Frankie and Slim

Frankie and Slim
Happy New Year

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Had to share these questions that came up on Christmas Day. They should entertain you until New Years:)

1.) Think of one living person you know whom you would describe as "humble".

2.) Name a single fact that cannot be disputed or argued by anyone.

For a goat giggle indeed look at THIS video my cousin Becky sent.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Okay that's not really our house. But I am as serious as I can be about wishing everyone a blessed Holiday season with the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years celebrations.

There is not room or time to list all the things my blog friends have done to make a difference in my life during 2010. I thank you all and cannot wait to see what we will all do in 2011. See you next year.

With Love from

"The true miracle of Christmas is not found in the pageantry of a great Christmas Eve service. The true miracle of Christmas is the truth that God is with us in the dirt and dailyness and in the reality and imperfection of our lives."

J. Mack Strange (Tennessee, USA)

Monday, December 13, 2010

STORIES OF HOPE... (our granddaughter)

Granddaughters Hope and Beth in Hope's room at Thanksgiving.

This is about our 8 year old granddaughter Hope.

1.) Hope's mom picked her up at school the other day. Hope ran out with her arm wrapped in an Ace bandage. Her mother gasped in horror and asked:

"What happened."
"Nothing." Hope casually responded.
"Well then, why is your arm wrapped in a bandage?"
"I wrapped it myself at home. "
"How long have you been wearing it?"
"All day."
My daughter asked the teacher about the bandage on Hope's arm and the teacher replied,
"Don't worry, I helped her all day with her writing and other projects."

(A new family con-artist has arrived it seems.)

2.) This year Hope is attending Private school. The school is run by Catholics but lots of non-Catholics attend and the school does not proselytize.

On Thanksgiving I asked Hope is she was a Methodist or a Catholic and she proudly announced she was Catholic. At the dinner table after the prayer she made the sign of the cross and then smiled and said "I'm the only one who can do this because I'm the only Catholic here."

(It sure is a good thing the school does not proselytize.)

Friday, December 10, 2010


Once upon a time Christians celebrated the birth of Christ.

There was a time that exchanging gifts was a minor part of Christmas. The theme was "Peace on Earth, good will toward men".

The greed that now encompasses the annual Christmas holiday should be turned over to any and all who desire participating regardless of what it is called. Christians can always celebrate in their homes and churches in the traditional ways they choose.

Shame on the people who call themselves Christians and make it their business to cram their religion down the throats of everyone when we can simply give the ultimate gift of sacrifice on the behalf of others and live as we are taught, by an example of love.

No matter what the holiday is called, there will always be Christmas:)

Friday, December 03, 2010


I awakened from my first nap under the bi-pap mask and Ron was talking to our dog Slim. They were both staring at me and Ron was saying to Slim, "She sure does look different doesn't she?"

I guess that makes me the "masked stranger", thus the name selection for my new sleep contraption will be "Tonto". This machine is my new sidekick:) (Are any of you too young to know what I'm talking about?)

So-far-so-good is how the sleeping goes. After two full nights on the machine I have added two hours a night to my normal sleep time and we drove back from a trip to Tulsa yesterday without me falling asleep. My confidence grows that this is going to be an answer to many health concerns.

Now I'll stop talking about this unless Tonto and I take a trip or do something newsworthy. Thanks all for your support and encouragement.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Kit, Tandy, Beth collapsed from full tummys.

It was a grand and glorious day. Chelle and Kit hosted us in their home for the Thanksgiving bash. My precious daughter is a charming and talented hostess and her wonderful spouse makes everyone feel welcome. This celebration will go down in the family archives as a Thanksgiving to remember.

Ron and I arrived on Wednesday so the kids took us out for dinner to a Steak and Catfish Barn restaurant. It was recently featured on the Travel Channel show Man vs Food. (click for YouTube video) We had to wonder why anyone ever walked into the restaurant in the first place. It definitely does not look very appealing from the outside but once inside and enjoying their cuisine you are definitely glad you found the place.

How we managed to eat again the next day is amazing. My son brought a smoked turkey. Kit fried a turkey. Chelle baked a ham. We had tons of mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy with green bean casserole, cranberry salad and Chelle had made homemade croissants to die for. Appetizers consisted of a cheese ball that Chelle made and jumbo shrimp and sauce that Ron and I brought. Plus I baked a Sopapillia cheese cake and Chelle baked a perfect pumpkin pie.

Before everyone collapsed from the tryptophan on T-day we played a game of Wahoo. There was a giant bet riding on this game and I regret admitting that I lost. My son-in-law refuses to call the game Wahoo and insists that it is called Aggravation. The bet was if the girls won he would start calling the game Wahoo. Instead he gets to keep calling it Aggravation. If anyone knows their board games they know that Aggravation has a hole in the middle of the board and one less hole on each side. There are also a few minor rule differences. If anyone can testify on my behalf, it would be appreciated.

I only caught glimpses of the grandchildren as they ran in and out of the house and Michael and Hope's rooms. They are such pals and nothing is more satisfying than to see the cousins enjoying each other. I did get some special time to view Michael's latest astonishing art work.

I was especially content to be reminded of Thanksgivings past and feel the large amount of love for extended family this small gathering represented. There is even something extra special in knowing how much my mom and dad would have enjoyed this.

Thank you Chelle and Kit for leading us into the holiday celebrations that will head us out of the old year into the new. It was spectacular!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


This weekend I found myself telling true tales about events in my life as a banker. These I had not been given reason to recall in a very long time.

1968 found me taking my first banking course. The professor teaching the class had told us some outrageous predictions involving the future of banking. This instructor, a banker himself, told our class of skeptical minds that the day was coming when everyone would have a plastic card, much like a credit card, but this card would access our personal checking accounts. This card, he told us, would eventually eliminate the need for anyone to write checks or carry cash. This check-card would enable us to go up to any machine and purchase even a can of soda pop. The cost then of that carbonated drink would come directly out of our checking accounts. This classroom of modern day, upcoming bankers burst into laughter at the absurdity. After all most of us had only been introduced to desk top computers in the workplace and we were still struggling to learn how to use them.

I was glad that I had this class because in the late 1970's my employer asked me to take the responsibility of installing our bank's first ATM (Automated Teller Machine). We were a front runner in that field and it was my duty to see that the machine was installed and up and running in a timely manner. I was required to determine the software, the hardware, the physical building of the machine casing at the front door of our facility, work with the telephone company for the connections and make the arrangements with all vendors involved with the installation. I was also my responsibility to make arrangements for making the cards and getting them to our customers and encouraging them to use these debit cards. (Getting anyone to use these very strange cards was the most difficult part.)

The ATM was ready to go and it only made sense that I be responsible for the maintenance and repair. The rest of the bank staff was not familiar with the machine and this left me responding to the machine calling my pager for repairs at all hours of the day and night. As a single mom with two small children at home, this meant getting the kids out of bed and taking them with me to the bank to implement the needed solution. After doing this on my own for several months it became clear to management that this probably was a dangerous job for a young woman with children to complete on her own and new protocol was implemented. All of the bank officers would be required to train on machine repairs and take turns carrying the pager plus no calls would be answered after midnight. It was not a happy time for the other members of the repair party and the louder the complaints and the more powerful the voices, better remedies were soon found.

Little by little other banks became involved and more ideas for servicing these machines came into being and now, as you know, armored cars do most of the servicing of these machines.

I was telling this story to a young woman who could not imagine a time without debit cards and ATM machines. This young woman had a job that required her to be out at night and go in and out of a facility in the dark. Sometimes it required her, a single mom, to take her young daughter with her and this mom was extra cautious and concerned about their safety. So while a lot has changed over the years and banking and computers have progressed, single parents are still required to make scary sacrifices for their daily bread.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


We shared a belated birthday celebration for my spouse last week. My sister and bil joined us at a local casino for a All-you-can-eat Alaskan King Crab Legs. It was a perfect feast.

Sunday we shared more legs with my sister and bil at their home. We had delicious smoked chicken legs.

Enough about legs but NEVER enough legs:)

The doctor called Thursday night and told me that I have severe sleep apnea. I stop breathing on an average of 57 times an hour which anything above 30 is very dangerous. The technologist last Sunday could not control it with the air mask they used so I have to do another study in order to determine what will work best. The doctor said that even though I have probably had this for a very long time, now that we are aware of it we must proceed quickly. Until the next study I am supposed to sleep under oxygen which I can do because Ron has lots here for me to borrow:) While there are many things that cause sleep apnea, a major cause is weight. My cardiologist ordered the study because he believes I cannot lose weight because I am too tired all the time and once I start getting undisturbed sleep I will have more get-up-and-go.

Lots of things are getting done around our home. The rocks and overgrowth are being bulldozed out of our woods. Our front porch has been completed and the utility room is finally moving along smartly. It is looking beautiful.

BOA Grand National Second Place Winners -- THE PRIDE OF BROKEN ARROW HIGH SCHOOL BAND. They went to the Grand Nationals hoping to make one of the top 12 positions in the Finals. Imagine their delight in taking overall Second place. CONGRATULATIONS!


If you missed my previous post, you will want to click to be thrilled by
A Random Act of Culture.

Friday, November 12, 2010


My brother forwarded this to me and I cannot stop watching it.

On Saturday, October 30th 2010, The Opera Co. of Philadelphia and 28 choral organizations totaling over 650 persons gathered in the Grand Court at Macy's Department Store in Philly. They mingled with the crowd and then accompanied by the (Wanamaker) worlds largest working pipe organ, sang Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" to a stunned and surprised audience, which some joined in to sing. This was presented by the Knights' Foundation, "Random Acts of Culture"

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


The sleep study is over. Now the wait is on. It will be 3 - 14 days before I know the results. Thankfully my technician was a riot and kept my mind off any inhibitions. He talked and joked as he applied electrodes to me for about 1 1/2 hours. For once in my life I was glad to be bald headed. They use so much glue I cannot imagine how a person with a full head of hair can contend with the gunk. Mine was a "split sleep study" and this link will take anyone who is interested to a website that explains all the ins and outs of the study.

Meanwhile back at the ranch my poor dog Slim could not understand why I would leave home at dark and she stood in the van parking spot and howled for me until Ron made her come inside. She greeted me joyfully at 4:30 AM when I returned home still in the dark.

My son (chaperone) and his three Pride of Broken Arrow Band children head for Grand Nationals this week. They will compete on the weekend and there is a chance our friend Nora of Chez Pez will get out there to see them. Wouldn't that be great?! The band has already won local, state and district competitions and we are pretty convinced that they have a show that will take the prize in Indiana.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Today is a special occasion but we're not supposed to talk about it or make a big deal. A minor hint might be that it is a birthday of a man I love very, very much:) But you did not hear it here.

Friday, November 05, 2010


The rooster Jack Bauer, after being given the boot by his fellow fowl, has found a new home among the goats. He has moved his roosting place into the goat pen and during the day he wanders the property with the goats. It appears he has informed the goats of the cat Lil' Bear's attempt to lead them astray. Sometimes the guinea fowl will join the goats and Jack. They all seem very much at home in the company of strangers.

Speaking of strangers, my portrait art community is no longer a group of strangers. There is something about studying the face of a person in order to draw them, and suddenly starting to feel like you know them. I have drawn over 60 portraits and believe I would recognize these individuals and call them by name if I ever ran into them. Twenty in turn have drawn my portrait. Of course one that I treasure most was done by our good friend Ileana "Ily". I don't believe she will care if I share it here.

Isn't she a wonderful artist!!!

Hubby has visitors coming this weekend. One is a long time friend and the other is a stranger. We know the other visitor will be okay because he is traveling with our friend. Both are rather prestigious state officers of the VFW. I know that Ron is looking forward to war stories and a house full of testosterone.

My sleep study is finally scheduled for Sunday night and it could not come at a better time. I'll fix a big pot of soup and some desserts for the boys and be off for the night. Can you think of a better way to entertain guys than to go away and leave them alone while you sleep?

Tomorrow night we all need to remember to turn our clocks back. I truly relish gaining back this hour we lost in the spring. Enjoy your weekend and if our temperatures this morning are any indication, also enjoy some teeth-chattering weather.

Friday, October 29, 2010


This week we visited a new flea market in our area. I tend to charge into a room without any concern for my surroundings. Ron, on the other hand, never goes anywhere new without scoping the place out before charging forward. "I'm not going in there!" he boomed, "Not with that anvil resting on that cracked board!" I had not even seen it and was already almost right underneath it. Can you guys see it above the Tool Man booth? Anyway, it's a fake. The anvil is made of light wood, painted and tied to an already cracked board. I was amazed by the number of people who walked in and walked all around and never even saw the anvil. Sometimes it might pay to look up.

Last weekend was great. The boys worked with grandpa while my son rested for his birthday weekend. Our granddaughter Beth pretended to work as the goat herder but she is lacking in he cousin Hope's herding skill. Beth is a typical 14 year old with her head in the clouds.

In case you are curious about my sleep study, I am too. They haven't scheduled it yet so I'm still avoiding driving. It will be nice to get it over with.

Here we go again into another weekend. Hope everyone has a spectacular one!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Hello Friday!!! Time for bloggers to make their weekend preparations. My kitchen is cozy with the aroma of ham cooking and a chocolate cake baking. It is my son's 40th birthday weekend and he and the children are going to visit. It has been over six weeks since they were here last. I want to make things as festive as possible.

Actually I made his birthday cake earlier in the week and experimented with making 7 minute icing. I do not have a double boiler so I tried using a recipe that adds boiling water to the mix. The icing was a flop. Today's cake will wear a butter cream frosting. I found an easy recipe on google and emailed it to myself. The subject line read ICING OUR BUTT.

Speaking of butts -- the goats have been following our cat Lil' Bear all around the property. Don't know how they fell in love with this little guy and elected him their leader but yesterday I decided Lil' Bear is on a mission to get rid of the goats. I was watching them out the kitchen window and the goats were moving deeper and deeper into the back of our property. I then noticed Lil' Bear walking ahead of them. He would go further and stop and they would do the same. Pretty soon the goats seemed to uncover the plot and realized they were pretty far from the house. They turned and ran home abandoning Lil' Bear who followed them with a look of, "I'll get you next time my pretties".

I have completed 50 portraits for the Julia Kay Portrait Party on Flickr. I keep thinking I will get tired of this soon, but so far I am still addicted. I love my blogging and I love my art and am trying to strike an equal balance some way plus take care of my daily chores and weekend visitors. Why aren't I skinny? Oh yes, ham and cake. Oops.

Happy, happy weekend one and all:)

Friday, October 15, 2010


The big one hit Oklahoma yesterday...see an image of the mayhem and destruction.

Everyone have a great weekend:)

Monday, October 11, 2010


It is a beautiful Monday to start out this new week. There is no better way to get started than pouring that first cup of coffee made from fresh ground beans. We do a good job of dividing a pot of coffee between the two of us although I do tend to imbibe to a greater degree than my spouse.

This morning I poured that first delicious cup and seated myself at the computer. Suddenly something caught my eye. A gnat had flown into my cup. Leaning over and looking into the black abyss, I watched the gnat tread the liquid as I had this debate with myself:

"I can fish the gnat out and go ahead and drink the coffee."
"If I had not seen the gnat fly into the cup I probably would have swallowed it down and been none the wiser."
"If I pour this whole cup of coffee out, someone is going to run on a shortage of caffeine today."

Rest assured my friends, I poured out the coffee and got down a clean coffee cup. Now I'm working on reciting this convincing line:

"What, we're already out of coffee? You must have had more that you realized my dear:)"

Hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Four years ago we purchased seven young pecan trees. We lost two for no reason other than weather or maybe they were doomed to begin with. The other five trees have done very well. We were told not to expect any pecans for seven years. Lo and behold, Ron came to the house to get me and told me to grab my camera. He had a surprise to show me. Look closely at this little tree and see the two beautiful clusters of nice, large paper shell pecans. I believe these excited me as much as new kittens or hatching chicks.

If you ever decide to come visit us, remember we will get as much work out of you as we can. My daughter brought her two children this weekend and not only did she work herself to death on the inside of my house, Ron had poor Michael on the barn roof sealing leaks.

Our granddaughter Hope has turned out to be the best goat herder of all. She worked to keep the goats in the back of the property. You can tell from the picture how Tandy Kid has grown. This will probably be the last time Hope will be able to pick him up.

Thanks to everyone for the supportive comments on the sleep study. I believe I am ready now to go through with it since you all made it sound easy and worthwhile.

I am still loving the art project but I am not as frantic about it as I was at first and believe I can blog and work on my portraits also.

Friday, October 01, 2010


My new cardiologist has determined that I am sleeping but not getting any rest. My children, godchildren and grandchildren all say that my snoring can be heard from outside the house or from the basement to the attic. My precious spouse calls it purring. I guess he can sleep through anything.

I do fall asleep during the day and in the evenings sleep through most of the prime time television. I actually fell asleep driving the other day. So, I have agreed to participate in a sleep study. For some reason I have dreaded this medical procedure more than any other. Strangers watching me sleep is not very appealing. Plus I do sleep wig less and that is not a pretty site.

Tell me what you know about sleep studies. Have you done one? Have you had a close family member complete one? Is it as horrible as I imagine? What life changing results should I expect?

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Yesterday we had lunch at the Chinese Buffet. A family was seated behind us and the waitress ask the child "How old are you?". The child replied that she was five. When the waitress walked away the child exclaimed, "Oh no, I told her my age wrong!". "That is okay" the mother said," we need to keep from paying more for you as long as we can."

The family then proceeded to the buffet, filled their plates, came back to the table and waited until all were seated to join hands and say the blessing before their meal.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Some of these horses weigh almost 2000 pounds each. Watch the video at the bottom of this post.
This was a rock crusher that Ron believed would take care of our major rock problem on NOL-NOC Estates. The one that was for sale was smaller and I think he would rather have had this one.
Here is Ron drooling over a row of Allis Chalmers tractors.
This is a vintage Maytag washing machine.

We went to Ft. Scott, KS on Saturday for the annual Pioneer Days celebration. Ron loves to look at the old tractors and early machines. He almost bought a huge rock crusher but gave it a little more thought and will keep looking.

My favorite event is the horse pull. This video gives a little taste of the fair and also the thrill of watching teams of horses. Some of the teams weigh almost two ton each and pull sleds of huge concrete blocks with more blocks added each time around.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Say hello to Sneaky Pete. This is one of Boomer's kittens born in June. If you will remember Boomer moved her kittens to the neighbor's house but Boomer continued to show up here for breakfast. This week Boomer has had this little critter follow her to breakfast. The 3 month old kitten is very afraid of me. Perhaps there is no memory of having been born here. I call this kitten Sneaky Pete because he/she sneaks behind something and keeps eyes on me constantly until I leave the barn.

It just so happens there is another "Pete" in blogland today. Before I posted this I saw Lynn at Good Things Happened had posted about Brother Pete.

I am making every effort to catch up on my blog reading as I slow down a bit on my Portraits. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


My book arrived yesterday. While my photographs do not do justice to this work, at least you can get an idea of the treasures I now own. Each artist is a master crafts person in their own genre it was indeed a privilege for me to be allowed to participate among such talent.

I was proud of this work and am glad to have it back among my treasures. If you don't know, EAGHL is also Granny Annie:)

Valeria is a marvelous artist and I saw this drawing on her blog and hoped it would be coming to me. It holds my favorite bright colors and a striking nude is almost revealed.

Could any of you doubt who did this beauty? Of course it is Ily and must be a self-portrait. "Salud" is the title of this lovely painting as she says to us every day on her blog...Cheers!

This is continued on the next two posts.


Now we all know what a great photographer Paul is and why he joined this group. I am honored to have this in my book.


I had a blue-eyed love –

In the heart of winter, we’d meet;

Crystal snow spread across our bed,

And river ice beneath.

I’m reminded by the cold and leaden sky –

My blue-eyed love and I.

I had a green-eyed love –

In the heart of summer, we’d meet;

Lillies spread across our bed,

And drowning depths beneath.

I’m reminded by unforgiving July –

My green-eyed love and I.

I had a black-eyed love –

In the heart of Autumn we’d meet;

Wind blows leaves spread across our bed,

And only the earth beneath.

(?) the desire that lives nor dies –

My black-eyed love and I.

I think I only missed one word in trying to transcribe this beautiful poem by Shay. If you have seen her work before you know that she is a gifted and talented poet who reaches inside her soul for the beauty of this work. Now I own this copy in the poet's own hand.

Doreen blessed me with two pages of her art and I could not be more thrilled. It wears me out just to try to imagine how much time this intricate work take her.


Wouldn't it be great if I could enlarge this and frame it and put it on my wall with all my other chicken memorabilia. Did Serena know her subject or what?

Carmen obviously got to know me before she did her work and picked out my favorite thing. I hope you can tell how amazing both pages are from my pictures. (I can't find Carmen's blog link anymore. Can anyone help me?)

Holland has given me a forever memory of my little goat Tandy Kid on the day he was born. So sweet and clean and pink. What a great painting to have when he grows into a smelly old billy goat. What a crowning glory to complete my long awaited project book.

Here is a link to my ArtBistro page that shows all the work I have done in the other books if you are interested.

Friday, September 17, 2010


My post on April 5, 2010 was titled 10 BRAVE ADVANCE. Today I received and emotional email from Holland/Monique and she has notified me that my book is on the way home. You can see what she added to the book by going here. I can hardly wait to view all of the original art I will own from each participant and it is my plan to share the contents of my book with all our blog friends. We did start out with ten participants but ended with nine when one had to drop out early due to family illness. It was a very rewarding experience to participate with these talented artists.

Meanwhile I am involved in another project and have already gotten into trouble. I posted the pictures I had drawn on my ArtBistro site and I also posted the photographs of each subject only that was a major "no-no". I had to take the photographs down, which I did post haste. I can display my work just not the subjects. I am a bad girl

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Any religion should stop being protected as religion when it crosses over into vile activities and requires the taking away of another man, woman or child's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Ron took me fishing to get me away from the marker fumes for a while. It was a beautiful evening and he had been on the internet to determine exactly where we should lower our lines to get some catfish.

I was comfortable and enjoyed the sturdy new bridge. It is much more secure that the old metal bridge, though not as pretty. We fed a lot of fish our liver bait but didn't manage to reel in a single one. Thankfully we still have catfish in the freezer and will still have fish tonight.

The goats pen is completed now with their own fenced 220 ft. long pasture in back of the barn and an opening into the barn where they will remain dry and warm. That space behind the barn was our main reason for acquiring goats because it is difficult to get back there and mow.
Needless to say Tandy Kid has not been neutered yet. He cannot "connect" but that does not keep him from trying. Here is a less than tasteful photograph of poor Tina with her head stuck in the fence and TK taking full advantage of her predicament. Since I was there taking photographs, I was able to get Tina free immediately.