Friday, November 08, 2013

Self-Image Experiment

I'm not sure when men came up with "No Shave November" but this is the first year I've heard anything about "No Make-Up November."  Not shaving--for men--doesn't seem like much of a sacrifice.  But to go all month without make-up?  That's just absurd.  Then I started reading what was behind this outrageous idea.  And I decided to try it.  For one day.  Not the whole month, because I don't want people to think I'm dying.

I chose Monday.  A day I wasn't going to the office, but also a day that I wasn't holed up in the security of homebound solitude.  My handy-dandy-man was coming to work on some projects at the house, it was grocery shopping day, banking day and of course work-out day.  The idea is to be confident in who you are...just the way God made you. To know that you are "wonderfully made."  And it saves time--bonus!

It was actually a good experience.  Surprisingly, I wasn't shunned.

And my handyman offered to come back today to work on some other projects I've been putting off.

I have him for the whole day.  And believe me, I am keeping him busy!  I think all women deserve a man who doesn't say, "you want me to do it right now?" every time you mention a home repair.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Checking out the new digs

In the Spring, I shared pics of my tenacious bluebirds that insist on building a nest in the pipe next to my cellar every year.  Sadly, none of the 15+ eggs ever hatched in that incubator.  

So me and the grandkids refurbished an old bird house later in the summer, hoping the bluebirds would find it a more appealing habitat.

I got a few photos of the birds checking out their new digs today.  

Welcome home birdies.

Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm a lazy, lazy blogger...Zzzzzzzz

It's almost September and I've written a total of 16 posts in 2013.


Here's a quick recap of our summer.

Jacob had a great baseball season.

Coached by Dad...

...and Uncle Jeff.


Cruised Alaska


Celebrated a Birthday

Built a Bird House

And successfully completed our first Pinterest DIY project.

Neal moved in--and Jeff moved out.  

Neal left his job of 10 years at JVIC and joined the Willbros Downstream team.  So I've been adjusting to having a live-in husband/grounds keeper/pool boy/ranch hand.  I could get used to this.

Jeff rented an apartment in Tulsa, and I haven't wasted a moment purging the guest house and garage of leftover "stuff."  I've decided it's more satisfying to give away and throw away than to buy and aquire.  Who knew?

Packing tonight for a little vacay in Canada.  Ready to spend some precious time with parents and siblings, kids and grandkids.  Awesome.

Monday, July 15, 2013


These two will not give up.

They insist on building their nest every year in a hole in the pipe next to our cellar.

I've tried convincing them that it gets too hot in that pipe.  I have yet to see a live baby bird emerge.

When we left for Alaska, their were five eggs in the nest.  Neal checked in on them when we returned, and only found one.  By the next afternoon, it too was missing.  (I haven't seen our "king" lately, but I was suspicious.)

A few days later, another egg had appeared.  The next day--two.  And now, once again, we have FIVE eggs in the nest.

 This little momma is determined.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fifteen Ways My Husband and I are Different

The Pioneer Woman threw out this challenge and I'm up for it.

Only fifteen?

Here goes.

1.  He loves living in the of land.  I'm a city girl.  Give me a condo.

2.  He's a country music fan.  Not contemporary country.  Classic Country. (Barf)  I listen to contemporary Christian music.

3.  I'm a "grammar nazi."  He's an Okie.  (No offense.)

4.  Him: Miracle Whip.  Me: Mayo

5.  He's a dog person.  I'm a cat person.

6.  He grew up with all brothers.  I only have sisters.

7.  I could eat chicken 4 or 5 times a week.  He gags on chicken.

8.  Me:  Thick crust.  Him:  Thin & Crispy.

9.  I like a clean and tidy house.  He's Pig Pen from Peanuts.

10.  He wants to "live off the land."  I like Reasors.

11.  I love to read.  He waits for the movie.

12.  I'm always cold.  He's always hot.

13.  Perfect vacation for him:  Hunting or fishing (or both) in the mountains.  Me:  Cottage on the beach, a good book and antique shops nearby.

14.  His TV - ESPN.  My TV - HGTV.

15.  I love technology--the newer the better.  He just started texting this week. (Against his will.)

Married 36 years.  Go figure.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Know Your Snakes

Contrary to popular belief and the good common sense of intelligent city girls everywhere--not all snakes are bad.

The one that decided to take a swim in my pool when I was clearly trying to remove the vacuum, was a bad snake...

...and deserves the 7 bb's it took to it's tell-tale triangular head.  This, my friends, is a Copperhead.  Bad.

The one that greeted me on my front window this afternoon was a good snake...

This one gets the thumbs-up.

Oh.  Hello.

I'm told this is a King Snake.  And I'm told they eat mice and other bad snakes.  (He obviously missed the Copperhead earlier in the week.)  

And apparently baby birds that are nesting in the gutters.
Looks like he swallowed two of them.

 And then decided to hang out on top of my door frame.

Take my advice and come to my back door.

Welcome Friends.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When She's 16, She'll Curse Me For This Post

One of Lauren's favorite things to do at my house is look through the picture boxes.

Specifically, old pictures of Jeff.

She has a secret crush on uncle Jeff.  Not the grown-up uncle Jeff.

The 8-year-old uncle Jeff.

She cradled this one next to her heart.

It's not that weird.  When I was little, I had a crush on my teen-aged cousins, Roger & Larry.  Okay.  Maybe it's a little weird.

Anyway...when she finally took her eyes off her imaginary beau and looked at his brother, she screamed,  "O-M-G!  That looks just like Jacob!"


Monday, May 06, 2013

Car Games with Lauren

Nana. Guess what I'm drawing.

Okay.  What does it start with?



No.  It ends with an "N."

Does it breathe?

No.  It's not an animal and it's not a plant.


It's our President.


No.  Abraham Lincoln.

(I guess that explains the "not breathing" clue.)

Oh.  Are you learning about him in school?

Yes.  He was watching a play in a theater and a man shot him in the head.  And he was our best president.

Yep.  He was a good one.

Spencer looks like him.

Who's Spencer?

A boy in my class.

The girl keeps me laughing!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Triumphs and Heartbreak

This was a killer weekend.

Baseball tournament in Bixby and State Gymnastics Competition in Bartlesville.

It's a beautiful day for baseball.

42 degrees and rain/sleet/hail

The 10:45 game finally kicked off at 1:53. 

I've endured worse.  In March.  In Lincoln, NE.

On the bright side--I finished my book--Sarah's Key--which I highly recommend.  Not quite as good as The Book Thief.  But still quite good.

It was a tough loss.  Bottom of 6th, 2 outs, winning run scores. :(  Jacob was really down on himself for missing a fly ball.  All the boys were down.

Trista and I left before the second game started so we could make the hour and a half drive to the gymnastics meet.  On the way, she got a text that Jacob hit a grand slam! They won that game 12-4.

I'm pretty pumped that gymnastics is an indoor sport.

Presenting....Airborne Athletics!

Clearly, Lauren was not feeling her usual perky self.
You would never guess it by her performance.
 Catching some air.
I think she told me this was a "saché" but I get confused. 

And...the dismount.
She. Is. Awesome.
And I'm getting really good at holding my breath.  Just sayin'.

I thought I video'd her floor exercise.  It was fabulous!  Nailed the back hand-spring with no spotter.  But instead of video-ing, I got a picture of the start...

and the finish...

I'm such a dork.

Her best scores yet = Bars 8.4 - Beam 8.5 - Floor 9.35 - Puked her guts up all over her leo - Vault 8.7
In that order.  I told you she didn't feel good.

2nd Place All-Around

There's that smile.

Conversation in the car:  
Lauren:  Nana, do you know "2 Black Cadillacs"?
Me:  No I don't.
Lauren:  Oh, you just listen to Jesus songs.  Cause you LOVE Jesus.

Well I guess if that's the legacy I leave, I'll be happy with that.  I just hope she sees it in my life as much as in my radio station choice.

Jacob's game today went down just about exactly like the first.  Bottom of 6th, 2 outs, opponents score winning run.  But the weather was a lot more cooperative and the boys need more practice at losing with grace.

Cold. Exhausted. Sore back and butt.  I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

How many ways can you say "redneck"?

This, my friends, constitutes an emergency in the Blevins' household.

An empty pickled quail eggs' jar.

And no reserves in the pantry.

I will try almost any food.  Not pickled quail eggs.  I have to draw the line somewhere.

I will, however, use the jalapeno's left in the jar to top off my nachos. 

But only in an emergency.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Easter 2013

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays.  Very little pressure and prep time, unlike Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And much calmer and less dangerous than 4th of July.  (Fireworks + Boys = Spastic Mom)

This year I had to be reminded the previous Sunday that it was actually one week away. Gone are the days of dying eggs, filling baskets and the obligatory new Easter clothes. So sad.  'Cause I really got into dressing my sons--until they finally dug in and said, "ENOUGH!"

Judging by the 2 missing teeth, I'd say Jeff was about 6.  Never a clothes horse, he would still appease me most of the time.   Like most great photographers I made sure to have the perfect background.  The Zenith console tv, right?  The Hardee's beverage cup. Wait!  We never had the money to eat out.  Oh yeah, I see my dad in the background. That explains it.

So that would make Jeremy about 8.  And apparently the Don Johnson look was in vogue.  He's been very particular about his clothes ever since.  Trista--you can thank me--or blame me--whatever.

I spent Easter weekend with my mate.  On the Gulf Coast.  It was warm. It was relaxing. And he cooked for me when we didn't eat out.  Perfect.

Friday, February 22, 2013

10th Day

Enough already.

I made it 10 days without TV.  That's more than one-fifth of the Lent season.  So maybe I'm four-fifths' failure or maybe I'm one-fifth holier.  But my best friends, Janet & Terry, said I could end it.  And the Bible says, "if two of you on earth agree about anything..."

Okay, I might have taken that a little out of context.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 8

Getting lots done today, because #1: It's my day off.  #2:  It's snowing.  #3:  No TV.

Looks like my camera survived the Coke Zero incident.  Yes! (fist pump)


Hope it's gone tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Not Even Missing TV...Seriously

Nearing the end of Day 7 of my TV fast.  Thirty-nine to go.  Not even watching the news, so if something historical goes down, will someone please clue me in?

Got home last night after a 4-day weekend in Houston.  Lauren has been "patiently" waiting for her turn to go see Papa.  Let me tell ya--everyone should spend 4 days with a 6-year old.  It is both exhausting AND rejuvenating!  Days of exploring and reading and crafts.  Nights of funky dance moves and Nana & Lauren's rendition of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me."  I won't be able to listen to the BeeGees or Temptations again without fond memories of Neal, Lauren and Me dancing in an RV in our pj's.

The Dock

Bald eagles are nesting down the road from the RV Resort.  Last year they tracked them from Sand Springs.  Not kidding.
- Photography by Lauren Blevins

This is how Neal had to eat dinner the first night.  No, she's not sleeping, just snuggling.

Houston has an amazing Museum of Natural Science.

The butterfly sanctuary.

The Chocolate Bar

Kemah Boardwalk:

Of course she wants Papa to ride the carousel with her...

And Nana--the Ferris Wheel (how does she know I have a fear of heights?)

In some ways Lauren is so much like me....and in some ways not-so-much.  She is not shy, and talks pretty much non-stop.  Here's the friend she made at the airport in Houston, fresh back from Disneyworld--Lauren's biggest dream second to being a rock star.

Our flight was delayed a little and we didn't arrive in Tulsa until after 8:30 p.m.  The shuttle to the parking garage was packed, but similar to elevators, no one was talking.  Lauren couldn't stand it and said, "It sure is QUIET in here!"  and proceeded to ask the couple next to us all manner of personal questions.  We all knew each other quite well by the time we got to our cars.

We had a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious weekend.  Jacob, however, is still not speaking to me.