Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ol' Man Winter


Ha, ha....that's what my "Swinging Gator" is saying to me today. Boy, oh boy - we had another blast from Mr. Freeze starting on Thursday. Of course, school was cancelled yesterday - I think the district has now used all of it's snow days. First, it started to sleet, which turned into freezing rain. Tulsa dodged an ice storm bullet, Thank you God!

The City of Tulsa had brought in utility workers from surrounding states in case we had a repeat of the ice storm of 2007. Just google it - you'll find out how bad it was. They were staged at the Tulsa Fair Grounds which is only a few blocks from us.

I bought lots of extra candles and firewood in case. So happy that we didn't have any power outage - so far, anyway. All the precipitation stopped late last night and the official report is 6.5 inches of snow on top of 1/2 inch of ice. I'm not going to be driving today - ha!! For all my relatives in Florida - these are icicles. Just kidding you guys - I know you've had a bad winter there too.

And so, even though it makes getting around difficult and the pooch and I would like to get out for a walk, the snow is beautiful. Tomorrow is supposed to go above freezing, so I am hoping this round doesn't stay for 3 weeks like the Christmas Eve "blizzard". There was more snow in our yard this time, so I'll call this one the end of January blizzard.

Reporting in from the corner of 7th and Toledo in Tulsa....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Warmer Days

What a joy it has been for the past couple of days to have SUNSHINE and warmer temperatures. After the deep-freeze of the weeks from Christmas through the first week of January - it seems all the more delightful. The doggy and I are enjoying some nice walks around our new neighborhood.

Hey - can I get a nap with my lovey after you dragged me around the neighborhood?

My DAR Chapter is invited to help out with an event coming up on February 4 at the University of Tulsa. Area 5th grade students will be visiting the campus and hearing more about American History, especially the Revolutionary War. We are being asked to be in period dress and act as hostesses for the event. Well, there is nothing I love more than playing dress-up and pretending to live in another era. So, how to take some of my Renaissance Faire clothes and update them for the 18th century. Research on the internet - I love it.

After checking out a few historic clothing sites and pattern books I thought if I added a "Betsey Ross" type scarf and mop hat, my basic RenFaire skirt, bodice and shirt would do the trick. Check me out! I made the scarf and hat from a Simplicity costume pattern I found.

I'm really enjoying being the EDITOR of the Capt. Peter Ankeny Chapter newsletter. It is giving me an outlet for my creative side. I got such nice comments on my first effort, thanks to my very nice DAR "sisters". Thanks to for helping me with my family tree research - and to the DAR genealogists who are amazing at finding missing pieces!

Hope it is warm and sunny where you are!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Being a Daughter!

OK, one of the most exciting things that happened to me in 2009 was being invited to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. I have been into family history research and genealogy for quite a while. A couple of years ago I discovered someone who had served in the Revolutionary war on a branch of my tree. After inquiring what it takes to join the DAR, it took a while to get all the required documentation together to prove my ancestry. Let's just say, the DAR DOES NOT just take your word for it - nor a link on You have to have written documents that prove your lineage. Now, they have very experienced researchers who will do everything possible to help you - trust me - they really do know what they are doing on that score. My genealogy researcher who worked tirelessly with me was Deanna Ames. She was so patient and so thorough. When we hit a dead-end on the branch I knew about, she found a completely different branch I knew nothing of and helped me prove it. What a fine Daughter she is!! Thanks, Deanna - you are so kind and so smart. By the way, my Patriot is Robert Sheffield who is an ancestor on my mother's side of the family. I have a couple of others to document - my original ancestor, Lazarus Solomon and a recent find, Job Benton who is my several times great-grandfather on my father's side.

So, last spring I was invited to a meeting of a local chapter so I could meet some of those members and they could meet me. After attending a meeting as a potential member I was invited to join the Captain Peter Ankeny Chapter of the NSDAR. I am having a great time getting to know these wonderful ladies. I received my official invitation in June and my application was submitted in late August to the National Society. In early October I received my official membership packet. What a thrill to now be an official member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Now, for you who think this group is some stuffy bunch of old biddies who just sip tea and eat finger sandwiches - you couldn't be more wrong. This organization is all about preserving our American values and showing our gratitude and serving our Veterans and active duty servicemen and women. It's about being proud to be an American and believing the Constitution is really special. It is about going to Veteran's hospitals and visiting people who have no one else. It is about putting wreaths on Veteran's gravesites for Christmas. It is about sending care packages to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Well, you get the idea.

Here we are on a very chilly December day gathering to honor our Veterans with Wreaths Across America.

In November I was honored to help host new citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony where 39 new American Citizens were sworn in by Federal judges. Our DAR chapter gave each a small American flag, a brochure on flag etiquette and a copy of the "American's Creed". The joy in their faces was just awesome to see. In our judicial district, the judges have decided to hold these ceremonies at area schools - what a great idea for the school children to witness the swearing in and to see how much it means to these new citizens. We take so much for granted as citizens of the USA. Of course, thsi country is not without its faults - but what a blessing it is to live in such a place where most people don't go to be cold and hungry, and where most children get to go to school WITH shoes on their feet. Please be grateful this year for who you are and where you live - don't take our freedom for granted.

If you think you have a patriot on your family tree - go to the NSDAR website and inquire about membership. They will put you in touch with a chapter in your area.

God Bless America!!

About that RV Thing...

Short post to update why I am no longer in the RV.
First - the park I had picked was like a mud pit - it will be nice
one day, but that day hasn't arrived yet. It sat up on a high ridge
over the Arkansas River - and there was nothing - I repeat nothing
to stope the wind from Canada. Translation - it was COLD up there.

I think this bleak view of the cold sky says it all.

Second - we are having the coldest and worst winter in a decade
or so - not the best time for RV living. Picture this - about every
10 days you have to unhook the sewer, electricity, water, cable tv
and pull up the levelers - bring in the slide - you get the picture
and DRIVE somewhere in your home to get LP gas so you can stay warm.

Third - I had a chance to move in to the new place with my son and his family
for about what I was paying in RV lot rent. Ok, I know I'll be paying more
in utilities - but I don't have to walk in mud to go take a bath. That's gotta
be worth something!

I am not too proud to say that my vision on full-timing in my RV did not
turn out like I planned. I planned to be able to be on the road when I moved
in and not perched on a cold hill top. There is still unfinished business in
Tulsa - and I am committed to stay for at least one more year in Tulsa.
Which - I am not sad about - since I just got involved in the DAR here and
am really enjoying that. I'll save more about that for another post!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Now, about the new house

So much has been going on since mid-December. Let me catch you up on things besides snow and cold weather!!

We've moved!

Jeffrey and Amie found a really nice house just east of the University of Tulsa campus and after looking around at other things in the same price, we had to have it. It is just perfect for their family - and a "Mima" suite to boot. I actually was granted the formal living room, dining room and a large bedroom. Quite an upgrade from the RV - ha!!

At some point, the garage and breezeway were converted into a second dining room, large family room and bedroom with half-bath. Jeffrey and Amie elected to claim that as their zone. Attached to all that is a huge utility room, which Amie plans to make into her sewing room and a big covered porch with lots of workbench and shelving which Jeffrey has claimed for his woodworking projects. It is also a great place for the dogs to hang out and be protected. Not only is it covered, but it is enclosed and is almost like a greenhouse.

Here is a picture of my living room before we moved in - and then after. I just love the bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. There is also an enormous "picture window" which gives the room lots of light and was the ideal spot for putting up our Christmas tree (see the after picture).



And, check out the adorable Vintage chandelier in my dining room. I am on the hunt for a cute, old dinette set to complete the area - there are nice corner built-in china cabinets which have been a God-send for extra storage. Between us - we have quite a bit of crystal and my "blue and white" china pieces to store and display. I have loved Delft and Blue Onion pieces for years and so many friends and family have helped add to my collection. Actually, any old blue and white porcelain is great. I found the most wonderful "chocolate cup" at a flea market in York a few years back. I don't know how old it is, but it is older than I am, for sure!!

Now, what's next. Oh yes - Jeffrey and I both are looking for work. Pray that we find something that's right for each of us very soon. And, pray for us to survive the upcoming seriously cold weather - and that no pipes in our dear, old house are affected. We are keeping the faucets dripping - it was a balmy 23 degrees today and highs in the low teens later this week. Send warm thoughts our way!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Plan B is Better

OK - full-time RV living in a cold climate is not for me. Had I headed south, I probably could have done it - I didn't mine the cozy space, and the dog, two cats and I were doing ok, except for one tiny thing. Enter - the worst winter in a decade in NE Oklahoma!

Exhibit A: Record setting snowfall on Christmas Eve.

Thank goodness I had already moved into this cute house with my son and his family two days earlier. Since the picture was taken we have barely had a day above freezing, so the snow has not melted off too much. The main streets are clear, but some of the neighborhood streets are still a mess. We had a little dusting of snow last night - but not much to worry about. Over the past 10 days what melted during the day refroze at night to become rock-hard ice - such fun for walking on!!

Exhibit B: Having fun on Christmas day taking a walk in a "Winter Wonderland" with my granddaughter, Mathilda. This was by far the "whitest" Christmas we have ever had together.

Several days after Christmas were spent in getting the last of all our belongings out of the Jenks house and into the Tulsa house. All that is behind us now and we started the new year with a new house and a new attitude!! Closed on the Jenks house on 12/30, so I no longer have that to worry about. Thank you, God - you worked it all out all for my good, just like you always do.

On New Year's Eve, the kiddos and I decided to go over to Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow and check out their Christmas lights display - they really do go all out each year with the whole campus in a beautiful display. This year, they had added an entire section synchronized to Christmas carols and other music - and it was fascinating to see the various sections lighting and turning off in time with the music - I just love that stuff. There was still a lot of snow and ice on the ground and after about 20 minutes we were all ready to get back in the car with the heat - 24 degrees feel very cold in short order when you are out in it!

Sorry, the pictures don't do justice to the beauty of the Rhema Lights - if you are ever in the Tulsa area around December you should check it out for yourself!

Mathilda had to return to Texas yesterday, and that is always tough - she is just such a joy to be with and she is growing up so fast. She and Michael were my very wonderful helpers during the move - thank you, Kiddos - I couldn't have done it without your help and love.

So - tomorrow is the first week of a new year and a new decade. Stay tuned - I want this to be a wonderful year. I want to give more of myself to others, be less selfish and less of a couch potato. I want to be kinder, gentler and more at peace. Through the Grace of God through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I will be more than a conqueror!!

One final note - How about those Gators - what a win in the Sugar Bowl - and what a great last game for our wonderful seniors, and especially Tim Tebow. God Bless Tim and Coach Meyer and the whole Gator Nation in 2010!! Go Gators!!