Monday, December 19, 2011

The time you have

I'm so excited about this coming Christmas weekend and a little anxious, in an unsettling sort of way.  The excitement is coming from many things.  Addison and Jeffrey and the puppies will be here!  I get to spend Christmas with my sister and niece and nephews!  We get to spend it in our new cozy home!  But I'm also concerned that Bailey won't be here and how weird that will be for all of us.  I'm hoping that Bailey will be okay, hopefully surrounded with friends and the new guy she's been seeing, and won't be too sad that we're here and she's not (she has to work and couldn't make it up).

It's the first Christmas that I won't see her, so I'm hoping it's not too bad.  These things come with their growing up, but this year it's happening because we moved away.  I feel a tiny bit of guilt about that, all the while knowing it was the right thing and has been an awesome move for us.  There'll be many Christmases, I'm sure, that we won't all be together.  When your kids are grown and have been out of the house for a while, it's such an awesome feeling when they visit and you have a couple nights that you KNOW WITHOUT QUESTION that they are safely sleeping in their beds.  Not wondering if they're out partying and don't have a safe ride home, not worried that they're with someone they shouldn't be with, not wondering if they're wearing their seatbelt every time they get in a car.

Yuck.  When does the worrying about your kids stop.

Okay, back to Christmas.  We get to have the big holiday meal that we didn't have at Thanksgiving.  And we get to see Alan's family on Christmas Day, which is a rarity!  I was talking to his mom earlier today, and she calculated that it was probably when Alan was in college that she last saw him at Christmas.  That's a long time.  I'm thinking I should be pretty thankful for how much time I HAVE had with my kids rather than dread the time I won't.

So Merry Christmas, and enjoy your kiddos, and sit at a big table, and eat way more food than necessary.  Those are my plans.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 days and counting

What are your favorite smart phone apps, besides the big name obvious ones (google, facebook)?

I like Yelp, Big Oven, Pinterest (when it works), MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper, Instagram, Shazam, Flight View, Dictionary, and The Weather Channel the most.  Those are in no particular order.  I know there are lots of cool ones I'm missing out on.  DeeBee told me about Key Ring, which I need to start using.

Any others?

Also, what are some inexpensive but smart stocking stuffers?  I like getting/giving Yankee Candle scented things for your car, chapstick in all flavors, gum, pens, small notepads, ponytail holders, bobby pins, Starbucks cards, etc.  But what about for men?

I'm down to the last minute stuff for Christmas and am lacking ideas.

I have no good Christmas photos to share, so here's an oldie but goodie from last year:

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Kitty weirdness

Lately Junior is getting on the sofa or loveseat and laying next to us, actually TOUCHING us.  Last night he was on Alan's lap for half an hour!  Poor sweet kitty.  He must by dying.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The vacation is over

I worked (finally) a two-day subbing assignment this week, which was my first paid labor since we moved here.  Hard to explain, but for whatever reason I'd been experiencing some anxiety about getting back in the classroom.  But I kept hearing my wonderful friend Naomi saying "Tanya, that is kinda stupid."  Haha!  It makes me laugh every time I hear her voice in my head, and it helped me to get over my weirdness.  Love ya, Naomi!

Turns out I still know how to manage a bunch of kids and still enjoy teaching.  Whether or not I want to return to the profession full-time, I just don't know.  So much crap goes along with that job that you can't even imagine.

One other job possibility I've been tossing around is starting a pet-sitting business here in Tulsa.  I'm doing a little research, and there are definitely pros and cons to the business.  Seems I almost always love other people's pets, but not necessarily their kids.  So...this might be a better fit for me than teaching.  :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

12 Pains of Christmas

I've been feeling the pain of stupid Christmas lights this morning, so I found this on Youtube to get me laughing instead of cursing.  I was really getting pissed and spewing profanity, when I should have been counting my blessings for having more than I deserve.  I also have the pleasure of getting Junior's help every year with the tree.  As soon as the tree comes out of the box, he lays claim to it and doesn't appreciate my touching any part of it.  Yeesh.  So yeah, we're taking a little break.

It's the SIMS version, enjoy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Need some holiday endorphins

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I hope you sat at a big table with a fat turkey or whatever kind of meat you adore, with all those awesome side dishes (that in my opinion are the best part of the meal), with family or friends around you, with football on in the background, with a table of desserts that you were too full to eat, and with stretchy pants to make the afternoon more comfortable.

In other words, I hope you had the Thanksgiving I didn't.  I'm not complaining, honestly.  I (we) just didn't have the traditional holiday.  We stayed at a hotel, ate our Thanksgiving meal at Cracker Barrel and almost every other meal out except the free hotel breakfast.  There are family issues right now, so it wasn't possible for everyone to get together.  And even if we did get together, like I said there are issues that make it WEIRD. 

But we had a wonderful time with the girls, mostly laughing or laughing at them laughing.  If you're a parent, then you know the joy of listening to your kids laughing together, no matter their age.  It's as if you gave them the best gift that they get to keep for the rest of their lives - each other.

But we're back home now, and it's time to start getting into Christmas mode.  I'm usually pretty excited about this, and you'd think with the new house that I'd be especially excited to decorate.  But I'm just not feeling it yet.  Our neighbors will likely be disappointed in the lack of lights and decorations outside, and I'm sure someone will stop by to tell me how THE PREVIOUS OWNERS had the most beautiful lights on the block.  Get over it, folks!

I'm needing some inspiration.  Maybe you are, too?  A quick visit to Pinterest might help me:

I'm putting myself on a very limited decorating budget, using mostly what I already have.  So I've decided to try using things that are readily available, like all the pine cones everywhere.  I'd be a fool to not gather a huge bag of cones along any trail and use them this year.  I think I've just decided on a theme, ha.

I like this woodsy, cabin look.  I don't have a mantel to decorate this year, because it's currently adorned with a large flat screen TV.  Priorities, you know.  But this gave me an idea for a large mirror I have, and again - PINE CONES. 

I just think this is sweet and simple.  Perfect for an apartment.  Think how inexpensively it can be done.  Buy fabric instead of a table cloth - who cares about the edges?  Just cut neatly or use my new best friend, fusible bonding web!  And those little mini trees can be bought anywhere for super cheap.

Mostly what I'm doing outside is a large garland around the door and then something on the door itself.  I bet I can come up with ornaments I don't use anymore to decorate a wreath.  And pine cones.  :-)

This door garland with pine cones is a Martha Stewart design.  It is hilarious to read how much trouble and precision she uses in creating the pine cone adornment.  It's good for a laugh if you want to take the time to find it on Pinterest.  But I'm going to steal it shamelessly!  I love it.

With my latest addiction to painting and glazing, this frame idea is really tempting.  Really tempting.  And I happen to know an awesome trading post that would have lots of frames to choose from.  I'd have to read how they attach it to the door though, so it wouldn't bang all over the place.  Those 3M sticky things maybe?

Okay, I'm a little more in the mood now.  Alan will read that and think something else. ;-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Trekking around Tulsa

We told ourselves when we moved here that we'd get out and explore the city and its surroundings.  So we ignored the leaves that needed to be raked and the few unpacked boxes in the garage and enjoyed the outdoors this weekend (minus the wind that I thought I left behind in Midland).  We went to estate sales and the zoo on Friday, the Tulsa University game against Marshall on Saturday, and spent our morning hiking at Turkey Mountain yesterday. 

Most of the trail was pretty rocky and rugged, nothing like this path.  I often measure activities by the amount of calories burned (i.e. how much MORE I get to eat that day), and this one ranked high on my list!

We still have places to go and things to try, but at least we've made a good start. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just because...

...I think it's hilarious:

And because that owl was so cool.  He was super heavy and his feathers were so silky.  I think my reaction is right after he turned and looked me in the eye, inches from my face.  It was awesome!

Monday, November 07, 2011

I'm cheap

I finished the sewing table/nightstand.  Very little sewing is probably going to occur, so let's just call it a nightstand.  Here's the before.  So someone at some point in time, really thought this looked okay?  I'm guessing it was Kenmore, since that's the sewing machine inside.

Try to ignore the dirty baseboards and stained carpet.

First I brushed on two coats of primer.  I didn't sand it or anything because it's veneer, so what's to sand?  I slapped on the two coats, not trying to cover completely.  In fact, I totally forgot to paint the inside of one section.  You'll see in a minute.

Then I spray painted the antique white base color.  This took one coat, with a few touch-ups here and there.  Again, because I knew I was applying a glaze, I wasn't shooting for perfection.  By the way, I totally recommend using Rustoleum spray paint over the others.  The nozzle is practically mess free, and you can even hold the can upside down!

Next was the really fun part - the black glaze.  You brush it on and wipe it off.  I think the only way you could mess this up would be to glaze too big a section at a time and therefore let it sit too long before wiping it off.  If that happens, you'll just get a darker color.  So here it is:

See that inside dark brown section on the right that I FORGOT TO PAINT?  I'm too lazy to drag it back downstairs and out to the garage to care.

I can ogle at furniture and design catalogs endlessly, but the fact remains that on my currently unemployed budget, Home Depot is going to win out over Pottery Barn.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Blog Title

Do I change it?  Leave it?

My cookie challenge

I got an invitation from a female coworker of Alan's to attend a cookie exchange party.  Although I really appreciate being invited, I was pretty excited until I saw all the RULES of the exchange.  I need to make 7 dozen cookies, meaning 7 different recipes.  They must be Christmasy cookies - no chocolate chip nonsense, no Pillsbury anything, not the no-bake variety, and the main ingredient in all must be flour.  They also need to be packaged in a cute/festive way, each individual dozen.  And I should also bring an appetizer, beverage, and dress Christmasy if I want to win a prize.  The dressing Christmasy part is not going to happen, folks.  Unlike some teachers, I haven't accumulated those sorts of outfits.

So almost immediately I got on Pinterest and started searching.  I found two or three possibilities so far, but that's a long way from SEVEN.  Here's one:

I don't think they have to be Christmas colors, but rather a cookie that you would associate with the holidays.  If you have a favorite holiday cookie, please send me the recipe or a link to it!  I can't even RSVP for the party until I have all seven recipes.  What is up with all the RULES?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Double Duty Table

My mind is blank, so I'll share a project in the making.

See that ugly nightstand there?  It's not really a nightstand but a sewing machine cabinet.  It's not real wood, and it's BUTT ugly.  Even the handle is ugly.  So I'm in the middle of transforming it.  Pictures to come soon...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Pipes

We had such a great weekend with our friends from Houston, James and Naomi.  Makes you feel so loved when someone travels to see you!

Here's how I know we're good friends.  When you can burp, talk about pooping, not care what you look like, be in a closed vehicle when you all stink, drink too much, and laugh endlessly around each other, you're good friends. 

We ran the quarter marathon together, or actually I ran the quarter - they all ran the "double" which was the quarter plus a 5K. Showoffs.  And Naomi is 4 months pregnant.  Double showoff!

Miss them already!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The old screen

So here's how the headboard came out.  I realize it's not really a headboard, but that's what I'm calling it.  I got the inspiration to paint and glaze stuff from Pinterest, which meant a few of my things ended up on the walls instead of in the trash and ultimately to an overcrowded landfill.  I occasionally do my part to help Mother Earth.

Most of these pics were taken with my cellphone, which usually turn out blurry but oh well.  Here's the screen the way I bought it, complete with dead bug parts and old springs and lots and lots of dirt:

This is after a couple coats of spray paint, antique white.  I didn't try to cover it completely:

This is during the glazing process:

And this is the finished product.  You probably can't see it, but I left the hook (far right) that was once used to close the screen.  Thought it was kind of authentic looking.

Funny how I'm still learning stuff about this house.  I didn't realize the wall in this bedroom angled up towards the ceiling until I hung the screen.  I had big plans to paint the entire upstairs with the same khaki wall color as downstairs, until I saw how high one of the walls was in the middle bedroom and became slightly less interested.  Anyway, I think I finally feel that this is room is complete.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New old stuff!

I have a new addiction that is the River City Trading Post.  I've never seen anything like this store, yet that's probably due to my sheltered life in dusty old Midland. 

This store is a crafter's/pinner's dream.  If you want to refurbish, repaint, or repurpose something  used - you'll find your project here.  I like shopping for the old or funky things that need no re-anything, such as this pillow:

I LOVE toile, always have.  (Alan thinks I just like saying toile.) It isn't for everyone, but I love it no matter the color or the scene.  This pillow fit the room perfectly and was $14.

This is part of the upstairs corner room that I haven't done much with.  It is simply too HUGE and will probably become a workout room for lack of better ideas.  So I threw the girls' old twin beds in there with some silly pillows, and then found this awesome chunky red table and red and black glazed lamp today!  Table was $38 and the lamp was $14. 

But what I'm most excited about is the dirty, flaky old window screen (probably crusted with lead paint) that I'm going to turn into a headboard to go above this bed:

I'm going to do a paint treatment on it to make it look similar to that chair.  It only cost me $15, so if it's a complete failure like I'm known for, it's not a big deal.  Maybe if I stay busy with that project the next couple of days, it'll keep me and my wallet from going back to the Trading Post for a while.  But probably not.

The Grind is Upon Me

Resume is done.  Applying for jobs has begun.  Yuck, yuck, and more yuck.  I can't hate this process any more.  I think I have an abnormal level of anxiety when it comes to job searching and being interviewed than most people.  Maybe I haven't had enough practice, since I've probably had no more than 10 interviews in my life.

I'm not good at thinking on the fly, and that's pretty much what an interview is chopped full of - the unknown.  I can answer their questions hour later.  I'm not a lingo kind of person.  I don't spout off industry terminology and really find people who do kind of annoying and showy.  I was raised to absolutely positively not brag about oneself, and although I don't necessarily agree with that, it's hard to change.

I need some positive things to focus on today.  I think I'll take a break from job crap and get things ready for our friends who are coming to town this weekend - yay!!!!!!!!!!!!  


Friday, October 07, 2011


I do love October.  I'm sure it's partly because it's Addison's birthday, my birthday, and mine and Alan's anniversary all at the beginning of the month.  But it's also the change in the weather.  October is just cozy

I love the fall colors.  I love that my new coffee mugs from DeeBee are fall colors, and it doesn't hurt that they perfectly match the colors in our house. 

I love that soon I'll be craving chili and stew and all sorts of other one-pot wonders that come out to play during cooler weather.  And I love that Pinterest has a TON of recipes with pumpkin and pumpkin spices!

I can't wait for Oktoberfest here in Tulsa, which starts October 20th.  It's supposed to be pretty entertaining, as long as you don't mind being around boisterous, beer-toting drunk people dressed like The Sound of Music.

And then there's Halloween, one of the only big holidays that does not include family obligations.  Love that!  I put my ghosts out again this year, regardless of how raggedy and raveled they're getting.  They do look like ghosts, right?  (See my Facebook post.)

Happy October!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sometimes, a good pain

I am not a runner.  I say that frequently, often while running.  But usually it comes up in conversation where Alan and someone are talking about running and they'll obligingly ask me "Do you run, too?"  "Yes, but I'm not a runner." 

I don't often enjoy it, as it hurts before, during, and after.  Something is always hurting and would probably stop hurting if I would just stop running.  But it's a fast, convenient way to get a good sweaty workout usually while enjoying the outdoors.  It's even more tempting since we've moved, because there are so many pretty places to run.

I do enjoy the feeling of participating.

But I wasn't meant to run.  It's funny to me how uncomfortable some runners seem around people who say that.  It's as if they feel pity or worse yet - just don't believe you've tried hard enough or trained long enough or whatever they're thinking.  If I say I can barely manage a 5K and often have to stop and walk at some point, it seems hard for them to comprehend.

In fact, I ran a 5K this morning that took 35 minutes.  I stopped at least three times, and I really needed to pee, making it that much harder to finish.  35 minutes is not a good time for me, but I've never run a 5K under 31 or 32 minutes and likely never will.  I average an 11 minute mile, give or take.

So why complain about it yet still do it if it's hard.  I think the answer is because it's hard.  It makes me feel sort of accomplished when I'm done.  I know it's only 3 miles, but I never ran more than a mile in my life until about 8 years ago.  And I'll probably do a couple more 10Ks, too, but I'll never win my age group or set new PRs as the years go on. 

But you runners out there - take a person's word for it when she says she knows her own body and its limits.  I'm not lazy, I'm just not a runner.

P.S.  After about a dozen 5Ks and one 10K, this is my only award.  I don't remember seeing how many were in my age group, but I'm willing to bet there was ONE.  It's like saying "Congratulations, Tanya Schaeffer, for not having any competition!"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Zero for Two

I've been feeling super crafty lately, gathering up some ideas from, getting supplies this weekend, and early this morning was off and running!

Project #1 was a complete failure.  I was trying to reuse an ugly mirror by doing a simple crackle paint treatment for a sort of shabby chic look.  I got the shabby alright.  So after realizing a while later that the paint just peeled off, I tried again.  Still a failure.  So now I've painted a top coat of metallic silver over layers and layers of paint, crackle stuff, etc. and am waiting to see the results.  I've already warned Alan that I'll likely be buying a new mirror this week.

Project #2 was another failure.  Okay, mostly I lost patience with that project within minutes.  I was trying to make bangle bracelets out of popsicle sticks, to later be covered with strips of fabric.  I could have bought a bunch of cheap bangles at any discount store instead of using the sticks, but my wrists are pretty small (as in freakishly bony) and normal bracelets end up closer to my elbows than my wrists.  Long story short, boiling and trying to bend the popsicle sticks was annoying and made worse when I realized they needed to dry for about a week.  I'm feeling crafty NOW, not a week from now.

Project #3 is making me nervous based on the failure rate of today.  So let me end with a success from a couple weeks ago.

These are two cafe curtains that I placed on the door to the mudroom and the window in an upstairs guest bath.  Liked the fabric so I used it for both.  Cheap, cheap curtains with no sewing!  Now our guests don't have to put on a show for the neighbors, and I can strip down in the mudroom to my whatever-I-want after working in the yard. 

Sorry, my cell phone takes crummy pictures.  (By the way, the top of the bathroom window is covered with an outside awning thing, so the curtain is more private than it looks.)

Over the next couple of days I'm making some little fabric Christmas trees and trying a recipe for pumpkin spice fudge with white chocolate.  I'll report back on either my disasters or my much needed successes. 

Is anyone else addicted to Pinterest like I am?

Friday, September 23, 2011

More better

That's what this little Vietnamese lady would say when she'd do my nails, "I make it more better."

Junior is feeling more better and back to doing what he does all day:

Baby boy had another urinary infection thanks to his owner (me) who decided it was time to take him off his prescription food.  I didn't realize the prescription was for the rest of his life.  So Wednesday after hearing him moan and meow in pain, I realized what was happening and got him into a vet.  While there and under sedation, they got those horrible mats out and gave him his overdue shots (two years).  Boy, do I know how to take care of animals or what?

Here's the part I'm still baffled by:  He was a little gentleman while in their care.  My cat was PLEASANT TO STRANGERS.  They petted him.  And picked him up.  And pressed on his abdomen.  All before sedation.  And they seemed to kind of like him.  Maybe Junior needed to get out of Midland, too. :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Subtleties

This is Junior barely able to lift his head and give a flip that I'm interrupting his nap (dark cat on a white comforter, I might add).

This is Junior hearing the four paws of Duke bounding up the stairs ready to disrupt things further.  Notice the change in his eyes?

This is Junior deciding he just doesn't have the energy to care about big red dog bouncing around his room.

And that was a typical exciting day in the life of Junior.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Garage Mahal

This is just a glimpse at Alan's half-day project that turned into a two day project, but that's okay because it's AWESOME. Isn't life just better with an organized garage? We have quite a bit more room in this garage and would like to keep it that way. What you don't see are the cabinets with neatly stored power tools and automotive stuff, the heavy tool sets hanging on the walls, and the easy access to my the lawnmower. There's a little bit left to do, but oh the joy of being able to find a hammer without ruining a manicure searching through boxes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet Cornbread

A long time ago, before the girls were born and their father and I had little to no spending money, we referred to this as "poor man's breakfast."  Except we didn't just eat it for breakfast - it was sometimes dinner.  We felt pretty poor, eating a lot of cheap meals and ramen and only treating ourselves to Domino's Pizza on rare occasions.  But I feel anything but poor having my day-old cornbread smothered with butter and syrup this morning!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A stew kind of day

I wonder how many people in the mid-southern states are making chili or stew tonight?  Something about that first blast of cool air just makes you all tingly inside and ready for some comfort food.  It's cool and cloudy and teasing of rain here in Tulsa, and I know back home in Midland they're getting LOTS of rain!  Such good news for them.

I was excited to wear socks and closed-toed shoes today, if that gives you any indication of how ready I am for cooler temps.

Back to stew.  Every time I make stew I think of Dale.  I learned how to make what I think of as southern comfort food from Mother and Dale when I was still a teenager at home - sausage and gravy, chicken fried steak, chili and stew to name a few.  (Dale always called sausage and gravy SOS or "Shit on a Shingle."  I know he didn't invent the term, but he was pretty proud of it.)  For the most part I make stew just like he showed me, although it always depends on what fresh, frozen or canned goods I have on hand.  He taught me to put the meat and potatoes on the bottom of the crock pot since they take the longest to get tender, then carrots if they're fresh, any other veggies, and last on top was onion, frozen corn, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and salt and pepper.  Here's the before it cooks and gets bubbly pic...

And here's a picture of Dale from a bajillion years ago when I was probably 14 or 15 and we were living in a mobile home out in the country.  He did a lot of the cooking, and it was almost always something FRIED.  Yummy stuff, but thankfully I didn't have to worry about fat and calories and cholesterol at the time.

So to all of you who got your crock pots out this morning or who laid some meat out to thaw for chili, enjoy your southern comfort food tonight.  And don't forget the cornbread!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I love a cheap find

You gotta love a garage/rummage/flea market sale put on by white haired ladies at an old historic garden center.  I got this clay pot for 25 cents.  All it needs is a large bunch of dried tiny flowers.

And this interesting looking bottle, also for 25 cents:

This picture and frame for $3, which I mostly wanted for the frame and glass for an old Texas map I've had for a while.  But actually the picture is starting to grow on me:

And lastly this salad or fruit or pasta bowl for $2.50:

So for six bucks I had a pretty successful 15 minutes.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Huh? Where? Whuh?

I've been trying out as many grocery stores as I can to figure out which one will make grocery shopping less sucky.  So far none have done the trick. 

I went to one yesterday and felt like I needed an orientation session on how to shop there.  I'd heard about it and seen their ads, but had no idea how TINY a place it was going to be.  Before even walking in I had to figure out how to get the grocery cart.  A nice older gentleman let me have his quarter and showed me how you put the coin in the slot to release the cart.  You get your coin back when you leave, unless you want to "pay it forward" for the next customer.  This was not a place you shop when doing a big grocery run.  And the brands were all foreign to me. 

So I get up to the checkout lines and notice people have their own bags or they take some from this shelf thing and PAY for them along with their groceries.  When it's my turn, I bought my two paper bags and checked out.  The cashier puts all your groceries back in your cart, not in the bags you bought, and you go over to a counter to get out of the way and sack your own groceries.  Then you take your cart back outside and attach it to another one to get your quarter back.

All of this is fine.  I'm certainly not above depositing a quarter, providing my own bags, and bagging my own groceries.  It was just that feeling of being the new person-who-doesn't-know-anything.

I've also noticed that about every time I'm out somewhere, I'll see someone and for a split second think "hey, that looks like..."   But then I remember it can't be them, because I'm not in Midland anymore.  I'm not home here, but it'll come someday. 

One day while at Super Target and talking to Addison on the phone, I really did see someone I knew.  I practically hung up on Addison, in fact I think I yelled "I gotta go!" and went to talk to the only other person besides Alan in Tulsa I know - our realtor.

But as awkward as I feel sometimes - being new at the gym, at the stores, getting the trash and recycling days down, asking the neighborhood kids to stop using our yard as a giant sidewalk, etc., I still like learning a new place.  And yesterday I discovered another Super Target that's closer to our house and BRAND NEW.  Like you walk in and it's almost silent, because the rest of the world doesn't know it's open yet.  I will be learning that place a lot.  :-)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Discomfort Zone

A year ago on 9/11 (no underlying reason) I started a separate blog called "God, You're Confusing as Hell."  I didn't tell anyone, because really I just wanted somewhere to start writing some thoughts down without considering an audience.  And I didn't get far, three posts to be exact.  I got bored with myself and then probably got busy with school.  I thought I would share my initial post:

Settling in

Poo.  The kids have gone home and taken their puppies with them.  But we had a great weekend.  No hustle and bustle trying to entertain everyone or showing them the city, just relaxing and chilling at home.  It felt longer than a couple weeks since I've seen them, so I can only imagine what the next few weeks will be like.  I'm planning to be back in Midland around the first of next month for Addison's birthday, but I'm sure with each visit this will get easier and feel more normal.

As much as I'm missing though - my family, my friends, and my job - I really love living here.  Tulsa is an easy city to get around, it's easy on the eyes, and the people have been friendly.

Okay, there was that one woman who came by and somewhere in the conversation said "good luck keeping up the landscaping the way the previous owners did."  Oh okay.  I guess I was exuding the lazy-white-trash-look that day.

And I'll be on yard duty this morning, meaning I'll be standing outside MY house around the time the school bus kids starting walking right up by my kitchen windows.  Maybe I should be taking pictures - I'm thinking something will get their attention eventually.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gladys Kravitz

I don't want to be her. The neighbors have been so nice.  I don't want to say anything rude and be that person, but people are walking through my yard.  Not just sort of along the edge (it's a corner house), but RIGHT up through the yard close to the house.  I realize this house has been empty for a few months, and I guess they just started trampling their way through because they knew no one would see.  But isn't that still rude??  That's a rhetorical question - the answer is YES.

It's one thing for kids to do it - they're still young and haven't learned all the RULES, but I've seen two moms lead the way!

For now I'm going to chill and smile sweetly, all the while letting Duke bark as ferociously as he wants to as they pass.  Eventually they'll all realize someone lives here again and will show some respect, right?  This IS the neighborhood where neighbors have brought homemade banana bread and cookies within the first few days of our arrival.  But do they take liberties along with their acts of kindness?  Look at me already starting some neighborhood drama.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I've seen neighborhoods in the movies where kids walk to the corner to catch the school bus, sometimes with moms or dads, the family dog in tow, and neighbors mingle and chat until the kids are safely off to school.  If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I'd have thought this picturesque neighborhood was imaginary.  But I'm living in one!  It's adorable.

Duke and I went for a short jog yesterday morning, and we chatted with several people along the way.  I spotted my neighbors next door, an older couple, and stopped to chat for a while.  If you've ever had older neighbors, you know how invaluable they are.  They know everything. Years of wisdom makes for awesome neighbors. 

And then this morning, the doorbell rang pretty early which kind of startled me.  I was "indisposed" at the moment we'll say, but when I went to the door a few minutes later, this was on my doorstep:

I still don't feel like I'm at home, but I'm getting there.  :-)

Monday, August 08, 2011

Gifts from the Heart

Had a really great weekend - great news from a family member, fun times with the girls Saturday afternoon, and a great party Saturday night.  And I (we) got some really neat farewell gifts from good friends.  One gift was this beautiful cookware:

So here's what makes the cookware interesting.  I had already been thinking that I would use some touches of red in the new house, particularly in the kitchen.  The kitchen has existing red window treatments that, although they're not something I would pick out, I'm going to keep them awhile and see if they grow on me:

They remind me of medieval times.  Back to the cookware.  While browsing through recipes last week looking for snacks for the party, I came across a crab dip that you bake in the oven until it gets hot and bubbly.  The photo for the recipe showed a scalloped baking dish that would easily go from the oven to the table and still look pretty.  I didn't have pretty cookware, but figured my French White Corningware (that half the women in America probably own) would have to do.  But I made a mental note to be on the lookout for pretty baking dishes, and poof!  I'm (we're) given RED SCALLOPED bakeware.  How cool.  My friend had no idea I was wanting this!

I (we, oops) also got this from another friend:

Which is again, a coincidence, because I've been wanting to keep an eye out for quaint, funky signs for the kitchen.  I think this fits the bill!  And then this awesome refrigerator magnet from the same friend:

As excited as I am to be living somewhere new, I'm proud of my Texas roots.  It's my home and always will be.  I'm certain more Texas memorabilia will find its way into our new home.

This week is less stressful than last, but just as busy if that makes sense.  I'm trying to make as much time for seeing friends and family as I can, to-do list be damned!  Because when all is said and done, people are more important than packing my underwear.