Saturday, May 31, 2008

Disappointing Progress

Our church is divided into "shepherding groups" with an elder (shepherd) for each group. Our group planned a night out last night and several of us trekked a good 45 minutes to an hour to eat at an Amish kitchen. I had been to the same place a couple of years ago and knew what to expect. I warned Neal to dress cool...wear shorts...because they have no electricity, therefore no air conditioning. The lights are actually oil/propane/kerosene? lamps that add to the heat in the room. But worth it to experience life at a slower pace and go back in time. What a shock when we arrived to find they had come a long way, baby, in the last two years. Electricity AND airconditioning (Neal's knees were cold) and two SUV's in their carport. The "Elder" of their little Amish community sat with us two years ago and we grilled him on all of their traditions, rules, peculiar ways. Last night he stood for a few minutes and told us about some miracle oil for sore joints they had for sale--$10 for a 2-oz. bottle, then was interrupted by his CELL PHONE. What!??! You're kiddin' me! The whole experience would have been a complete disappointment except that the food was still as wonderful as ever!

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's a Done Deal

Today we signed the papers, handing over our beloved Tulsa home to the Hendricks. It's the easiest transition we've ever made in buying or selling a house. Basically, Jonathan did all the work. Doesn't hurt that he's a loan officer. We don't have the usual anxiety about strange people living in OUR house. It gives us great peace and comfort in knowing the loving family that will inhabit what was once our home. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have living there. The Hendricks brought a sweet "thank you" gift to the closing today. And I really mean SWEET. A box of chocolates from the famous KoKoa Chocolatiers. Didn't take me long, once in the car, to dive in and sink my teeth into a dark chocolate truffle.
I "borrowed" this photo from one of Jessica's blogs, since my hard drive crash a few months ago obliterated all my photos. I hope they enjoy many years of happiness in this house.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Stop the Madness!

Last night Neal & I attended our nephew's 6th Grade Graduation. Now, just how many graduations must we endure these days? Granted, Kindergarten graduations are kinda cute. But at this rate, by the time they finish college, no one will want to go to these monotonous rituals. Last night's event dragged on for almost two hours, sitting on bleachers in a sauna (aka gymnasium). Our nephew, Hunter, was one of three valedictorians, and gave a short speech--the main reason we attended. Awards were doled out like cupcakes....Masonic Award, American Legion Award, President's Awards, awards for straight A's in 4th, 5th & 6th grades, awards for A's & B's, awards for straight A's in a certain subject throughout 6th grade, service awards, personality awards, etc., etc., etc. I'm sure every student got at least one award. Then a video of each child--baby and present. During the video, the students presented a rose to their parents (how someone getting married?). The principal is moving on next year to another town, another school. So we had to say 'so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.' The school board President as well as both 6th grade teachers had to give long speeches on the greatness of this man and how he will be missed. I think I counted 4 poems written for the occasion. Awards and plaques were presented to Principal the Great. Almost over right? Au contraire! Another video! Interviews with each student saying goodbye to their teachers and fellow students as they move on to "the next chapter in their lives--middle school." Now, this doesn't mean that I won't attend ALL my grandchildren's graduations because you know I'll be there. I may even stay for the cookies and punch.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Signs of Summer

Technically, summer is over a month away, but it's officially summer now at the Blevins' house. This afternoon I went for a dip in the pool, just up to my waist since the water is only 76 degrees. With temperatures soaring into the 90's today, the air conditioner was finally turned on. The herb garden is in full bloom as well as the potted arrangement on our new deck. Hello Summer!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Early Morning Serendipity

Yesterday, I was up at 6:00 to drive to the hospital for my stress test. I'd had a very restless night. We were in Jeremy & Trista's bed, Jacob sleeping between us. Did I mention he inherited his Great Grandpa Smith's restless leg syndrome and his Papa's teeth grinding? Plus, I did not take my sleeping pill, for fear I may have to get up with one of the kids and needed to be able to be alert on cue. Oh yeah, and Neal didn't bring his C-Pap, so he was snoring. I really dreaded the early morning appointment, but was rewarded richly for my effort. As I drove down Highway 97, I could trace the Arkansas River by the heavy fog sitting over it. What a magnificent sight, and at the same time very eery. Then, onto 412 heading east toward Tulsa, the remnants of fog were beginning to lift and hovered over the trees, creating what looked like photo enhancement. As I neared Tulsa, I saw what appeared to be something on fire coming toward me on the opposite side of the highway. Before my very eyes the radiant orange billows of fog dissipated and cleared the way for the sun to rise. It was breathtaking. I don't mean that figuratively. I literally gasped when I saw it, taking my foot off the accelerator and slowing to watch in amazement. In the words of Bruce Almighty (to God), "now you're just showing off."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is There Such a Thing?

I've been in a funk this last week. My stress level is high, my hormones are low, and I can't seem to get enough sleep. I cry often. In April I had an episode that I thought was a heart attack. It began just before my phone call from Neal and he insisted I call Jeremy to come over. Jeremy came, Trista called in a panic, wondering if she should call 911, Kenny & JoAnn arrived shortly thereafter (Trista had called them). The symptoms subsided, but my father-in-law encouraged me to have it checked out. I've also been experiencing periods of "heart fluttering" (probably not the medical term) that Janet thinks are panic attacks. Anyway-----I had an EKG last week that was normal, but the doctor wants me to have a stress test, which will happen on Friday. Last night Neal had the audacity to say "what have you got to be stressed about? live a stress-free life." Grrrrrrr! Is there such a thing? Aren't we all under a lot of stress? When I started listing my stressors out loud, they didn't sound so daunting. Maybe it's just that I've been out of my hormone balancing cream for over a week. Neighbor Susan (Super Alan's wife--what would we do without them?) to the rescue. She happened to have a new bottle at home. Janet also had an extra, which she offered. What kind of Arbonne Consultant doesn't keep a reserve on hand!?!? Hope it starts working soon since we will have the grandkids Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning. Jeremy & Trista will be going to Las Vegas to attend Trista's brother's graduation. Neal has Friday off, which will make it possible for me to keep my appointment for the stress test. Speaking of Jeremy & Trista, here are some of their latest pictures:

Friday, May 02, 2008

Ahhhhh....Life on the Farm

For the past week, I have been doing a lot of work outdoors. Last Saturday, I cleaned out one of the beds and planted tomatoes. Yeah, that's me, Mrs. Farmer Brown. I also pruned the hydrangea and rose bush and pulled a few weeds. Monday I cleaned the dead leaves out of the herb garden (I know, this may be too much for your brain to process) and pulled out some of the sage that's taking over the garden. Yesterday, I dug grass out of the flower bed inside the pool fence to prepare it for planting. Throughout all this digging, weeding, etc., I was constantly alert to the fact that there may be snakes lurking about. Actually, last Saturday, I did see a few (3 or 4) of the small garden variety...more like over-sized worms. After the digging yesterday, my back was screaming for rest, I was hot (it was over 80 degrees) and thirsty. Needing to return a couple of phone calls, I took the phone and a tall glass of ice water to the front porch swing for a little relaxation. Here is what awaited me on the porch by the swing:

Now, I've heard that there are some black snakes that are actually "good" snakes, i.e. non-poisonous, eat rodents and other snakes, etc. I'm hoping someone can tell me if, in fact, these are "good" snakes. The carpenter who is working on my back porch nudged them with a piece of lumber and they didn't strike, so he thinks they're okay. Jeremy and Neal looked at this picture and confirmed my suspicions that they were mating. Oh goody, more little ones on the way.