we gave them to use.  It is circa 1979 and still running to this day!
Best laid intentions but not planted this year.
Sad that this is just about what I have this year, NOTHING but weeds.

Next year!!!!!

This blog post idea comes from the lovely Mama's Losin''  It! Go visit and read more!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sabotage

Oh my goodness, perfect timing I think.  Mama's Losin' It! blog post suggestions this week arrived in my email box and as I was reading them the very last one caught my eye and stabbed me in the gut: 

 6. What is sabotaging your plan to drop 5 pounds? (Actually for me 100 pounds)

Yup, really what I needed to think about since I haven't thought about losing weight in the last 5 minutes for the past 30 years or so!  


When I was a kiddo I really didn't have any issue with weight at all.  That didn't stop my bro and Daddy calling me fatso for some reason.  I expect it from a sibling, that's just kids but my Daddy, not sure why.  
I had the usual child plump but as I got into junior high and on I kept it down, I also didn't eat well or much.  

Watching what I eat started when I was in 6th grade when I broke my leg.  It was a hugely traumatic event in my life and being in a cast for nearly 6 months took a toll on my mobility and growth.  It was at a time when your body is moving and grooving and I didn't move or groove.
High school rolled around and I was definitely curvy but I also ate sporadically and not much.  I LOVED food but I didn't eat.  I lived on popcorn, Dr. Pepper, occasional cheddar cheese or Momma's fried chicken.  I also did 100 sit-ups every single night.
It worked but was not healthy.  
We didn't grow up with fast food at all, there just was not availability in our town at that time.  So when I met The Hubby he opened up my life to fast food and we ate at weird times.  That was the first time I had to have Tums because of the level of food we ate.  I don't want to blame it on him I blame it on fast food.  I was bitten by the fast food bug.  
I got caught up in fast food, Dr. Pepper, and Twinkies and Ding dongs (The Hubby liked them in his lunch, I just liked them.)  Chips, dip, Taco Bell, I was a mess.  That first year of marriage I started going to Weight Watchers.  We really couldn't afford to eat out so I learned to eat right at WW.  That was when you ate a can of dry tuna, a lot of tuna.  I lost about 20 pounds and looked great and felt great.
Then babies came and I had the old-fashioned thought, "I'm eating for two." Boy did I eat for two.  Back to the Twinkies and Taco Bell.  After the birth of  B I got right back to WW and also started to actively garden in the backyard,  I had a huge garden.  I tilled it myself with a TG&Y tiller (we still have) and the thing just about beat me up.  I got muscled up and was in the best shape I had ever been in.  I was so strong and looked great.  Baby #2 and I let myself go again.  Not as bad and I actually lost a good part of the baby weight, not all but a lot.  

I was not happy and so food became my go too.  We were in business by the time the first girl arrived and he was working 7 days a week 12 hours a day.  I was lonely.  We lived in a part of town where I knew NO ONE except my next door neighbor.  I was lonely.  I ate and my food-drug of choice was fast food, Taco Bell and McDonald's.  I also had a friend who ate and sympathized.  Sadly she passed away from a heart attack at the age of 49...EYE OPENING!
I did do Jazzercise for about 15 years every single day and then a trainer but as of last year I have stopped.  I am not self-motivating and I know that.  I am lazy, flat lazy and I LOVE food.  Over the years I've let my knee problems dictate the lack of exercise but I'm LAZY.  I don't know if I actually sabotage myself but if you want to call being lazy sabotage then there you go.  

Doesn't really help that to work out I have to do it the first thing in the morning and frankly I don't have time in the morning anymore.  I'm usually running to the office to watch Snicklefritz or to art class or just work.  By the end of the day I am pooped.  I still am getting up at 4:45 every single day but I am enjoying my early morning to read blogs, post, read Facebook and emails, or just wake up.  Now that age 60 is looming in my very near future I know I need to get it together, but there goes all my best laid plans.  I'm a good talker yet I SIT and do nothing.  

I have discovered something though.  Last month while I was getting my monthly massage and facial I got a B12 shot they were offering.  I remembered my mother-in-law talking about getting them when she was trying to raise three rough-n-tumble boys and needed the energy.  I thought, "Why not!" Let me tell you, I didn't necessarily notice the energy but my KNEE!  The swelling and heat from the inflammation had almost disappeared!  WHAT!  I'm taking the stairs in a different, getting into a standing position is a breeze.  WOW!  Will have another one today.  

So did I answer the question?  I think I did, my Laziness sabotages any attempts to lose weight.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

SUCCESS

It was a huge SUCCESS!  We surprised The Hubby!  He fell for all the stories and we surprised him for his 60th birthday!
video

The place was PACKED with family and friends and when he walked in the door he actually thought he was attending a "benefit".  

video

He got to dance with B and little Snicklefritz!  A & N Facetimed so they could be included!  It was a WONDERFUL evening.



Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pre-Birthday Jitters

Well, today is the big day.  I know I have not posted anything about it but I have been working on a HUGE party for The Hubby.  Tomorrow is his 60th birthday and for months now I have been putting together another surprise party for him that happens tonight.  I have successfully surprised him at his 30th, 50th and now his 60th (hopefully).  I have rented out the Stokley Event Center where we had my 40th high school reunion.  

I decided that since The Hubby is so into dancing that I would throw him a DANCE PARTY!  I've invited his dancing friends to be there so he can dance the night away and the guests will also get a show.  I've downloaded all his dance music from his computer, 9 hours worth.  We are going to have BBQ from Albert G's and because he thinks there is no other kind of cookie but oatmeal raisin I am having 100 oatmeal cookies delivered from Ann's Bakery and built into a tower of cookies!  The guest list has swollen from about 100 to 125 so I've had to up the food and liquor to accommodate but let the cookie count stay as is.  I can handle the overage of food, not cookies!  

I, of course, woke up at 5 with a little Clayton help, and could NOT go back to sleep.  This party planning has gone so smoothly that I'm afraid there will be a kink.  Today I have to go pick up the ice chests and ice (we have an ice machine at the shop) for the liquor and then the liquor store to pick up the wine and beer.  I have seven kinds of beer, white and red wine and the place has complimentary pop/soda.  My fear is that I can't get the ice chests and liquor and ice in my car, all of it.  I may have to enlist B to help.  I have two friends meeting me to unload my car and get the beverages iced down.  I also will be watching little Snicklefritz so B can coerce The Hubby to the surprise.  Our story is that she got free ticket to a benefit and there will be tons of dancing and he is going as her date.  He's so excited to attend that he has been telling all of his dance buddies about the "benefit", to come and dance.  Again I have gotten him in on the planning and the dance people are working it with a snicker here and there.  

Since Snicklefritz's daddy, B2 is out of town till later in the evening we had to have someone watch her.  So B will bring her to the center and she will get to be a part of the party too.  I'm nervous and anxious for all the little things to go right.  

He also thinks we are having a "family" dinner at his Mom's retirement place on Sunday so he knows his birthday is not forgotten!

Wish me luck and hopefully tomorrow we will have some great photos.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ramble Friday

Last weekend we hit the road to the cabin, our oasis in the woods.  Saturday B and Snicklefritz decided to come up for the night on Saturday.  Snicklefritz loves the cabin.  She decided to help me take a selfie!

Our painting classes are out for the summer break but the class is still meeting because we LOVE to hang out.  I never thought I would have so much fun with the "new" friends.  I was looking for friends to just be with who call, text, travel with and have common likes, I have finally found that group.  We've been to Scottsdale together for workshop and been together for many workshops here in town.  We're also going to OKC in a couple of months for a week to take from Daniel Keys, an artist I've admired for awhile.  One of the ladies has moved to California but travels back to town often and comes to class still and is doing the OKC workshop with us.  I love my friends.  Now they are even talking of doing a trip to Italy, husbands included to take pictures to paint!!!!!  YEAH!

Did this little jewel yesterday in about 30 minutes.  9x12 oil on linen panel, "Clayton2".


Friday, August 14, 2015

Let's Talk Self-Employed and Retirement

I'm tired of working.  Yes I know I've had it kind of easy in the working department.  I've had flexible time ever since we started our business in 1979 but I'm tired of it and lord knows The Hubby is hitting the wall in that department.  Sometimes I think it would be easier at a 9-5 kind of job with no worries after you go home but then you are stuck under someone else's thumb.  I like being self-employed with the freedom we have to get away when we want, we are the boss.  But, sometimes we aren't the boss.  Really our customers, clients are our boss and they can dictate our hours.  Especially in the early years when we were getting the company off the ground.  The Hubby worked 7 days a week 10-12 hours a day.  Then we got employees and that was another kind of headache for him to manage.  There were times that I really considered myself a single parent because of all the time he spent working.  I did resent it at times but I understood it.  You see, I come from a long line of self-employed family, my parents, both sets of grand parents, etc.  It is just kind of part of my DNA to be a self-employed person.  While The Hubby was working in the field, so to speak, I was managing the household, raising children, and the book work stuff.  At night when the girls were asleep and he was finally down I would be up working on spreadsheets, paying bills, invoicing, all by hand at the time.  I did/do my share of work, just at different kinds of time frames.  Where his is from the time he gets up in the morning to the time he sits down for dinner and after, mine is in spurts.  It was a struggle for sure to make ends meet.  Going to the grocery store with a calculator watching every single penny we spent.  I managed the money, still do and I think I've done quite well.  We started with absolutely NOTHING and look what we have now. We are comfortable in our lifestyle and so are employees, I think.  

Now all The Hubby talks about is retirement, ALL THE TIME!  Since we are hitting the 60's now it is just part of our everyday thoughts and talks with each other.  We've put a lot of time and energy in making our business very successful but it does take a toll and now we want to play more.  I'm ready to sleep in, paint, read, relax, garden, play with Rio, travel, etc.  Yes we've certainly been able to do a lot of this stuff but I think now it's the grind that is getting both of us down.  Being self-employed and especially with employees relying on you, keeping the business running and profitable is a challenge.  This past spring and summer was challenging with the oil and gas prices down a lot of our customer base is in the business and they just didn't spend any money on what we do.  The phone was silent A LOT to the point of a lot of worry.  We weathered this kind of downtime in the early 80's during all the oil crash and came out of it successfully when other companies in our field that had been around for a long time went belly up.  This time I was getting a bit worried, but all of a sudden, YEAH, we are busy.  Whew...that was a bit hairy, especially since we have this building loan hanging over our heads for the new building.  The Hubby was absolutely in a panic but now, finally, a deep breath and we can see light at the end of the tunnel.  Now if we can just hang on a few more years to get the most out of our retirement.  

I watched my parents business in the 80's faulter and die as ours built strong.  It was hard to see all the years Daddy put in in making money to have it just dry up and cease.  He had a machine shop and they majority of what he did was for the oil industry.  They had money built up but to stay afloat they used it up, closed down, sold everything off.  The money they saved they spent.  It was probably not enough to retire on but they did spend it.  Then Daddy just RETIRED.  He did it very early with not much to live off of.  Momma decided she had to get an actual job.  She went to work for MetLife in the mail room and loved it.  It got her out of the house and kind of away from Daddy.  It also provided them health  insurance which they didn't have.  Back then saving for "retirement" was just not part of their vocabulary.  Back then I guess they thought that social security would be their retirement as that is what he lives on now.  Daddy struggles to live off of social security and we DON'T want to struggle to live comfortably.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Back To School Shopping

One of the writing prompts today from Mama's Losin' It! is to share a back to school memory.  Now you know since I am a bit older these memories go way, way back to that dusty file cabinet I call my brain.  

Back to school memory, well that takes me to many back to school memories that were basically the same every single year.  Shopping for school clothes and some of the battles that ensued.  First of all we weren't the richest people so Granny bought most of our back to school attire, including a new coats and shoes.  The shopping destination was in Tulsa, and since we lived in Broken Arrow that was an all day excursion, drive time, shopping time and EATING time.  Our usual stomping grounds was the Sears store at 21st & Yale and I think the only place around for that kind of thing.  There were a few stores in Broken Arrow for clothes shopping but they were mostly jeans, boots, you know, country-cowboy-country living kind of clothes.  And for goodness sake we lived on Main Street, we were city kids...Hahahaha!  Sears had everything you could imagine, much like the Sears catalog that you would get before there was an actual store.  Since it was in the 60's and 70's the dress code were mostly dresses and sweet sweaters for little girls.  That also meant sensible play shoes like Mary Jane's, socks, panties and slips.  For Bro it was jeans, shirts, underwear, socks and tennis shoes.  We would also be able to get one fancy dress or dress clothes for the dressier kind of days and of course a brand new coat if it was needed.  It was exhausting for all of us but such fun to walk into the two-story Sears store.  They had an escalator and we thought that was great fun.  If I remember correctly the girls section was on the first floor and the boys upstairs, but I could be wrong.  We didn't go upstairs often.  It was fun to play in the round racks of clothes but boy could we get in trouble if we got lost.  When I was younger my mother had a hard time keeping track of me.  I would just take off and would be lost with usually them calling her name over the PA system.  I was a mess.  One time though Mother thought she would teach me a lesson and let me get lost but she had a bead on me.  She got far enough away that I started to panic because I couldn't find her.  It turned into full blown panic.  That one incident must have triggered something in me that made me a mother hen.  After that I would absolutely herd my brother and sister if they even thought of wandering off.  I still have a horrible fear of being lost, getting lost.  Especially in airports.  

The best thing about back to school shopping was going to the Sears Cafeteria for lunch.  We rarely ate out, also restaurants were few and far between, especially in Broken Arrow and goodness knows we didn't drive to Tulsa to eat out.  It was such a treat to eat in the cafeteria.  We either had the fried fish or hamburgers.  It was just heaven.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Little Visitor

 This past Saturday night I offered to watch Rio overnight again.  I really love having her spend the night.  She is so much fun and interactive now.  Saturday evening after we had dinner we were sitting in the living room watching TV when The Hubby decided he wanted to try out the new smart TV and our NetFlix.  What popped out on the screen was Breaking Bad.  I realized that Rio was WATCHING it while playing with her cars, I mean WATCHING it.  I quickly got her sidetracked and got her bath going, which she loves.  Back into the living room and it was still on so back into her room and book reading.  Good Grief, he wanted to watch what HE wanted to watch.  So seven books later I was able to get her down for the night very easily.  The Hubby marathon watched Breaking Bad till about 12:30 then off to bed.  I was afraid he would dream about it all night long.
Sunday morning right at 8:00 I hear a soft voice, "Granny!"  I jumped up and ran into the guest room and she was awake and smiling.  Since she is potty training I wanted to make sure she was able to use the potty quickly.  Her overnight pull-up was almost dry!  We went to the kitchen and I fixed her scrambled eggs (with her help stirring), fresh fruit and cinnamon toast for the first time.  It was quite yummy and she cleaned her plate.  

The Hubby got up and was again watching television but this time his recorded MMA Extreme fighting.  YUCK, blood and hitting, she was so engrossed, so outside we went to enjoy the morning air and sunshine till he went to the office.
Finally, I got a turn at the television and my shows of choice are cooking shows.  Rio loves watching them to and they are parent approved. 
We had a great sleepover and I can't wait to do it again.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

On My Easel

The latest from my easel lately:

"Peach and Tea"


This sweet little one is named Aria.  Her grandmother was my sister's best friend in school.  I saw this photo and just had to try and paint it.



"Aria"
16x20 oil on linen panel






Friday, August 07, 2015

Birthday Party.

Birthday time is over and it was a success.   Daddy was thrilled to spend his special day with family.  His three sisters that live here and the wish that their sis in Arizona could be there too.  She is in a nursing home.  The little corner of the restaurant was filled with his siblings, my cousins, brother and his family and my family.  Sis is still recovering from hip surgery.  
The cutest was when we thought the meal was over and Rio was anticipating CAKE!  We go Daddy a brownie and ice cream and Rio was thrilled he shared, THE WHOLE THING!  
 

Oh, and my brother got in on the act too...see the extra fork in the plate!