May 3, 2006

It is illegal to give a person a tattoo in Oklahoma and from what I understand, some groups are trying to have the law changed so it will no longer be a crime.  Personally, I don't see this as a big crime.  If a person is 18 years old or older and they want to get a tattoo, as long as they don't try to make me get one too, why not let them get what they want and not make the people who perform this "service" into criminals? 

I say this because it is the only thing that makes any logical sense, at least in my mind.  You see, we allow children...under the age of get birth control pills, condoms and even abortions, without parental consent.  How stupid is it to legalize killing your unborn child while criminalizing the giving of a tattoo??? 

I do not personally believe in abortion.  I do believe in choice, but to my way of thinking, the choice should be made before a person becomes pregnant, before that other life is involved.  So I'm not advocating abortion, nor am I advocating getting a tattoo.  But doesn't it seem a tad stupid to legalize abortion, then make it illegal to tattoo a consenting adult?  

Sometimes, I sense that my brain thinks too much...or maybe a lot of other people don't think enough...


May 4, 2006

If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, just stick will change!  And we have had a perfect example of the truth of this old saying this week.  Our drought disappeared over the course of the week, the burn ban has been lifted and flood warnings have been issued.  We have had wild thunderstorms almost every day and/or night for the last week or so and the rainfall has been torrential at times.  My yard is soggy and the grass is getting very long.  The weeds, however, are flourishing beyond any expectations.  Many of them have sprung up to almost knee high overnight!

I can't help but think of Maddie during all of these storms.  She was terrified of them!  She would snuggle in as close as she could get to me and only fall asleep if I held her there, wrapped safely in my arms.  Memories are bittersweet.  How I miss her!


May 5, 2006

I met some friends for lunch last week, and I, being fanatically punctual by nature, just happened to be the first to arrive.  This works for me.  I was able to snag a booth and order before the rush arrived.  It just so happened that the next booth down was taken by a couple of ultra-skinny toothpick looking guys who appeared to be 12 years old, but who were evidentially at least 16 (I'll explain).  They sported black T-shirts, jeans, clunky hiking boots, wallets that were chained to their belt loop and two or three toned hair.  I really couldn't help but notice.  Truly, I couldn't.  You see, one of the guys had pretty amazing spikes and the other guy had a Mohawk (or its modern day equivalent)...a very thin one that was at least 6 inches long.  At least.  So it stuck up well beyond the back of the booth and it was in constant movement.  It was kind of like having a flag waved right in front of you (I WILL NOT THINK ROOSTER).  It's hard to avoid watching.

These two guys were, like, having this conversation and, like, they weren't very quiet about it, like, you know what I mean?  It was, like, they enjoyed the attention and, like, they thought they were so, like, I don't know...whatever word is used these days to mean "cool."  And, like, they were talking about this band they were, like, totally excited about because, like, they were going to drive down somewhere, like, the next day to, like, you know, catch their show.  And, like, Mohawk was going to have to drive his car cause, like, man, Spike's car wasn't in that great of shape.  Like.  (I assumed this was a fair indication that they were at least 16.)

My friends were late and these two guys provided some refreshing entertainment while I waited.  But it got me thinking about a  time a zillion years ago when I was their age.  Hair was a big thing then too.  You see, I grew up in small town Midwest USA about 20 miles outside small city Midwest USA.  Back then, the drama was provided by the Rednecks and the Hippies.  Like, I told you it was a zillion years ago, O.K.?  You don't have to snicker...

Anyway, back in the prehistoric dark ages when I was 16, the earth was populated with millions upon millions of Rednecks.  These Rednecks were endowed with this name because, well, because their necks were always red because their hair was too short to provide any protection from the sun.  You see, they tended to live on farms and they worked outside a lot.  They all drove pick up trucks and strutted when they walked. They wore cowboy boots, chewed Scholl, wore cowboy hats, western shirts, big gaudy belt buckles and believed they were the superior race. 

I was the first hippie chick in town.

By my junior year in high school, there were a few (as in 4) guys who were aligning themselves with the Hippie camp.  They wore their hair long, wore tennis shoes, T-shirts and jeans and drove funky old cars.  They didn't chew tobacco either.  Thank God.  They became my friends.  My only friends in a world dominated by Rednecks.

I can remember reading S. E. Hinton's book, "The Outsiders" and feeling such a bond with the Greasers.  The Socs were the Rednecks.  The Greasers were the Hippies.  Are you beginning to catch the theme? 

I loved the book and the movie.  I read the book so many times, I almost had it memorized.  And now, as I think about those two guys in the booth next to mine, I wonder what their "outsider" group is called and who their rivals are.  They were me and my friends.  We were them.  A zillion years ago.  History repeats itself.  Time goes on.  Some things never, you know what I'm saying?


May 7, 2006

I just returned from Springfield, MO, where I spent the weekend with my brother and his wife, Mark and Dorothy Harsen.  I had a wonderful visit with them!  Saturday evening, we went to The Skinny Improv, first to watch an improvisational comedy show that they were both in and then to watch the pros perform afterwards.  Mark and Dorothy have been taking a class (yes, a improvisational comedy...for real!) and their show was a demonstration of what they had learned over the course of the past 8 weeks.  It was so fun, I laughed myself senseless!!  Then we stayed to watch the actual show...the one that you pay for...and I laughed myself totally and insanely senseless!  I laughed so hard, I cried!  I laughed so much, my stomach and sides hurt!!  I laughed so hard, I'm SORE!!!   It was a terrific show and if you're ever in the area, I highly recommend that you take the time to catch their act.  It's one the whole family can attend without fear of being offended or embarrassed.  If you're interested, here's a link to their web site:  And here is their contact information:  The Skinny Improv Comedy Theatre 205 E. Park Central Springfield, MO 417.831.LAFF  Enjoy!

The next day, we went to ArtsFest, an event featuring a lot of different kinds of artists and crafts people.  To my delight, Debbi Hackenson had a booth, so I got to visit with her and her husband, Mike, and drooled over their incredibly gorgeous creations.  They are both very talented.  Mike does a lot of dichroic and fused glass and Debbi does lampworking, chain maille, jewelry design, fused glass and some of the most amazing wire wrapping I have ever seen!!!  I saw so many beautiful things that I wanted, it was very hard to limit myself to the few items I was able to buy after having paid a nasty tax bill to the IRS on April 15th.  Here's a picture of what I got!

Debbi told me they are building a new studio and has invited me to take a tour when it's finished.  I'm going to try to save up some money before then so I can get so more of their work.  You just can't believe how many gorgeous beads they had that I wanted to bring home with me!!

Mark and Dorothy are pictured with their cats on my Just For Fun page, if you would like to "meet" them.  It was a really special visit and I appreciate them making the weekend so fun!!  (Love you guys!!!)


May 12, 2006

I have not had a good rant for quite some time.  I've tried to behave myself.  I've tried to be kind.  But over the course of the last few days, I have had one bad experience too many in the Tulsa traffic and I am feeling a need to let off some steam!  So, look out!

It started several days ago as I was trying to make a right turn out of the neighborhood.  The street I was trying to turn onto has a single lane going in each direction with a turn lane down the middle.  This turn lane is provided so that people turning left into the neighborhood can pull out of traffic as they wait until it is safe to turn.  It is also provided so that those turning left as they leave the neighborhood can cross one lane and pull into the middle lane and wait until it is safe to merge with traffic.  This keeps them from blocking others who are trying to turn right.  And it shortens the length of time it takes them to turn left because they only have to deal with one direction of traffic at a time.

Sounds good, doesn't it?


For some unknown reason, most of the drivers around here have an aversion to using the middle lane.  If they pull out of the flow of traffic into the middle lane to make a left hand turn, they tend to do it half-heartedly.  As in, at the very last possible moment.  As in, just before they come to a complete stop.  And they tend to leave their butt hanging out into the street so you have to navigate around them. In other words, they seem to enjoy being an obstacle to those behind them!

These same people would rather die than use that middle lane when they are making a left hand turn out of the neighborhood.  They will sit for 5, 10, 15 minutes, their head spastically whipping back and forth until they can make their turn without having to make a stop in the center lane.  As a result, the cars behind them tend to pile up, often 4 to 8 cars deep.  And for reasons that defy logic, it never fails but that every car that is in front of me is turning left...without the slightest thought of using the center lane.

These are the same people who never use a turn signal.  They are the same ones who pull out in front of you with tires squealing, then putter along at 30 mph.  They are the same ones who can't seem to park their car within a foot of the curb.  They are the same ones who put their trash bags in the street instead of on the curb.  They are NOT NICE PEOPLE!!!

Big sigh...

It doesn't take a boat load of intelligence to be a considerate driver.  It doesn't take a boat load of time either.  It isn't difficult.  It isn't inconvenient.  It does take an attention span that is slightly longer than that of a gnat.  It also takes a brain that is slightly more developed than an gnat brain.  And perhaps some kind-heartedness. Or just a little concern for others.  Something I'm sure no self-respecting gnat would have, heaven forbid!

Maybe that's the problem...too many gnat-brained, nanosecond attention spanned heartless drivers on the road.  And way too many of them live in the Tulsa metro area. 

Anybody have any gnat repellant handy???  Might help.  Can't hurt.


May 15, 2006

I will be out of pocket for a few days...the 16th through the 20th.  Shipments for purchases made during this time will not go out until May 22nd.   I am sorry for the inconvenience.


May 21, 2006

I had the most WONDERFUL vacation!  But I have to tell you, flying is a very physical sport.  It's not for the weak or faint! 

First of all, there's the Security Checkpoint Game where you practically disrobe in front of hundreds of fellow travelers just to be allowed to go to the gate from which your plane will be leaving.  This is the airlines version of an ice breaker.  The security personnel are there to keep the game moving and to perform a strip search on those who appear to be the most embarrassed by the regular screening process.  They are constantly yelling out instructions and hurrying you along and your I.D. and boarding pass is verified before and after every fun twist in the game.  Eventually, you find yourself having been spit out the other side as I did, trying to get my shoes back on while juggling two carry-on bags and walking quickly to my gate.  Wasn't that fun!!

The next event you will be required to participate in is the Boarding Game.  You see, if you don't board fairly early in the process, all overhead bins will somehow already be full, causing you to have to wander from one end of the plane to the other in search of a place to stash your stuff.  Everyone carries their luggage these days because no one likes to play the "Where in the World is My Luggage" game.  Some people also insist on wearing and stowing huge cowboy hats or suit coats laid out flat.  So to be successful in the Boarding Game, you have to be near the front of the line.  This can be tricky if your seat is in the front of the plane because you are going to be boarding near the end of the process.  People get very pushy in this game.  Protective gear would have been nice, but of course, you lost that back at the security checkpoint.

Then there's the "Cram the Person in the Seat" game.  Small children fit quite well in the new seats and space allotted by the airlines, but most adults have some difficulty remaining in their air and floor space.  Men especially seem to have a problem because they are physically unable to sit with their legs together or with their arms within the boundaries of the arm rests.  So you may have to be a little aggressive to claim your space.  Warning: Severe bruising could occur!

And finally, there is the "Let Me Out of Here" game.  After having been cramped into a very small space where you have been forced to sit in an unnatural position for several hours, one can become a little impatient during deplaning.  To build additional anticipation, the airlines personnel will take a very long time to open the door, thus requiring people to stand in more unnatural positions.  By this time, everyone has gotten to know each other too well and they are tired of touching and being touched by people they didn't know before the flight.  So this last little bit of torture is the airlines way of saying "thank you" for having chosen to fly with them.

By now, you probably have to go to the bathroom, whether you are at your destination or just in for a layover.  If so, you get to enjoy the "Go to the Bathroom Without Letting Your Luggage Out of Your Sight" game.  I think you probably get the idea...

If you are continuing on, you get to play the "Reach Your Gate" game.  What fun!  In this game, you are required to walk very quickly from one end of the airport to the other.  The airlines plan it this way to ensure connecting flights are never close to each other.  In fact, they work diligently to guarantee you have to change terminals so you get the full tour of the airport facilities.  Lugging your carryon items, you must sprint at a speed that you normally would not obtain unencumbered to get to your connecting flight on time to play the Boarding Game again!  If you are fortunate enough to be in an airport with moving sidewalks, you can make some good time.  If not, just think of all the calories you are burning!  You can actually feel your heart rate getting higher and higher!  And if the airport personnel are feeling really playful that day, they may have inactivated a sidewalk or two, just to make the game more challenging.  I have noticed this is particularly true when you have to climb any kind of an incline...hmmmm...

Yes, flying is quite a contact sport.  Being a slightly competitive person, I have some pretty big bruises to prove it!  I think I may have even lost some weight!!!


May 27, 2006

Back to my vacation...I haven't had a vacation in years.  Not in YEARS!!!  So actually going somewhere was a wonderful treat for me. But this vacation was extra special because I got to meet Joanie Croyder, who makes so many of the toggles I use on my bracelets, and Karl and Krista Tseu of 5 Fish Designs who make so many of the beads I buy!  I also met the rest of the fish...Katie, Kellie, Karsyn and their dogs, Kona and Koffee!  And I took a PMC (Precious Metal Clay) class from Joanie!

One of the nicest things about this hobby of mine is that it has allowed me to get to know so many special people, though we have never actually met face to face.  It's interesting how one can develop a friendship long distance through e-mail and those relationships can come to mean the world to you.  But this is the first time I have gotten to meet people that I have developed an internet friendship with and I'm so happy to report that they were even more wonderful in person than I had thought they would be!  And these are people I already treasured, mind you, so they are now even more firmly lodged in the depths of my heart!  That's what made my vacation truly special.

I thought I was going to be there for quite a good bit of time...I arrived Tuesday at noon and left Saturday morning.  But it went so fast, leaving me wishing for more.

Joanie showed me how a basic bead was made, which was totally cool.  Then Krista let me watch her make one of her floral beads and a gorgeous swirl bead in colors of blue with lots of silver and silver foil.  Her control is utterly incredible!  And she gave me the beads...which I will NEVER EVER part with...because I got to see her make them live and in person!!!  Then I saw Karl making boro bead sets and some spacers and my mouth was literally hanging open.  He did a whole set at one time, like it was the simplest thing in the world to do!!  Awesome!!

They do make it look so easy, but I chickened out when Karl wanted to teach me to make a bead.  For one thing, I thought it would be rude to burn their new house down, which, considering the coordination involved, was a real possibility!  You see, you have to hold the mandrel in your left hand and twirl it around while you are adding your glass with your right hand, one layer at a time.  And then you have to spin it back and forth and around to keep the glass (or get the glass) centered on the mandrel, all while (in my case) not letting the hot glass blob up and fall off.  I KNEW blobbing up and falling off was the best possible outcome with me at the torch...I just know myself too well.  So I reluctantly declined and spared their lives!

They can carry on detailed conversations while they are doing this, as if having one hand doing one thing while the other does something else and your mind is focused on something else altogether is no big deal at all.  And their hands are doing these things very VERY well.  I, being the total klutz that I tend to be when hands need to do different things, instantly sensed the danger to their home, which is why I quickly turned down their kind offer.  But getting to watch them was a treat I will never forget!

Oh, and did I mention that their control was simply astounding?  Utterly amazing?  Awe inspiring?  I wasn't even sure I could get a nice little layer of glass on that itsy bitsy mandrel!!!  Let me just say that I have a whole new level of respect for their incredible talents and that their beads are worth every penny of the price, plus more.  I was watching master artists and it totally blew me away!

I also got to see some of Karl's sculptures in person and I was so impressed!  They are much more beautiful and magical that they appear in the pictures.  If you're beginning to get a picture of me going around with my mouth hanging open, you are catching on.  I've known they were amazing artists, but they are AMAZING ARTISTS!!!! 

And so nice.  You see, another interesting thing is that they were not at all impressed with themselves.  They are just normal, albeit wonderful and talented people who love creating things with glass. 

Joanie is the PMC queen and I have been longing to learn how to make beads and charms with this fun clay.  I had a blast in the class, which she geared to the types of things I am wanting to make and I learned so much from her that my head was spinning!  Thankfully, I took notes!!  She is a wonderful teacher, is very talented (just take a look at her toggles and other items on her site) and is such a warm and generous person, I had a lovely time with her.  She also makes lampwork beads, some adorable fish, works with polymer clay (incredible), does stained glass, metalsmithing, gardening...I mean, she can do it ALL!  It was great fun just to look at all the cool stuff in her studio and to see her collections.

The entire visit was such a wonderful experience, I've been missing them all since my return.  Thank you all for a special vacation, one that I will always cherish.  But thank you most of all for being my friends!!!  That's the part that remains, long after the vacation is over...and it's the very best part!