October 1, 2005
I believe September has finally arrived in Oklahoma. Ah, yeah, I know today is the first day of October, but you see, it's been hot and muggy and yucky until now. It hasn't been cooling off at night like it's supposed to and you haven't been able to have the windows open because you would sweat a river! So even though it's now officially October, it's really just September as far as the weather goes. Well, except when it's being May.
Confused? So am I! We've had thunderstorm after thunderstorm after thunderstorm since 9:00 last night. Although a thunderstorm can occur at any time of year, the fall rains tend to be the soaking variety and not violent by nature. But we've had the lightening flashing wildly across the sky and thunder shaking the windows with winds whipping the trees to a frenzy. I even heard a little hail during one of the storms that rolled through today. So on second thought, maybe spring has arrived...
Then again, the old cliché often holds true: If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, hang around. It'll change.
October 2, 2005
I had such an amazing idea today! It's been coming for a couple of weeks, ever since I opened that new box of breakfast cereal. It took only 45 minutes of pulling with all of my might to get the plastic ripped apart and I still had almost a half a box of cereal left after the explosion of flakes that occurred when it finally gave way. I couldn't help but wonder why they needed to seal the inner liner so securely - I mean, only an Olympic weight lifter would have a chance of opening it successfully. I wondered how the elderly cope with such difficult packaging (okay, so I could have gotten the scissors) as I was trying to beat Maddie to the flakes scattered all over the floor.
A few days later, I bought a new night light. The marketing department felt there was a need to encase this nightlight in molded and hermetically sealed thick hard plastic for reasons that totally escaped me. Once sealed, the edges could never again be pulled apart and this particular package didn't have that perforated slit in the back that is often used to allow the end user to access the product within. I DID get the scissors for this one, but even so, I wasn't sure I was strong enough to cut through 2 layers of the unyielding plastic. When I did get a small gash opened in one edge, it tried to open a gash in me!! The stuff is sharp when cut! It wouldn't rip or twist or bend. I had to keep sawing away...and actually thought I might eventually need a saw to break in. Once I finally managed to cut away the top of the coffin encasing my light, I still couldn't rip the two pieces apart. I had to cut through the top layer to finally remove the nightlight. It's a good way to kill and hour or so if you need a fun project.
Then came the CD's. I bought 3 new ones and I will admit that I was excited to get them open so I could listen to them. The outer cellophane wrapper wasn't too difficult to remove once I got the Exacto knife and made a surgical incision in the wrapping. But then, of course, there are these incredibly sticky seals across the top...and one of the CD's had seals on 3 sides!! There is always this interesting little tab on the back of the seal that says "pull." HA! Someone in marketing has a sense of humor!! As if you could "pull!!" That tab, if it could be of any use at all, is completely worthless when it is securely stuck to the plastic CD case. And it is ALWAYS securely stuck to the case. As is the seal. Or seals.
I tried scraping a corner of the first seal with my fingernail, hoping to free enough of the seal to grip. But it shredded. Then I tried the Exacto. I attempted to insert the blade beneath the seal to loosen enough of it to begin to pull it off. Then I went and did something else for awhile.
Eventually I did manage to slip the blade of the Exacto under the seal. And by working v-e-r-y c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y I was able to lift enough of the seal to grab between my fingernails. Then, by slowly peeling the piece I had loosened, I was able to remove a small corner of the seal. Once again, I did something else for awhile.
Two days later, I had finally removed all of the stupid seals from the CD cases, but I pretty much don't care if I ever listen to them. In fact, I've been thinking they would make great targets if I want to get in some practice. I may eventually play them. But right now, I need some time apart to recover my perspective and to calm myself down.
Then this morning as I was pouring myself some cereal, this incredibly brilliant idea came to me! Evidently I had been considering the three packaging incidents on a subconscious level for some time, with no small amount of frustration mixed in, I'm sure. It was apparent that I had been contemplating the over-zealous use of super-mega-adhesives in packaging of food and other products. We weren't talking about matters of National security, after all. And that's when the idea was birthed!!! It still gives me chills!!
National security. Government. Space program. Foam that breaks off and damages the space shuttle because they can't seem to adequately affix it to...BINGO!!!!!!
Tomorrow, I'm going to call NASA and talk to their engineers about the adhesives used on the inside liner of cereal boxes, night light packaging and CD seals! Man, do I have a surprise for them!!
October 6, 2005
It was a little over 90 degrees here yesterday. It is now 54 degrees. We have gone overnight from sweating to shivering. The leaves on the trees are still all green and they haven't yet begun to fall. I suppose they need a little time to adapt to the weather too. Maddie is very frisky in the cooler weather. But the squirrels that have been raiding the hickory tree are nowhere in sight this morning. Guess they are still waiting for it to warm up!
I did read in the paper this morning that some areas up north where hit with an early snow storm...yuck...the "S" word!!!! I am reminded of why I endure the summer heat of Oklahoma. The winter's are usually merciful and short. There are many nicer places, but I can't afford to live in them. And there are many places that are much worse. Hey, you know the state motto: Oklahoma is OK. Guess that says it all.
October 11, 2005
I am SO EXCITED!!! Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you a little story...it's not long, I promise. You see, I have been trying practically forever to lose weight. And this one group I belong to asked if members who wanted to lose weight wanted to sign up for a partner so we could encourage each other. I found out who my partner is and she is someone I have purchased beads from at times, so I was pretty happy about that. We have e-mailed a few times and she was always super-nice, so I figured this partner thing is a pretty good idea, which is great and exciting all by itself.
BUT...there's more and it gets BETTER!! We started swapping information and were having some nice e-mail conversations. She lives in Arkansas and I live in Oklahoma. And, as it turns out, we only live about 2 HOURS APART!!! YIPPEE!!!
You have to understand, there are a lot of artists in Tulsa, but I haven't been able to find a single lampworker / glass artist or anyone who works with the kind of beads I use in my jewelry. I see all these little pockets of glass artists in Connecticut and Oregon and Arkansas and California and Washington and Virginia and Missouri, but Oklahoma is like a wasteland...at least as far as I have been able to discover. So to find out that I have this really nice glass artist living only two hours away is like getting the best Christmas present ever!!
BUT...it gets even BETTER!!! There is a Bead Renaissance show in Tulsa on the 29th of this month. And my weight loss partner IS GOING TO BE HERE FOR THE SHOW!!!! i am actually going to get to meet her in person and we are going to go to the show together!!! Now is that COOL or what!!!! Her name is Debby Gwaltney of Starlight Designs Lampwork Beads and here is a shortcut to her website: http://www.starlight-beads.com. I feel like a little kid who just got a shiny new bike!!
October 12, 2005
I don't normally put jokes in my journal, but this one cracked me up. Maybe it will give you a needed laugh today.
A lot of folks can't
how we came to have
an oil shortage here in our country.
Well, there's a very simple answer.
Nobody bothered to check the oil.
We just didn't know we were getting low.
The reason for that is purely geographical.
Our OIL is located in:
are located in
October 17, 2005
I feel a rant coming on. Consider yourself warned!
Let's talk sports cars. Let's talk about, oh, I don't know...Corvette's or Nissan 350Z's or maybe Porsche 911's, BMW Z4's and Chrysler Crossfire's. We can even take a look Camero's and Mustang's. All of these cars have one thing in common: they have pretty powerful engines. Much more powerful than, lets say for example, a Honda Prelude. Because they are more powerful than a lowly Prelude, you can just imagine that if I happened to be following one of these expensive, hot, sporty cars and we were stopped by a red light, when that light turned green, I would certainly not have to brake suddenly while I'm accelerating to keep from hitting them in the rear end! Wouldn't you think??? Wouldn't you???
Today, on my way to a routine doctor's appointment, I had the "pleasure" of traveling behind a Camero, a Corvette, a Z4 and a Mustang, in this exact order. They all looked new and shiny and FAST. But for some reason, that Camero's driver just couldn't seem to figure out how to accelerate! The light would turn green and we took off at about the same pace as an OLD VW BEETLE!! For those of you have haven't lived long enough to experience the thrilling acceleration of one of the original Beetles, the speed with which movement DIDN'T HAPPEN was truly embarrassing. No self-respecting Camero driver would EVER want their car to be placed in the same category as a totally un-cool Beetle...and quite frankly, it's not a comparison that comes naturally. But this PARTICULAR Camero was shooting off the line at exactly that unexpected pace. I suddenly realized I was going to become part of its trunk if I didn't take evasive action. So instead of shifting to 2nd gear, I braked hard and stayed in 1st. By the time I finally got to shift to 2nd, we were way past the light. I didn't get to move into 3rd gear until we were past the 1/4 mile mark and by this time, I've had to brake repeatedly to keep from rear-ending this turkey. And I'm getting TICKED OFF!
We dawdled along at the incredible speed of 35 mph in a 40 mph zone. I don't even go 40 in a 40 mph zone. I'm a firm believer in the 5 mph fudge factor which I embrace fully and employ consistently. So my normal speed would be in the 45 to 48 mph range...not 35. And it CERTAINLY wouldn't have taken me 1/4 of a mile to reach 35!!!!!
At this point, I began thinking about an odd phenomena that I have noticed on many occasions. The phenomena is that of people driving high-dollar beefy sports cars as if they were underpowered small-sized PICK UP TRUCKS PULLING A LOAD!!! Please explain this to me!!! Why in the WORLD would a person want to drive a sports car like this, for crying out loud!! If that's the way you like to drive, get yourself a stupid little pick up and GO CRAZY. At least then people like myself won't be expecting you to take off like a shot when the light changes!!!
I finally got to a place where the road had two lanes in each direction and I managed to escape the Camero. I was approaching the expressway entrance ramp and a Corvette pulled out in front of me. Now a Corvette is even faster than a Camero, so normally, having one pull out in front of you wouldn't really pose a problem. But having just escaped pokie-okie Camero, I was leery. And can you believe it! The Corvette turned onto the acceleration ramp and...nothing happened. Nothing. It just keep slowly rolling along as if it might or might not actually join the traffic on the expressway. I found a hole and quickly moved over two lanes to make certain I didn't get cut off. Finally, I was FREE!!! (I also notices about 3 or 4 other vehicles behind me followed me in my escape route.)
When I exited the expressway, I pulled up behind a BMW Z4...a car that I would love to own if I ever became so rich that I could afford to spend about 1/2 as much as most people spend for a house on a vehicle. I decided to follow the Z4 because there was a wreck of a heap of a car in the other exit lane and I knew it wouldn't be making much progress if I got stuck behind it. I thought the Z4 would HAVE to be faster than the smoking, shaking heap!
I found myself trapped...completely and totally trapped. The Z4 decided it was great fun to pace itself with the heap. Consequently, all of those who were unfortunate enough to have exited behind these two sadistic drivers found ourselves forced to maintain a speed of 30 in the 45 mph zone. Oh joy! I was going to be LATE for my doctor's appointment...
I won't bore you with any more of the details. You probably have a pretty clear picture by now. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to have certain requirements for drivers of sports cars. Perhaps they should be required to pass a driving test that proves they are capable of driving a sports car the way it should be driven!! They would have to demonstrate their ability to accelerate at a speed that isn't going to cause people behind them to brake to avoid hitting them because they aren't moving forward at a reasonable pace. They would have to accelerate on an acceleration ramp and merge with traffic without causing all those unfortunate drivers behind them to have to swing over two lanes to avoid their slowly moving car. They would have to go faster than junk heap cars and not cause roadblocks. They would have to DRIVE THE SPEED LIMIT...no dawdling!!! They would be required to leave VW Beetles in the dust! And if they didn't and couldn't do these things, they would NOT be allowed to buy a car with 200 or more horsepower because THEY WOULDN'T NEED IT!!!!
You're curious about the Porsche? Sadly, it was putzing along at 20 to 25 mph in a 45 zone. Even at that amazingly slow speed, it was not staying in its lane. I told it as I finally went by that I can corner faster than it was moving down the street, hoping to shame it to some degree. Who in their right mind would drive a Porsche so disgracefully? What on earth is the world coming to???? And if we are routinely seeing such horrid acts of ineptitude at 10:00 in the morning, what's next? I shudder like a smoking junk car as I think about it...
October 21, 2005
Today was a very busy day; one of those days where you have way too many things to do and you run out of time long before you run out of places to be and things that you need to attend to. But today is also a VERY SPECIAL day. You see, 12 years ago today, by sweet little Maddie was born! In honor of her birthday, she went on a very "wild tear" this evening, running about 15 laps full speed in a circle around the living room. She wanted me to know she still has what it takes, in spite of her advanced age. She also had her most favorite treat in the world...the dogs next door were at the fence barking, so she got to "play" with them for awhile. I love this silly little Schnauzer with all of my heart - she is a joy and a blessing to me. So, Happy Birthday Maddie!!! I'm glad God gave you to me!!!
October 23, 2005
Though I seriously doubt any guys (or anyone else, for that matter) actually read my blog, today's entry is for women only. So, if you happen to be a male, please kindly skip on down to the next entry because you won't be able to relate to what I am writing in any way, shape, or form. You can not POSSIBLY understand!
Really, if you aren't a female at or near that time of your life where certain hormonal changes are taking place, you probably won't be able to fully understand today's topic. You see, today I feel compelled to discuss the incredibly fun things that hormones do to our bodies! Do you remember all the joyous delight you had in your teens when hormones first arrived on the scene? Wasn't that a wonderful, memorable time? Remember the mood swings, the crying and emotional upheaval you experienced when you "became a woman?" Well, guess what! Hormones cause just as much joyous delight when they are getting ready to leave you! But they have learned new and interesting tricks during their time with you. Now that you have finally learned how to endure them, they are going to turn your world upside down AGAIN!!!
I have always heard older women talking about hot flashes and wondered why this particular phenomenon was one they could discuss for hours and hours. Although I am still not an older woman (snicker), I am beginning to get a glimpse of why this topic kept coming up. When you are on fire, it's a little tough to ignore. It's difficult to act as if nothing unusual is happening. Oh, maybe there are those who can easily carry on a conversation as sweat and steam roll off their bodies and their hair spontaneously combusts. But most of us have at least a small improper reaction.
The first thing you will notice is that you want to get out of your clothes - NOW!!! When you are burning up, when you are dealing with the possibility of not surviving the intense heat, you don't need clothes! Your shirt MUST COME OFF! And air must be provided! It should be blowing as directly on your neck and face as possible. Sitting in front of an industrial fan turned on its highest setting is preferred. Curling up in the freezer will do. As your temperature reaches new heights and threatens to boil your brain alive, extreme measures must be taken!
The next thing you will notice is that, though rivers of sweat are dripping from your chin, they are NOT quenching the fire that has consumed you! And if you still want to be welcomed into public places, you simply must do SOMETHING to control the flow. It is highly recommended that you carry a fresh roll of paper towels with you at all times. If you fold 3 or 4 up at a time and smile sweetly as you continually blot yourself, you will look as close to normal as you possibly can during such a flood. If your hair is longer than earlobe length, you might want to find new and interesting ways to put it up, off your wet and flaming neck.
There ARE advantages to this wondrous and mysterious time of your life. Yes! There truly are! For example, you know that winter wardrobe you used to have to update every year? No need to worry with THAT pesky task any longer! You don't NEED a winter wardrobe!! You can wear your summer clothing ALL YEAR LONG!!! No more winter coats! No more expensive sweaters! Boots? Sock? A thing of the past! This frees up your income so you can afford to purchase all those rolls of paper towels you now have to buy. Isn't it wonderful the way things work out!!
Another advantage for those of you who live in the northern climes is your significantly reduced heating bill. Your family members may complain about the thermostat being set at 58 degrees, but what the heck! There is only so much you can take off, but your family members can wear a coat, for goodness sake! Unfortunately, those of us who live in places where it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter see our winter savings offset by the staggering increases of our air conditioning bill in the summer. But you northerners have a great advantage here!
Still another advantage, those kids who moved back home after finishing college because they couldn't afford to live in their starting salary will now amazingly find new ways to make ends meet. They will finally become independent! Yes, if you couldn't get them to fly the coop before and become responsible adults, you will be successful in this endeavor now! Between the inside temperature and your temperament, they will somehow find a way to live on their own! Isn't that wonderful!
I am quite confident, if they would apply themselves, scientists could find a way to tap into this incredible heat source. I feel certain they could convert this into an amazing energy resource, one that would easily match or exceed the highest output of any nuclear power plant. I believe we are right on the edge of incredible scientific discovery, if only the men who oversee these projects would listen to us women. Ha, ha, ha...oh, what a funny that was! But truly, this is something that is more powerful than the mightiest dam and that burns hotter than the hottest fire! Not that I know anything about it PERSONALLY, you understand. I'm just repeating what I've heard some of those older women saying...you know, the ones who were sitting outside at the restaurant, wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts in the 20 degree weather as they sipped their ice tea, paper towels flapping in the wind...
October 25, 2005
It seem that fall arrived in one fell swoop. One day it was 90; the next it was 50. Nothing like a gentle transition to get you in the mood for some hot cider and pumpkin pie. And yes, two days after the temperatures dropped, we got some frost on those pumpkins! We don't mess around in Oklahoma! Just like changing the channel...yah want fall, well, here it is!!!
Two days ago, back when it was still summer, I took some pictures to share with you. I'm glad I took them then! After the frost last night, they probably won't be around much longer!
I also have a mystery to be solved. This mystery involves toadstools. Here's the deal...
They start out looking like this - your normal toadstool. They appear to be healthy and meaty. I pick them and throw them over the back fence because I don't know what kind they are and Maddie has been known to eat things much more gross than this.
I usually make a daily circle of known areas where these guys grow. I pick them and toss them over then fence and life goes on. But recently, I have noticed that I have had this yucky black soot stuff on my hands after I handle them.
It's not dirt...really, it isn't! And it doesn't want to come off!!
Then I noticed the place where the toadstool was growing.
Is that not totally gross? It leaves a black hole in the ground and the grass all around where it was sitting is covered with that soot-stuff!
I don't know if this is "normal" toadstool type behavior or if, perhaps, the snakes and spiders have somehow corrupted them into producing some gawd-awful toxic substance as they seek to take over my yard! I'm sure I'm not just being paranoid. The conspiracy has been confirmed, after all, so why wouldn't those slimy snakes pull out all the stops and fight "dirty?" It would be just like them! Can you believe it...no place is safe any more!!!
October 29, 2005
I have had the most wonderful day!! Debby Gwaltney (Starlight Designs), a lampwork artist from Arkansas, came today to attend the bead show here in Tulsa. She stopped by my house to pick me up and we headed out to the show together. After a walking tour of the fairgrounds parking lot - trying to find the building where they were hiding the beads - we finally arrived. And we were kind of disappointed! You see, it looked like a fairly small gathering. The first booth was nothing but seed beads and the 2nd booth, though filled with some great gemstones, had such high prices, we didn't think it was going to take very long to see everything that everyone had to offer.
Then we arrived at the 3rd booth. We were there for a very long time. We kept telling ourselves that we wanted to see the other displays before we bought anything, but we were finding SO MANY THINGS we HAD TO HAVE!! So we finally grabbed baskets and went to work. Suddenly, the show looked a lot bigger that it was when we first walked in...
After spending WAY too much money at that booth (got some of the COOLEST STUFF!!) we were really getting into the spirit of things! Oh, yeah, can you say, "Charge!" We did actually make it down one whole aisle without buying anything. But Debby had to go an mention our accomplishment, so, of course, the very next booth we saw as we turned the corner was just filled with a ton of stuff that we couldn't live without!
I have to tell you about Debby. She turned out to be this totally fun and wonderful person and we laughed and joked and kidded each other the entire time. I had such a great time with her! So not only did I leave the show broke, laden with bounty, but I also left with a new friend!
She didn't help me resist temptation, however. But then, I don't suppose I helped her much (any) in that regard either. What can you say when someone finds beads they love and they tell you they must have them! Of course they must have them!!!! The bead show didn't seem to be the proper place to practice restraint! I mean, come on!!!
So, I'm confessing. We kept getting deeper into trouble as we went along. I spent - GASP - WAY TOO MUCH!!! But...you see...there was all this COOL stuff...stuff you don't see every day...stuff I might not ever EVER see again!!! How can a person turn and walk away from THAT!!!
I didn't - turn and walk away, that is. Here's the loot...mine, all mine...he he...
Debby has a picture of her stash on her web site too, so if you want to see all of her wonderful goodies, here's a link! Debby's Loot