Friday, May 27, 2016

Arkansas Journeys

I was lucky enough a couple of months ago to be given an opportunity to join the Tulsa Garden Club on one of their excursions.  This particular jaunt was to Arkansas to visit Marlsgate Plantation in Scott, Arkansas; Chris Olsen and his nursery in Little Rock called Plantopia.  Little did I realize but we also were to have dinner in his home.  Also on this trip was a stop at P. Allen Smith's, Moss Mountain Farm.  That place has been a mini-bucket list trip for me so I was YES!!!!!  It was just an overnight trip which was fine with me.  We met at 7:30 Wednesday morning and the bus arrived for us to climb aboard.  The bus driver alighted the steps, a very tall large white-bearded gentleman and I instantly remembered something.  A guy I went to high school with, graduated a year before me was a bus driver but I wasn't sure if it was Roger.  I got a bit closer to see what his name tag said but it was too small and this guy was so tall I just could not see it.  He looked at me and said, "Yes, you know me."  I laughed and said, "Roger!"  He was a really nice guy in high school and was in my father's boy scout troop and was around a lot.  It's funny I cannot place his young face in my memory so I will be looking at the yearbook soon.

Roger was a wonderful driver, especially through all the torrential rains we encountered right out of Tulsa and most of the morning.  

After a long drive with a short pit stop where most of us got drenched between the bathroom break and going back to the bus we arrived at Marlsgate Plantation.  What a beautiful old mansion and the antiques inside were awesome.  The owner, David Garner was a tiny wisp of a man all dressed to the nines.  White hair coiffed perfectly with gold and diamond bracelets, rings and watch he was a stitch.  Extremely southern in his tales, lingo and mannerisms he was a joy to listen to.  

We were served a sit down lunch in the lower rooms of the house and then the tour began.  We were to see the gardens too but he said it had rained almost 2 months solid and were under water and completely ruined.  

After we were done we loaded the bus yet again to make our way to downtown Little Rock to our hotel.  We checked in and after a 45 minute rest period yet again ascended the bus steps for a trip to Chris Olsen's Plantopia.  It's a greenhouse, like any other greenhouse but the ladies loved it and were buying plants and things left and right.  The bottom of the bus was full and I worried about the plants in the hot bus.  
Apparently I did not get any photos from his house that I can find but after the greenhouse we were off to Chris's house for dinner.  Amazing it was.  He built the house 22 years ago when he and two other people were there.  The other two neighbors sold off their land and a housing sprang up around his oasis.  It's funny, as we were driving around and winding through the neighborhood I thought this was wrong.  A regular housing addition how could it be but when we arrived and drove straight down into the culdesac to his house there it was.  FANTASTIC!  He also said that he was selling and moving to a Spanish style house, old, in Little Rock proper.  A new project!  Can't wait to see what he does with it.  His current house was only 2,100 sq.ft. but he throws parties for 350 people all the time.  AMAZING!  He was a terrific host and so funny.  He is supposed to be on television but I'm not sure where.  Have to look him up.

The next morning we packed it all up and hauled into the bus for the very long trip to Moss Mountain Farm, a good 45 minute drive winding in the back country of Arkansas.  Finally arriving we unloaded the bus, YET AGAIN to see this magnificent view.  Gardens everywhere.  Vegetables, roses, views, views, views!
The humidity though was about 100% and just stifling.  The walking was an issue for several of the elderly people who just could not walk down the paths or back up.  Today my quads are killing me but it was so worth it.

The Arkansas river!


After the walking in which there was not a dry piece of clothing on my body it was time to tour his home.  He had it built new to look like it had been in place for 100 years.  Once you walked into the door the A/C was fantastic for us red-faced walkers.  Whew!  We all gathered in the living and were told to sit while the lady told us a bit about the house.  That home was so inviting I could definitely live there.  
After the house tour we adjourned to the barn for our lunch of kale salad topped with strawberries, feta cheese, and walnuts and a dessert of pecan buttermilk pie!
A trip well worth the time!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

My Busy Week In Review

My week in review:

Well, either Monday or Tuesday, totally forget which as days swim together, I came home and made a killer veggie soup for the week.  It was so dang good.  Also added to the mix was a huge bag of spinach...YUMMY!  

Tuesday I painted with my lovely friends and finally, FINALLY finished this sweet one.  I call it 

"A Girl and Her Cowboy"
16x16 oil on gallery wrapped canvas. 
The name Cowboy is the horses name and the horse belongs to her other papa.  The painting is going to live in his house.  He loves it.

Also, last week was the completion of cleaning out my space, my room, my sanctuary.  In the purging I ended up with a garage full of CRAP to get rid of so B and I decided to set up at the flea market.  Oh my gosh, her car was full of her stuff and my car was so full I could barely get into the drivers seat to drive. 
I had hoards and hoards of books to get rid of and I probably sold 20 of them, not enough. 
B had fabric, clothes, vintage fabric and trim.  I had teapots and a few dishes. 
The Hubby decided to get in on the action and brought this lighted picture and lamps.  They brought tons of lookers and interest but did not sell. 
All in all I think we made our booth fee with a tad left over that I gave it to B so they could go to Blue Dome and have some munchies last night. 
When the day was done we loaded all of it back into our respective cars.  She headed home, The Hubby took his goodies back to storage at the shop and I made a bee-line to Goodwill to drop off.  Nothing was going back to my house.  What I was faced with was a full parking lot and no more carts to put stuff in.  I gave them what they had room for but the two huge boxes of books are still in my car....GRRRrrr.  Not a problem though as I will head back Monday morning to drop off.  Again, nothing is coming back into my house.  I feel so good about purging what I have and after my art function will continue with the guest room closet.  It is stuffed with Christmas, games, art note cards, yarn for my crochet projects, record albums, family history, CRAP yet again.  

What is good is that today I have nothing to do, absolutely nothing but a date with my new found easel.  I have several projects I need to get started on and I am PAINTING!  So toodles for now I've got to play in paint.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Honestly I am ashamed to be an Oklahoman today.  What is wrong with our state.  We are traveling backward step by step by step.  We are letting our children down by demolishing our education system and now we are letting women down and turning us back to pre-70's.  I am ashamed.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pianos and NO SLEEP

Oh we are a HAPPY kiddo aren't we.  As I said yesterday, she is with us all weekend and about halfway through yesterday I happened to walk by the dining room and realized I had FORGOTTEN something.  A few weeks ago I had ordered her a baby toy piano and it was still in the box, waiting for her to come and help me open it.  We got to the business of pulling it out of the box with some assembly required and voila we have a toy baby grand piano just right for Snicklefritz.  She loves it and all day long as she played she would detour in the front room and I could hear her tinkling the ivories.  She has decided it shall stay at my house and that is okay.  The little music book and color-coded strip will help in teaching her!  

It has been a fun weekend but frankly guys I'm bushed this morning.  She woke up in the middle of the night last night when I had only been asleep, deep asleep for about and hour and a half screaming and crying.  I was so deep asleep that her crying was in my dream and it took me a minute to realize it was REAL!  I jumped out of bed realizing that I had again shed my pajamas (hate pajamas even in my sleep) but not enough time to put anything on, and rushed to her.  During the crying I thought I heard a thud and was afraid she had fallen out of the BIG BED hence the screaming cry, but as I opened the door I realized it was just her feet hitting the floor as she climbed down from the bed.  I rushed to her and she was crying she had to go to the bathroom.  I quickly felt of the pajamas, DRY and helped her to the bathroom.  She was sobbing and I was afraid I would not get her back to sleep.  She went to the bathroom and that made me have to go and through her sobbing and me peeing she said, "Put your clothes on!"   GOOD GRIEF, even in the low light that seemed to bother her.  As she headed back to her bed, still sobbing I grabbed my nightgown and tried to help her into bed but that seemed to make it worse.  Little Miss Independent does NOT want help most of the time.  So her sobbing and me waiting she climbed back onto the bed and I tucked her back in.  She was back asleep in a matter of minutes.  Probably wasn't even awake enough to realize all of it.  Then about 3:30 I had to get up to empty said bladder again, then back asleep.  Again at 5:30 I was jolted awake by moaning and, "No, No, No."  The Hubby jumped up and ran into her bedroom but I knew she was having a bad dream and not awake, but he didn't realize it.  She did the same thing yesterday morning.  He tip-toed to her bedside and then back to bed assured she was still asleep.  I said, "Bad dream," to which he replied, "How did you know." I told him she had done it yesterday.  So back to sleep he went and she and me, well, here I am AWAKE!  My FitBit says I have had three and a half hours of actual sleep.  Figures.  So NAP TIME for me today.  

The good thing yesterday is my room is DONE, DONE, DONE!  Oh there are a few little corners of stuff to get out for the flea market next week or the office but it is cleared out and ready for my company.  The Hubby came in yesterday and I proudly said, "Looky!" He said, "Are you almost done!" WHAT!!!!  I guess he thought I would get rid of everything but this is MY ROOM and I like MY SPACE!  Ooooooooooooo!!!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday with Snicklefritz

 Good Saturday morning (7:07 am.)  I'm up early and little Snicklefritz is STILL asleep.  She is spending the weekend with us and "hopefully" the bed is not wet.  Yes, she has progressed to dry underwear all night, or at least at home.  Poor little thing was so exhausted yesterday that it was easy to put her down, but that also means a hard sleep for her, and possibly a wet bedspread as she slept on top of the bed.  I put pillows underneath the fitted sheet to make a kind of well in the center.  The bed is so his and we have hardwood floors and I was afraid she would roll off in the middle of the night.  She wanted to sleep in the center and so she is still there.  I woke up a little after 6 when I heard her let out a scared moan and I assume she was having a bad dream.  

We got her at lunch time and took her with us to our favorite Friday haunt, Bangkok for Thai buffet.  She ate and ate, veggies, pad Thai and rice.  The kid is not much into meat but that's okay.  So back home I got out a project her momma sent for us to do, paint her birdhouse.  The kit came with a small amount of paints so I broke out the acrylics and she had a heyday.
Then Granddad came home, her favorite play friend and she followed him around like a puppy dog.  She watched him clean out the water fountain and then rode around on the bike picking up tons of sticks and dried leaves in the wagon part.  She was painted and filthy and worn out but was having the time of her life.  A good dinner, bath, stories read and down she went at 8pm.  

UPDATE as I was writing:  She slept 11 hours with a DRY bed.  Up and ready for our Saturday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Time Away

Happy Belated Mother's Day

A wonderful weekend it certainly was.  I actually headed to the cabin on Wednesday afternoon to have some ME time for my Mother's Day gift to me!  It had been a few years since I spent some time on my own at the cabin and the weather did not disappoint.  
Since the torrential rains we had last year the creek has changed.  Our regular swimming hole used to have a flat bank you walked into the creek at but the water has eroded it to a 3 foot drop off and farther down this has appeared.  I prefer the moving water and shallow so you can see the bottom.  I don't want to swim, I want to walk in the waters but not till it's at least in the 90's during the day.  Spring Creek is FREEZING year round.  One day the thing was full to bursting with shad, in fact they were absolutely flipping out of the water.  I was able to scoop up handfuls of the 3-5 inch fish.  Soooo, needed a fishing pole. 
So much lush green and beauty.  Definitely have loads of ideas for paintings. 

Back into town on Sunday The Hubby and I picked up KFC, the mother-in-laws favorite, and headed to her little independent living apartment to enjoy the day.  She was so excited to have her family around her and had the table set beautifully for us.  

Of course it's also B2's Mother's Day and little Snicklefritz created a painting for her (without my help).  She took a little class and made it.  Sooooo cute and it had a story.  It's of her and her momma sewing, together!

I also received this sweet Mother's Day card from her.  She flew in the door and wished me Happy Mother's Day as she hugged my neck. 

Love that girl, LOVE ALL MY GIRLS! 

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day

I'm doing this on Saturday because for some reason this year I'm feeling the loss of Momma so keenly this year.  I don't want to think about it tomorrow.  She was my best friend, my confident, my ship in a storm.  My heart absolutely breaks with her not in my world.  I miss her so very much and cannot stand to even write these words right now.  Could be the gin and tonic I just finished off...could be...

Here's to all mother's everywhere and I will cherish the only mother figure I have left, my fantastic mother-in-law!