Monday, May 30, 2022

A Lot of Babble

This hip thing is honestly very awesome. On Thursday I told The Hubby I wanted, NEEDED to go out to eat.  Sometimes I just am over trying to create meals and he is quite content to go, thank goodness.  So we went to The Polo Grill in Utica Square.  They've done a huge remodel, expanded and we've not been there since that was done.  Goodness it is very large with outside eating, big bar, etc. We didn't have a reservation and they kind of oohed and ahhed about that but we asked if we could sit in the bar and they said certainly.  Honestly there were TONS of empty tables, especially in the bar.  The Hubby and I were kind of amused watching a lot of "OLD" money walk past in their suits and ties and ladies with their bags and pearls.  Some could barely walk in and one guy had a nice but baggy suit on and the dirtiest worn out tennis shoes I had ever seen.  Made me giggle a bit.  (I love to people watch.)  It was a nice meal, mine was a tad tepid and the haricot verts (I call them green beans) were really pretty and green but so raw I could barely crunch through them.  I know that's the trend but a bit more cook would be better.  During dinner The Hubby suggested we go downtown to watch our jazz vibraphonist son-in-law perform at the jazz club Low Down that is under (stairs) the restaurant Duet.  (This is a long roundabout story...)  Normally, pre-surgery I would not even have thought of doing that because of the possibility of walking and STAIRS, oh no.  I responded, "YES!"  The Hubby was thrilled and so was I.  My first instinct was to say no but I didn't and am very glad I was agreeable to the idea.  So off we went, found parking a block and a half away and surprised Nick.  We stayed through his first set and then headed home before we turned into pumpkins.  I can get out now but the sleep monster will not let me stay up to 10 anymore. LOL!  We got to meet a lot of people, his fans and even one couple that saw him in Kansas City a month ago, came down just to see him.  He does have a nice jazz fan base and it's wonderful to see.  

That day I had gone to the studio and quickly painted this little bluebird and I mean quickly.  Sketched it first then splashed a bit of paint on it and was very happy.
I love painting birds and dogs, cats for some reason challenge me.

The holiday weekend usually doesn't mean a whole lot because if it's at the end of the month and we have to work, in the office, billing.  The plan was to come back like usual on Sunday to work.  We did get away to the cabin early on Friday to enjoy the day and evening.  The next day I had another one of my painting groups at the wigwam this time as it was NOT flooded.  I would have had more people but only 3 were able to show up.  The others, illness and kiddos got in the way.  We had a small nice group though and I felt more like I helped this time.  They asked a lot of questions and I was able to guide one to a fully finished watercolor, her first ever painting.  She was absolutely thrilled with it.  One used oils for the very first time and got a bit frustrated but she just barreled through the painting like she had been doing it for years.  The other did oils just to play with mixing and really enjoyed it.  I tried to lend a lot of tips about mixing paint, videos to watch, help with shadows and light.  It was fun.  The thing I need to learn is NOT to get too absorbed into what I WANT to paint as it is to help them and I felt I was a bit lacking in that but they want to watch me.  Have to fine tune this thing called "teaching."   
Paula's first painting!

I had set up more still life stuff mainly for me to paint.  It seems easier than trying to paint from my IPad as I usually do. Plus setting up stuff in the beautiful wigwam was fun.  

Later in the evening we had dinner at Peggy and Tom's.  Hadn't been to their cabin in quite a while as they've been gone a lot the past few months.  It was a wonderful evening on their porch visiting with our crew.  I made a huge cheese, fruit and cracker platter they loved.  Tom grilled chicken k-bobs, there was a tossed salad and corn on the cob.  It was a nice summer meal.

I do have to remember those who are not with us anymore.  Really, I kind of put that stuff out of my mind mostly but it is slammed back with photos of graves, flowers and memories on Facebook.  I don't want to be sad but remember the wonderful lives they lived here with us on this earth.  

FYI, our girls are on VACATION!  Sadly they won't be here for my birthday next Saturday but I'm throwing myself a small party.  I couldn't decide if I wanted to spend the weekend at the cabin or here in town and opted for town because ALL of our crowd are gone at the cabin, the ones I would party with.  So I invited some of my oldest friends from when we used to go to church, Tonya, Paula and Tracy and their wonderful hubbies over for dinner.  I'm going to pick up Olive Garden lasagna, salad, breadsticks and told them to maybe bring an appetizer or dessert.  One is bringing special cocktails.  She is queen of those!  FUN.  It will be a nice low key time with old friends, what I want to do.  I told The Hubby that morning I would like to go to breakfast and then I have an art meeting, then back home to ready for friend-time.  It will be a great day.  

This short week I have lot going on.  Linda and I are setting up for the art opening at the BA Museum.  At first it was going to be a Wednesday set up but got notice from the director that we can start on Tuesday!  I have The Hubby's help on Wednesday and his truck but I plan on taking a huge load down on Tuesday and really reassess what I need and don't need to bring back on Wednesday.  Linda can't do anything until Wednesday.  I want to be able to split the space evenly for the two of us, I don't want to be a wall hog.  It's exciting.  I have to get wine and on the way down on Thursday for the opening I will pick up food trays from our caterer.  I told The Hubby he only has to be there for about 30 minutes, there's a dance thing I think.  Not a problem.  I do want him to appear and support.  

Friday, May 27, 2022

Probiotics versus Prebiotics

For your information because I KNOW you've been dying to know!  

Every evening I take two chewable fiber tablets that contain prebiotics.  When my father was having his hip-infection issues the doctors/hospitals were always making sure he was taking his probiotics or prebiotics or something like that.  I always called it probiotics but then I was really paying attention to my fiber bottle and noticed PRE when I was always telling MY doctor PRO.  That got me to thinking which was it, am I taking the right stuff, should I be changing.  So I asked Google and here is what I found out.  

Prebiotics are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. The most common example is in the gastrointestinal tract, where prebiotics can alter the composition of organisms in the gut microbiome.

Probiotics are live microorganisms promoted with claims that they provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora. Probiotics are considered generally safe to consume, but may cause bacteria-host interactions and unwanted side effects in rare cases. 

Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms intended to maintain or improve the "good" bacteria (normal microflora) in the body. Prebiotics are foods (typically high-fiber foods) that act as food for human microflora.  

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. Prebiotics are types of fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive ...

I really don't know which one I should really be taking so I purchased a chewable that has both in it and will add to my regime.  It's really very confusing but I do know that when I had my hip thing they were really glad I was taking what I was calling probiotic when in reality I was taking a prebiotic.   ARGHHHH so confusing...

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Rain, Turtles and Orchids

Good morning my lovelies!  

My goodness this RAIN.  I'm so over it as I would imagine most everyone else is.  Plus we actually turned on the heat at the cabin this past weekend.  If this continues, as it is supposed to, the wigwam may be flooded yet again and we will be doing the painting thing at our cabin once again.  Oh well, a day at a time.
Wednesday was my "book club" or as they like to call it, "the restaurant club."  LOL!  We mostly eat at good eateries and talk a little bit about the book club.  It's great fun and we've been doing it for over 10 years now.  Amazing really.  It's whittled down to only 7 of us with mostly 4-5 ever showing up.  That's really a great number.  There's a lot of travelers in the group so we get to live through their stories of travel.  

My orchids, oh my orchids.  Honestly because I was in so much pain and didn't want to do ANYTHING for so long I thought they were dying.  But when I got home from the hospital B got rid of the dead stuff and watered them and Snicklefritz has watered them a few times and I have.  Imagine my surprise when I realized they were nearly all going to bloom.  They LOVE this window of diffused light from the south and north from the French doors.  I need to get some better photos of them before the flowers are gone to maybe paint some more of the orchids and glass series!!!

As I said we headed to the cabin this past weekend with Snicklefritz in tow.  The Hubby had to go early in the morning to meet the propane guy and I waited for Snicklefritz to get out of school to head out.  A few weekends before when The Hubby and Snicklefritz went to the Steam Engine show in Pawnee, he bought her a hat, much like his and he was insistent she bring it as they were going FISHING!  Fishing in the new/used canoe, upstream to Blue Hole for bait.  Alas, the weather was not really conducive for fishing and she didn't pack anything warm enough even though they went anyway.  I gave her one of my sweaters to wear knowing full well it would come back wet and muddy, I wasn't wrong.  HaHa.  That kiddo loves mud, minnows, worms, just nature.  Her fingernails are never without dirt under them because she is always playing around in dirt.  I love it.  She talked non-stop about her pet turtle she has at home in her backyard, non-stop!  We were able to sit out on the screen porch Friday evening with a little fire most of the evening and most of Saturday but later in the day, brrrrrr, I went inside. Good GRIEF, I posted on FB that "Mother Nature - whoever on your staff flipped the winter switch back to ON needs to be fired!"
It's crazy this stupid weather.  


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Painting and Snakes

What a wonderful weekend.  Friday evening was a very small gathering for taco salads, laughter just FUN!  

I was a bit anxious because the next morning I was to teach my first painting class.  Because of the flooding the wigwam was flooded so we moved it to our screened porch.  I tossed and turned most of the night because I was a bit nervous.  I kept going over and over in my head what I was going to say, how I was to start it.  I was of course up at 6:30 and started setting up some of my supplies and a couple of still lifes to paint.  
9 am rolled around and they started arriving.  I had hot coffee and fresh cinnamon rolls (they were Rhodes frozen) to offer.  HERE WE GO....  

In total 6 ladies joined the group, and all but one was going to do watercolor.  I'm not expert with that but I was sure I could help.  We honestly sat for nearly 45 minutes just talking and I really could hardly get a word in edgewise but it helped to ease my nerves a bit.  We did talk art, supplies, what to expect and they had tons very good questions.  We also had one that just came to watch.  Finally I asked them if they were ready to paint or would they rather watch me a bit to start.  Almost in unison they wanted to watch me so I got to it and they peppered me with lots and lots more questions which was interesting for all of us.  
We have another session in two weeks and I think if they want we can do it more often on the porch if we can't get the wigwam.  I just want to impart knowledge and encourage.  It was really a very fulfilling day for me.  

When they left I sat and continued to paint, trying to finish this to have something to post and encourage.  I was so in the zone I didn't realize that I sat there for an hour and a half.  Finally at 1:30 I stood up and creaked my bones into grab a quick sandwich and drink before I knew a nap would be had.  I was tired from not sleeping the night before and having the morning over, tired but fulfilled.

As I sat in my chair all of a sudden I heard the leaves rustling alongside the screen and knew instantly it was a snake.  We've had a turtle a few times and it's a different sound.  This was a very long sensation of the leaves rustling along the way.  All of a sudden I saw a flick of a tail.  I got up and grabbed my phone and went around the glider and the slithering stopped.  I looked and looked and there he was looking at me.  I was pretty sure it was harmless when all of a sudden I heard a rattle and his tail was rattling but the rattling was the dry leaves.  He was mimicking a rattlesnake, trying to scare me off.  He needn't worry, he was quite safe with me. I don't kill snakes especially harmless snakes.  I put a call out on Facebook with the picture and quickly found out it was a non-venomous Eastern yellow bellied racer.  So pretty and soon he was on his way.

Finally, naptime.  I stretched out on the glider without another thought of Mr. Yellow Belly and slept for 2 hours.  I had to get up then and shower as we were hosting a couple of couples for fried sand bass.  We had a couple of bags of fish in the freezer, the other two couples each had a bag and dinner was made.  I'm all about simple food so I'd made a broccoli slaw (coleslaw sauce) and canned pork-n-beans, cinnamon rolls and chocolate candies.  Dinner was absolutely awesome and we enjoyed visiting on the porch until after 9 o'clock.  We were both so tired but The Hubby's job is clean up so he did the dishes and I headed for the bed.  

The whole weekend was #1 in my book.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Sneakers, Reading and Steam Engines

Really not a lot going on lately, just the mundane day to day BOREDOM!  I did get these sweet little kickers the other day.  They are Skechers and I first saw them in an ad on FB.  I scrolled by it and they just caught my eye.  That little rose print has always been a favorite of mine ever since my girls were babies.  I used to find similar fabric and make little dresses or rompers for the girls or even a shirt for myself.  I LOVE little pink rosebuds!  So I went on the hunt for these sneakers and found them on their website after a bit.  I ordered in the size I thought would fit and they arrived last week.  OH GOODNESS, I was absolutely giddy when they arrived and I opened the box.  They even have little diamond sparkles on them....I AM IN LOVE!  Plus they fit perfectly.  
I am not a shoe person by any stretch of the imagination.  When I was young and had good feet, I never wore shoes, ever.  I even walked part of the 20 mile Walk For Mankind thing when I was 14 or 15 part of the way barefoot.  I wouldn't wear shoes now if I  could but my feet are too tender, I've let them go.  Sadly I MUST wear shoes.  These will work though!

The weekend brought an entire weekend with Snicklefritz.  We stayed in town because The Hubby was supposed to go to BluesFest in Jenks or Bixby (or something like that.)  But with all the rain that had occurred during the week he knew it would be way too muddy so he didn't go Friday night.  He did go dancing at the Elks Club to celebrate one of the dance friends 73 birthday Saturday night.  Snicklefritz and I had our own plans.  Friday night Little Min and her momma came over to spend the evening as her Daddy had been in LA for a music gig for 10 days.  They were bored at home.  Snicklefritz and Little Min always have a great time but Snicklefritz was certainly deep into her reading this weekend.  When I picked her up from school she started reading her book all the way home and continued when we got inside.  She kept picking it up off and on all evening long until she finished the book then started another one.  Her book bag was stuffed to bulging with books.  
That evening she stopped for a bit and was reading when Little Min decided she wanted to join.  She ran off into "their bedroom" to find some of her little picture books to emulate Snicklefritz.  It was so cute.  Snicklefritz finished that book later in the evening and started yet another book.  By Sunday she had nearly finished the third book.  I love that we instilled the love of reading to another generation.  That love has been directly passed down generation to generation from my mother and her parents.  It just makes my heart explode with love and what a beautiful homage to my mother on Mother's Day.  

Saturday we were going to the studio but The Hubby planned on going to the Pawnee Steam Engine Show and he wanted to take Snicklefritz.  He used to take Little Min's momma when she was young, even camping there.  Snicklefritz wanted to go but before they had to buy her a hat and sunscreen.  They were off by 9 am and I had the day to myself.  I painted at the studio!  

Sunday morning I took Snicklefritz to the studio as she loves to go there.  We really did nothing as I was not in the mood to paint but we did visit a lot and I gave her a painting of Clayton I had done that really was that great but she loved.  Before we got there though I took her to get flowers for her Momma for the day, sweet little Dutch Iris'.  She was pretty happy.  

Oh well, that was a lot of words about not much.  Have a good day my friends. 

Monday, May 02, 2022

Mother's Day

Wow, April is gone and May is upon us.  Spring seems to be slowly going by with winter finally giving up the ghost.  This next weekend, according to my calendar, is Mother's Day.  So many mothers to honor and so many mother's to miss for many.
Yesterday we had lunch/dinner or linner-lunner with my siblings and their spouses.  Sitting across the table from my sister I was struck by how much she looks like Momma.
Especially her laugh, not her disposition.  My sister is a one of a kind and she was hot yesterday with all kinds of snarky comebacks.  Made me kind of shut down and not respond to her particular kind of vile.  She is my sister and I've always said, "to know D is to love D," but sometimes not.  LOL!  
I so miss my momma.  I think of her often these past 16 years and how much she would have loved, LOVED the great-grandgirls and would have been so very proud of all her grandchildren.  She was an amazing grandmother, as a mother she was pretty awesome too but we all know that we ALL, ALL have our faults.  No one is perfect, even though you want them to be.  But I loved my Momma with all my heart and she was my best friend.  I miss being able to call her and just talk like my girls do to me.  I know sometimes she would roll her eyes over the phone but she listened to me without complaint.  She was always there for me.  I try to be for my girls.  

My girls, oh my girls.  They are the best mothers and I am so very proud of them in how they are raising their children.  They are doing an absolutely amazing job.

I think my mother and my mother-in-law, another wonderful mother, have been great inspiration for them to raise their babies.  Lots and lots of love and understanding and guidance to raise the future generation.  

So Happy Mother's Day to my Momma and mother-in-law in heaven and to my wonderful girls.  They give inspiration to me to be the best for them. 


Sunday, May 01, 2022

Lemons, Limes and Everything Wicked Weather

The weekend started for me on Thursday.  I had to work in the morning but then I was OFF traveling.  I almost waited till later in the day because of the impending weather but decided to head off anyway!  We were hosting 10 guests Saturday night for dinner, a Cinco de Mayo dinner.  I also had plans to clean out, clean out the liquor corner, the buffet, the pantry, and anything else that needed to be done.  
I was so happy to get so much done along with the hosting thing.  We invited a few new people (the old group were all gone) and I really wanted to make the night go off without a hitch.  The menu I planned was Barefoot Contessa's Tequila Lime Chicken, refried beans, cilantro lime rice along with a layered dip (from friend Lesa), chips and various dips for appetizers.  
I also saw this lemon cheesecake recipe on Facebook and it looked simple so I decided I would try my hand.  I had a springform pan, thank goodness so I dove in and tackled it.  Cheesecake is not something I have ever made even though I had the pan.  With the chicken and the lemon cheesecake I was a citrus squeezing fool!  My hands actually hurt today.  I really needed more lime but that's okay, the marinade was just fine.  The cheesecake was delicious (I also made homemade whipped cream I've never done.)  The evening went so exceptionally well and it feels good to be back in the saddle again. 

Almost forgot the drive to the cabin was a bit dicey with the weather.  I really wasn't too scared, usually my gut twists when it gets weird and I was fine.  But that drive towards that shelf cloud, whew, it was kind of awesome.
Looked like I was driving into the mountains!
Luckily the road I was traveling was void of any traffic so I just stopped and snapped pictures, lots of pictures.