Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sweet Memories

Briana has been a scanning fool as of late, going through boxes and boxes and boxes of pictures and memorabilia.  Today would have been my granddaddy's 98th birthday and I celebrate that.  I miss him tremendously.  He died in 1979, June, a few months before his first great grandchild, Briana was born.  Taken too soon by the horrible effects that cigarettes can cause, lung cancer.  Took his only child, my mother to soon also from emphysema, COPD.  Anyway, Briana found some of these gems I am sharing today.
Here he is in front of the feed store he owned in Broken Arrow when I was a child.  Cool huh!  

This picture I haven't seen in YEARS.  It's my greatgranny and greatgranddaddy, Maggie and Grady.  They lived in Rattlesnake Hollow in Jay, Oklahoma.  I loved this garden and don't remember the roses in the garden but there they are and I think peonies too.  I know they had roses along the front road.  I LOVED that place and those people dearly.   

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weight Loss

Monday morning and it is very early but I'm a bit excited.  I've been trying to not weigh very much but this morning I am starting 6 weeks of a new eating lifestyle and I needed to see if I have made any more of a dent.  I will be honest here with my weight...I started at 236, but this morning I thought I had gained weight when I saw the scale.  I was getting ready to be very, very upset...drumroll...219!!!!!  I am down 17 pounds this Monday morning.  I saw the 9 and thought WHAT, I gained but it is early and my mind was not awake!  It is all paying off!  I think chasing little Rio Saturday night because she spent the night again was good exercise.

She is so stinkin' cute.  I kept calling her Miss SnickleFritz which popped into my head.  A memory from Momma.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Week Wrap-Up

Wow, this week has been quite a week in a lot of ways.  I'm down another pound and I was able to pass up these puppies that a salesman keeps bringing to our office.  I breezed right by them, after snapping a quick pic!  A small victory.  I (we) also went out last night to Mexicali Border Cafe for a small class reunion dinner (The Hubby's) and I ate ONE chip, grilled chicken with sauteed veggies.  Success!

I'm kind of addicted to Island magazine and then I saw this magazine where I get my nails done and just had to subscribe.  I am not really a great traveler but I kind of dream when I look through the pages of these magazines.  Maybe, someday we will be able to take the time but work goes on... 

I have some other news but need to let it bubble around for a bit before I let it out there.  I can say it involves my painting and is very exciting, for me.  

Lastly, our little Clayton had visitors yesterday, his former owners, who live around the corner stopped by to visit him.  The still so love him but know he has such a wonderful home here.  They come by once in awhile to see his sweet face and get some of his slurppy kisses.  That's my boy.   

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Storms - July in Oklahoma

What a time we had last night.  Summer storms in July in Oklahoma!  Our generator, thankfully came on and has been running like a top since about 11 pm last night.  Our whole small neighborhood is without power as are tons of people.  It was truly scary and had the feeling of the ice storm of '09 when I stepped out of the house this morning. 
The first picture is of the neighbors to the north of us.  The house on the corner lost a limb and it is in the next yard down, our closet neighbors house. 
Small stuff in our yard, we were very lucky. 
Not so much the neighbors across the street and two doors down.  This massive oak was literally pulled out of the ground and is laying on the corner of the other neighbors house. 
Oh my goodness, just look at that thing.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Distraught and Heartbroken

I am utterly distraught and heartbroken.  Say it isn't so, PLEASE!  The local garden, Conrad's, that I have been going to since I was a child is selling!  They will sell out to local developers probably who will ruin the ground by developing a shopping mall or houses.  The 400+ acre farm has been growing and selling produce since the 1930's.  I used to go there with my Granny and Momma.  Before there, we went to a place called Bogg's but that has long gone too.  We even used to be able to pick our own produce.  Unfortunately the town has started closing in on the farm and so the land is highly coveted to destroy.  I'm am just beside myself with grief on losing history but understand that the Conrad's are tired and ready to let it go, to take a vacation once in awhile.  It's a very sad day when we lose precious farmland, especially good bottoms farmland.  My Momma and Granny would be as upset as I am if they were alive.  No more taking the kiddos to the gardens and bringing home bushels of corn, peas or tomatoes to freeze and can.  Life as we know and knew will be but fond memory.  I was actually going to head out there this week to get some purple hull peas and I will have to MAKE that happen!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Morning Ramble

Monday morning...uh, yeah, Monday morning.  Another week, another day, another low cal meal! It's day-in-day-out of the same-o, same-o for me right now.  But, I am feeling good and we are going to continue the diet or food lifestyle that we have adopted as of late.  Granted this weekend we did indulge a few blue corn chips and a bowl of fresh strawberries and homemade ice cream but you have to live.  Last night for dinner I had three leftover ears of white corn from the weekend festivities and I decided to cut them off the ear and make a kind of corn tomato salsa to go with our grilled chicken.  We attended our 4 year old great-nephews little birthday party yesterday and went away with a sack full of fresh red tomatoes and jalapenos from their backyard so the idea popped into my head.  I cut the corn off, added chopped tomatoes and jalapeno, lemon juice (would prefer lime but did not have) and red onion.  Let it marinate a few hour and YUMMY!  Tonight we will have it over grilled tilapia.  Oh, and I picked, from my tiny garden, two zucchini and tons more cucumbers.  We ate the zucchini last night, but tonight will be cucumbers and onion in a little brine!  YUMMY, I so love summer veggies for the table.  I am hoping this afternoon to head out to the "gardens" in Bixby for purple hull peas, and hope my Daddy will shell them for me.  He loves to do that and I will oblige him the job, thank you! 
Hope all have a good day!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Water Of All Kinds

It's raining.  Yup this morning it is raining.  Sounds awesome.  Think I will go to the screened porch for a bit this morning and enjoy the pitter-patter of the raindrops on the metal roof. 
We've had a very quiet weekend here at the cabin.  Friday night we had dinner at PH's and she fixed a most delicious dinner, and it fit right in with our diet.  She made chicken breasts that were filled with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.  The veggie was spaghetti squash casserole au gratin that was to die for. 
Yesterday afternoon I bit the bullet and went to the creek and SAT in the creek.  I'm just not one who does the creek anymore so this was kind of big.  When a kiddo I, we, my bro and sis, absolutely lived in the lake or creek, but I think the stupid movie JAWS ruined me on bodies of water that you can't see the bottom of.  There are critters in them waters! 
So Saturday afternoon, a rather hot afternoon, I joined a few friends and sat in the softly flowing creek and enjoyed the coolness.  I also sat on the creekbank and sketched a bit too.  It was quite pleasant. 
Here's to wonderful times spent with friends!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Lesson Before Dying

I finished this book yesterday.  It has been in my "stack" of books for years and I think was on Oprah's Book Club list probably over 10 years ago.  I finally got around to reading, well listening, to it.  Such a good book, sad, thought provoking and in this time really thought provoking.  With all the stuff going on with Paula Deen and that girl on Big Brother lately with racial slurs and words tossed around my mind has been on the subject a lot.  The books time period is in the 1940's in Cajun country about a young black man named Jefferson who somehow gets tied into a robbery gone bad and he's the only one left standing.  Being black, in the 40's and the south he is convicted to death and all of the waiting for his execution effects everyone in town in some way or another.  The story is of course sad but it brings thoughts to mind of the time era and how far we HAVE come in the world yet when I watch the Big Brother show and see that young girl espousing the racial crap I see we still have not come very far.  Why can't we learn to love everyone, to stop this insane difference that keeps us so far apart from becoming human beings!  My mind is a jumble of these thoughts lately.  Sorry.  It's a really good book.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Last night I chauffeured my friend Sheila to our monthly meeting of Alpha Rho Tau or ART.  We were excited to attend and left at 5:30 to get across town to get good seats which didn't really happen.  Between the stupid traffic and the "reserved" signs on the nearly entire first two rows, well, we got the best places we could.  There were two artists sharing for the evening, Lopeeta Tawde, a watercolorist and jewelry designer, and a man by the working name of Cotti.  Cotti is a world renowned portrait artist who has been commissioned by the likes of Sly Stone, Marlene Detrich (she died before that happened), Louis Armstrong, BB King, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and many others.  Sheila and I just had to go to see his work.  What an interesting guy and an opportunity.    

This is one of his pieces that he is most famous for.  Unfortunately, I only had my camera phone and the pictures were a bit blurry.  He paints in the style of the "Old Masters", like Rembrandt.  And it just so happened that it was Rembrandt's birthday yesterday.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Paint, Toilet Paper and Food

Good Sunday morning.  It's been a fabulous weekend so far.  Rain is on the horizon today and that makes me kind of happy.  We definitely need it.  Yesterday I was up early to take care of the granddog, Mondo and Clayton and my planned breakfast.  I'm kind of bummed that I have not lost anymore weight than 14 pounds after three weeks, but I will continue.  I have not had any white stuff, as in bread, rice or potatoes in three weeks.  I've given up soda pop.  I think its still working because at least the body is changing but I want the scale to start changing.  Good news is when I take the blood pressure it is more in the normal range now too!  I spent yesterday taking some more pictures for possible still life paintings and my laundry.  While running around doing a few household chores, I was putting toilet paper in our various bathrooms, when I turned from the bathroom to walk through the darkened bedroom to the hall bath, I did not see the black granddog laying on the carpet.  My foot met his backside and with my arms full of toilet paper, down I went.  SPLAT---I hit the floor, partly on the dog, my right knee (the good knee), my left elbow and I think on top of a couple of rolls of toilet paper.  I think the TP saved me.  When I rolled over to my bottom I sat for a few minutes to see how the knee was and my poor elbow.  OUCH!  Toilet paper was all over the place.  Mondo came over to me, sat on his haunches and put his paw on my shoulder.  Awwww, sweet baby, he was either apologizing for being in the middle of the floor or making sure I was okay.  I'm fine and the only real injury was a rug burn on the elbow that plagued me all night long.

Life goes on.  On a good note, I got a Facebook message from one of The Hubby's distant cousins who is a retired teacher and AMAZING photographer.  He takes the most beautiful photos of his property, birds, bird baths, butterflies...etc.  He asked if I could do a painting from one of his photos that has a butterfly.  He sent me a couple of pictures and wanted a quote for certain sizes.  I quoted and he accepted.  EEK!  He wants it to look like a painting (no problem) not a photograph.  So a commission!  Yeah.  I did finish a painting and am almost finished with another, probably today.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I am making one last plea here for our youngest, Afton, stage name Sangster.  She is 12 days out to fulfill her fund drive via Pledge Music to raise funds to record her debut EP - Sangster:  Human Becoming!  (5% of the funds raised will benefit the ASPCA.)  You can go to the site and even listen to her voice and ENJOY!

The link for her PledgeMusic campaign is HERE!  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pickle Eater

I am TOTALLY stealing these pictures from Af's Facebook page but I just had too.  

When my girls were this age my mother told me to let them chomp on dill pickles to help with teething.  Something about the alum that is used in pickles helps to numb the pain.  Not sure if this is right but B is an avid researcher in anything to do with baby Rio so must be something to it.  So during a Facetime with her Auntie Af she is enjoying her dill pickles. 

Well, since she has a few teeth now you have to be careful when the odd piece is chomped off.  They are too big to swallow but Rio doesn't care.  She loves her pickles!

Not happy at all!

Whew, much better!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Garden Bounty

Yesterday I went out to the garden and immediately wished I had gone on Sunday, before I went to the store and bought cucumbers.  Wow!  The cucumbers that were all as tiny as my little finger on Friday were huge and ready to pick, and I will pick more later today.  The only tomatoes ready for picking are my sweet little Juliette's but more will come soon.  
I fixed a delicious dish from "the book", that included cucumbers.  I grilled tilapia on my grill pan and seasoned it with Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic and cooking spray.  Then on another plate I put a couple of Boston lettuce leaves.  When the fish was done I put it on the leaves and topped with chopped cucumber, chopped red pepper, and cilantro then drizzled with a olive oil vinaigrette (red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper).  YUMMY!  So delicious.

This recipe, Shrimp Salad, from "the book", is delicious too. It called for baby shrimp but I just used regular cooked shrimp and chopped them up.  A couple tablespoons of chopped dill, celery, a tablespoon of mayo, lime juice and serve over chopped romaine leaves.  Another fabulous meal for lunch.   

So the new eating is going very well.  

Monday, July 08, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up

Good morning, good morning.  The scale is up a bit this morning but I'm not too worried.  It could be not enough water or a bit more wine this weekend.  This morning I've already prepared our lunch and had my breakfast.  I've hit the ground running and will continue on my quest of a lighter me.  I can honestly say that my body feels lighter and my tummy is shrinking faster than you can imagine.  This is going to work!!!  The Hubby is so excited and happy by my desire and success so far that I came home yesterday to find these sitting on the kitchen counter -

I have chiggars!  Saturday, my time in the hammock has somehow caused me to have chiggars all around the bra area and I HATE it!  In fact, I have one bite from nearly two months ago that is still healing.  Gosh I so hate chiggars.  Why can't it be mosquito bites that my body seems to absorb and disappear quickly.  Nope, I shall have these for awhile!  Awww, lovely weekend!  It was also the fireworks show at the cabin retreat so I spent time indoors in the evening watching Clayton not care one lick about all the big bang boom!  He doesn't mind fireworks, like I hate them.  I did finish a book, A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams that I highly recommend.  I'm finishing a audio in the car called The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton that I thought was a bit long but the ending surprising.  I liked it.  Started the new Janet Evanovich book The Heist which I should finish this week.

I told The Hubby that this next weekend I wish to stay in town.  I have a lot of paintings to start and finish and many in my head to do.  Since my show is in October they need to get done so there is time to dry, since I paint in oils.  So next weekend I do not wish to budge from this house!  Besides we will be taking care of the granddog, Mondo and I don't want to take him to the cabin.  He's fun to have and Clayton will so enjoy having him around.

How was your weekend.  Staying cool!

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Reading, Hammock Sitting and Flower Picture Taking

Today is the celebration of the 4th here at the lake.  Some may not know but a few years ago, July 5, 2008 to be exact, The Hubby was injured in a fireworks accident.  I won't go into details but you can read about it HERE.  It is not my favorite holiday.  I love Independance Day, all for that but I HATE fireworks!  Anyway, I am just hanging around the cabin and the hammock not partaking of the PARTY atmosphere that is going on.
I am instead taking pictures of some of my flowers for paintings, hammock dwelling and reading a great book. 
Trumpet Vine (that is encroaching in our yard)
My beautiful hibiscus!
The book I'm reading is A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams.  I wasn't sure when I started but in two days I am halfway through and probably will finish tomorrow.  It's been on the top best sellers list for summer reads this year.  I've also enjoyed a few books by one of my favorite authors, Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Kay Andrews.  Hope you're having a reading summer!

Friday, July 05, 2013

After the 4th!

Yesterday was such an awesome day.  Up for breakfast, later, much later than is the norm, then read, and take some pictures and paint, paint, paint!  A bit of a nap and more reading and relaxation.  That is what the doctor ordered, so to speak!  I actually finished a couple of paintings and started another so I accomplished a lot on the 4th.  
This is one of the pictures I took, a still life for possible painting.  The Hubby attended a recent bottle show and brought these lovelies home.  I couldn't help but photo them in anticipation of a painting.  

Started this one too today.  It needs to dry so I can do something more with the background.

Finished this abstract too and I must say I love it!

Last but not least is this pepper.  I did a tomato a couple of months ago and posted it on Facebook and it was snatched up quickly, like in 15 minutes by a friend who then requested a companion piece, a green pepper.  She loves it!  So SOLD!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

The #14

Just a quick hello and good morning and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!  And to impart some good news.  As of June 5, this morning the scale says I have lost 14 pounds!!!!!  Woo Hoo!  I am so excited I can hardly stand it and gives me encouragement to continue on with the diet or lifestyle.  The Hubby is dropping too but he is now asking if he can eat this or that.  I think he may be hungry but I'm not.  I'm very satisfied with what I am preparing.  My only hitch is that I getting kind of tired of constantly chopping and cutting and sauteing and COOKING!  We will have to break down and eat out sometime and I can handle it.  I have book club in a couple of weeks and we will HAVE to go back to Bangkok, our favorite place.  I just have to have a lot of veggies and chicken that is on the buffet and I can do that.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Weight Down

Monday evening and I am rejoicing in the fact that I have actually finished and successfully so, a full week of a diet.  I have not done that in a very long time.  I'm not sure how to count the weight loss since I actually started kind of watching it on June 5, after the devastating doctor's appointment.  I am going to say that since June 5, I've lost a total of 11 pounds and am quite proud of that.  It's not been too tough and so much more enjoyable with The Hubby doing it with me.  I know that The Hubby looks like he doesn't need to lose weight but his cholesterol has a problem and he will definitely benefit by eating better.  I am glad he's along for the ride, I hate doing it alone.  We started week 2 today and the lunch...YUMMY!  It was baby shrimp, which I couldn't find so I used regular cooked shrimp, chopped up.  I then added lemon and lime juice and a tablespoon of mayo with a teaspoon of chopped dill.  It was then put on chopped romaine lettuce.  Boy, let me tell you it was so delicious and no salt!  The dinner was not salt too.  I didn't realize this was going to be a low salt diet too, but it is and my blood pressure is happier.  

Now, Bri asked me if I'd been taking progression pictures...not really of my body but my face so let's take a look, shall we!






6-4-2013 (my 57th birthday)



The one thing I see is not as fluffy on the sides and my chin.  I know it's only 11 pounds but that is big for me and I already feel it in my walk and bounce in my step!  I'm pretty happy so far.  Onward!