Monthly Archives: June 2015

Lake Love

IMG_1189Grand Lake holds a special place in my heart.  Dad’s parents had a home there for most of my childhood, and my memories of summers spent there are…magical. We’re talking back steps framed by huge Dahlias, the smell of freshly turned garden soil, the taste of home grown…everything, and the glint of sunlight on the water as I studied my Grandpa Bill’s fishing skills and tried to whistle through my front teeth just like he did.  Although my grandparents are gone now, Dad and his brothers and sisters rent a place there every summer.  There’s lots of laughing, talking and my God the food…well, we like to eat.  I’ll just say that much.

2015-06-21 08.17.12Last weekend we all got together for our long weekend, and Grandma Audrey and Grandpa Bill always seem to hover a bit closer these weekends.  I always get a little nostalgic when the lake weekend approaches, and this year my grandparents felt especially close. As I made my shopping lists and gathered my stuff, I suddenly got an urge for grape soda.  I don’t think I’ve tasted a grape soda that didn’t come out of my grandfather’s “pop fridge”.  My cousin’s little ones were very excited by the grape soda I brought, lots of “oohs” and “aahs” over the stuff.  A craving for strawberry shortcake overwhelmed me, and although my store bought strawberries were ripe and sweet, they still didn’t compare to the ones that came out of my grandmother’s garden in the back yard. (as opposed to the one in the lot across the street.  That one was Grandpa’s.)

I’ve visited Grand Lake (officially known as Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees) with other people, but it was never quite the same on those trips.  There weren’t any pickles Grandma Audrey made, there was no driveway lined 2015-06-21 09.34.53with flowers, and Grandpa Bill’s homemade ice cream was no where to be found. (Can you tell?  My family REALLY likes food!)

I learned a lot on that lake growing up.  My cousin taught me what firecrackers in an old metal coffee can sounded like; Dad taught me how to tell a really good scary story; and my Uncles showed me that sometimes it is better just to jump on in…even if the water is freezing.  I caught my first fish on that lake; dropped an expensive fishing pole to the bottom of it; learned to dive off my dad’s shoulders; watched Grandma make noodles (I haven’t figured that one out yet), helped teach (and I use that term VERY loosely) my cousin how to swim; caught fireflies; tried to lean how to grow things (my sister is MUCH better at that than I am); watched my mother run from a raccoon; and we laughed…a lot.

For me Grand Lake is filled with happy memories and love, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  We’re making new memories on the lake now, and Spider-Man-like leaps, fish kisses, and my first experience with home-brewed whiskey are just a few (the whiskey was great…the morning after, not so much).  My sister’s strawberry preserves and homemade pickles are showstoppers, a new generation is learning how to fish, and we’re still laughing.  Fortunately, some things never change.

‘Til next time,

Where’s My Grammar Police Badge?

solecismI lovingly refer to my mother as the Comma Queen.  She’s my proofreader extraordinaire, when I can contract use of her services.  She is in very high demand, you know.

Making my own grammatical blunders always makes me cringe.  However, it happens. Sometimes, I know it before the words ever trip off my tongue, but I am unable to stop it.  Sometimes, I do it on purpose to drive someone crazy…what?  It can be fun!

‘Til next time,


I Dreamed Of…


How would you finish that sentence?  do you remember your dreams?  Do you dream in color?

Lately, my dreams have been crazy.  Crazy! Like sentenced to death row for saving someone’s life crazy.  Yeah, that makes for restful sleep. (Where is that damned sarcasm font when I need it!)

‘Til next time,


Wordy Thursday

meara - Irish %22sea%22There’s a Pin out there somewhere in Pinterest-land that reads, “Don’t underestimate the seductive power of a decent vocabulary”. Oh, so true!  I’ve been thinking about Ireland lately.  Maybe it is because I want to go Ireland, like now; maybe I just want to get away for a few days; and maybe it is because Flogging Molly is Irish and I’m still thinking about their show.  Whatever the reason, when I came across meara, the Irish word for “sea”, I knew this had to be my next Wordy Thursday post.

Dingo Ate My Baby Crazy

Life has been interesting the last few weeks (and the next few promise to be as well).  First of all, I’m still searching for signs of possession in my car.  I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to trust it again.  There was a fantastic weekend of Flogging Molly and Greek food (there is an upcoming post with recipes. I promise).  This week I’m getting a new roof and discussing the ever fascinating (and unstressful) topic of financial aid.   Next week a new garage door and going to a family reunion. Wait, did I mention the snakes?  There are snakes in my front yard.  I think three of them.  One of them dropped from a weed I pulled and fell in my lap.  I dislike snakes.  The kids next door are now much more fluent in creative cursing.

I’ve never had my roof worked on before.  Have you?  I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  They said the roofers would arrive on Tuesday morning between 7:00am and 9:00am to begin work.  They were here promptly to load the materials on top of my house.  Then they left without a word.  (I was actually okay with this due to a migraine.)

This morning, I started having the strangest dream though.  In my dream, there is a giant Space Monkey.  He’s got a space suit, giant fangs and red eyes.  Generally, I like monkeys…unless they’re trying to rip my roof off to get into my house.  My confusion began when the sounds didn’t stop when I woke up.

Eventually, I realized the roof really was being torn off…by people I was paying for the priviledge.  They started work at about 6:30am.  Not a bad plan considering the heat index for the day promised to reach nearly triple digits.  However, I wasn’t prepared.  Nor was I ready to meet a strange man in my backyard when I opened the door to let the dog out. He got a nice view of my pajamas.  I’m sure it made his day, with all the wild medusa hair and everything.

We’ve talked about my neurotic dog before, right?  Oh yeah, chock full of neurosis.  Of course, he refused to believe that it was okay to set foot outside the house that sounded like a space monkey was ripping…okay, from a dog kind of view, I can get that one.  If it sounds that bad from inside it must be much worse out there.  I did not have the energy or the time to fight him on this one.  Dexter did go outside, because the two-legged people are in charge.  However, once there I could make him do…nothing.  Eventually, I was forced to just put him in his kennel and start my day.

My migraine hungover body took my space monkey stalked mind to work.  The day was…okay.  Not bad, but didn’t have very many redeeming qualities. I briefly considered a meal at Kilkenny’s including a nice cold beer, but I ditched that notion.  I’m sure the dog was crossing his little puppy legs, begging to go out.

Ah yes…the dog.  Apparently, roofers are not his favorite people.  Who knew?  I wondered why the table in the living room was knocked over, but I thought maybe the vibrations from the roofers knocked it over.  It was pressed pretty tightly to an exterior wall, and it is a tiny table.  Then I walked into my office…

I was less than thrilled.  See the golden blur at the bottom of the pic?  That’s the Jerky Dogface trying to tell me how happy he is that I’m home to protect him from giant Space Monkeys…and make up for the fact that he knows.  He knows he’s in trouble for the…destruction.  I scratched behind his ears; searched for obvious injuries; checked to see the new(ish) Mac still actually worked and the screen wasn’t shattered; and went to change clothes to start the clean-up.  That’s when I discovered the closet, the back of the couch, and, frankly, I’m afraid to check out the guest room.

Dexter really doesn’t like roofers.  I can’t be too mad at the Jerky Dogface.  Who can blame him for being scared?  I left him alone with some incredibly weird noises going on.  I’m a bad dog parent.  I should have planned better and taken him…elsewhere for the day.  Next time, I’ll plan ahead. Although, it kills me that all this destruction took place so he could create a new den six inches to the right of his kennel.  Six inches! (Okay, Jessica, breathe.)

The financial aid discussion got postponed, a call was made to my Camp Bow Wow about day camp tomorrow (because I really have no idea if they’ll be back), and clean up began…with the help of some Jameson’s.  Jameson’s was definitely a necessity.

My week may not be getting less stressful, but…well, what’s life with out a little stress?  I’m looking for a bright side here people.  The snakes can keep the front yard.  That is the least of my worries at this point.  Also, I need a new kennel, possibly a trip to the vet…and another bottle of whiskey.  This one is about tapped.  God help the Space Monkey that attacks my house tonight!
‘Til next time,


Cain’s Ballroom Is Calling My Name Again

You already know I have an…enthusiasm for music, especially of  the live variety. My favorite Tulsa venue is still the historic Cain’s Ballroom ( Alabama Shakes and Seether were the last two shows I saw there.).  Saturday we saw Flogging Molly and Radkey.  I purchased these tickets back in February, as soon as they went on sale, and I’m glad I did because the concert sold out.

I like Cain’s because there’s a sense of immediacy and intimacy in performances at Cain’s that you just don’t get at the larger venues.  My experience has been that there is also an enhanced sense of camaraderie with fellow concert-goers that I haven’t found elsewhere (well, maybe a couple of festivals).

My comrades in music showed up wearing a lot of Flogging Molly t-shirts (of course), Dropkick Murphy shirts, and there were kilts. Surprising, since the band isn’t Scottish, but I’m always happy to see a well-built man in a kilt!


Radkey5 6-6-15

As soon as Radkey’s set began, I was hooked.  Lots of energy, high-intensity, and fun.  The geeky t-shirts and references to Netflix’s Daredevil (which I loved, by the way) made me feel a bit like Captain America in The Avengers, “I understood that reference!”  None of that would have mattered though if it weren’t for the amazing original music which paired well with Flogging Molly’s unique flavor.

My only complaint is that a lot of us had no idea what the name of the band was after their set ended.  I know I asked several people in line for drinks if they knew who the opener was.  They were great, and I definitely wanted to hear more from them.  Thank goodness for Flogging Molly’s own Dave King, who seemed just as excited as the rest of us. He not only gave the band the recognition they were due and the audience was craving, but he also commented that he’d love to play with them again.

Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly5 6-6-15Now, I get pretty excited about my music, I’ll admit.  Losing my voice at a concert isn’t an unexpected event for anyone who has…well, anyone who has ever been to a concert with me.  My husky, nearly non-exsistant voice never stops me from attempting to sing along, shout at fellow concert goers to be heard or talk about the show incessantly for days on end.  Of course, Flogging Molly was no exception.  I’d been listening to their albums for days (possibly weeks) because I was so excited about this show, and this went even beyond my expectations of a great show.  This was jumping around the floor, singing at the top of my lungs, clapping until my hands were sore the next day kind of a show.

They definitely earned a place on the I-will-always-see-them-when-they’re-in-town list.  That list is really short, just two bands…who are nothing alike. Zac Brown Band and Flogging Molly…have I mentioned I have eclectic taste in music?

Who will you always see live when they come to town?

‘Til next time,


P.S. Today, June 9, 2015 Ben Harper is playing there and then, then on June 14th Ben Folds is playing…I’m just saying, I could go watch live music every day this summer and be a happy woman…of course that requires money for tickets.  Boo!

Happiness v. Contentment

Tonight, on my way home, I pondered the difference between “happiness” and “contentment”.  For me, this is kind of a big deal.  My wishes on falling stars, birthday cake candles, etc. have almost always been a wish for happiness.  I guess it stems from the “happily ever after” in all the stories and fairy tales.   Happiness always seemed like a goal to be conquered, a state of being, and ultimate pinnacle of achievement.  You’ll not often get this out of me, so enjoy it while you can, but I think I was wrong.

Catskills Fireflies by s58y via Flickr

My day today has been filled with a lot of happiness.  The sun shining on my face as I wove through town, the warm (but not too warm) breeze ruffling my hair, the wave of music pouring from the speakers of my car.  This all made me happy.  Happy enough to want it to continue by blowing off the things I should do to meet friends for a $4 burger special and a beer at a local pub. (for the record, the happiness started BEFORE the beer)  Laughing and enjoying their company, I was happy.  Writing this now (well, 20 minutes ago) on my back porch with the light of citronella candles and a twilight glow, I’m happy.  The lightning bugs are flitting about the back yard, the grass is mowed (finally!) and my dog is nudging his cold wet nose on the inside of my arm for attention.  Life doesn’t get a whole lot better than this.

Contentment is a different.  I keep thinking about Zac Brown Band’s “Homegrown”.  They have a line “I have everything I need, and nothing that I don’t.”  Finding that line between need and want is sometimes really easy.  I need to get from point A to point B.  I want to do it in a car with leather seats, a sun roof and a kicking stereo system. If only it were that easy all the time.  I worry about dismissing all the great things I have in my life in favor of chasing after something I don’t have.  Is it something that I need or only something I want?  What pushes it over from want into need? How do I tell the difference?

Maybe it is time to wish for something different.  Happiness is everywhere I look, as long as I’m looking.  The Universe has given me the gift of seeing all the things out there that make me happy.  It is ephemeral, fleeting and shifts away the harder I try to hold on to it, but it is everywhere.  Happiness can be found in all the tiny things that bestow joy on my life each and every day.  I don’t need to wish upon a star to find happiness, it was there all along.

Do you struggle with this too?  How do you figure out if something is a “want” or a “need”?  Help me out here.

‘Til next time,