Family…the good, the bad and the craziness!

by Ann
My sisters and I hosted a small celebratory dinner for Dad for his 86th birthday, with most of his immediate family and a couple of his friends, in attendance. Like most families, we have the jokester, the tormentor, and the usual sarcasm. We know each other’s secrets and some other things, too. We get along then we don’t. We love each other, but could annihilate with a glance or an admission, as in. “I recall, when thus and so happened.” Some get along well, some better than others and some don’t get along well at all. Some are jealous, some arrogant, some too sweet and kind. Some honest and some manipulative, as they listen and observe what’s happening then lay in wait to use it to their advantage, or to laugh, or jab about it at a later date.

Some think eating at McDonald’s is the greatest, while others never eat fast food and everyone thinks that they are right. Some drink a lot and others not much. And pictures can be deceiving… as the one holding two wine bottles doesn’t indulge much at all.

Some are happy. Some are genuine and some are fake. Some are silly, some are serious and most are a mix of everything depending on their mood. Some will be angry that I put this on the internet. Others will think it’s cool! Pretty much the typical family!

And we have a former, Bishop of Oklahoma, to bless it all! Through it all and in spite of everything, there is the connection of love. We are family! Family is the backbone of America. Not the government, but FAMILY. Those with it have a strength and support and don’t have the need to lean on others. Thank you Dad for being our impervious leader. 

Happy Birthday Dad!!! 

I love you very much!

Dad with his four daughters…

“We are family! I’ve got all my sisters with me!”

Debbie did the work. We all just showed up!

Just when I thought it couldn’t get more stupid!

By Ann

It does. Not just stupid, but scary stupid! A male ‘acquaintance ‘ sends me a joke by email. A bit of background on this man. His wife left him. He still cares for her and realizes that he did many things that caused the downfall of their marriage. (at least, that’s a beginning to his awareness, you’d think so, huh?)
                                                                                                             Laughing : Surprise - A very surprised man- Close-up of a young man looking very surprised.
Then he sends this ‘joke’ to a woman like me.     

The joke:

A New Zealander walks into the bedroom with a sheep on a leash and says…
 “Honey, this is the cow I make love to when you have a headache.”
The wife, lying in the bed reading a book, looks up and says,
 “If you weren’t such an idiot, you’d know that’s a sheep, not a cow.”
The guy replies,
“If you weren’t such a presumptuous bitch, you’d realize I was talking to the sheep.”

SO! Where do I start? It’s an old joke – an insulting joke – a sexist joke – a crude and a crass joke.

And one better left told amongst men, while in a group, playing golf,  at some sporting event, or in the locker room, or while chewing the fat and drinking together…

And this man sends it to me! Yeah! HA HA!

FEAR! What’s your deepest fear?

By Ann
My fear is to go blind. And recently, I had an eye scare! It felt like I had something in one of my eyes, all the time. And I was seeing out of the corner of that eye a kind of a web like mess. It felt like a piece of my hair from my bangs was in my eye, but I would check and brush my hair back and the feeling was still there. I cleansed my eye, rinsed it out. Looked into it with a magnifying mirror and went without eye make-up. Then the feeling would come and go. I was beginning to FREAK OUT! My eye! My eyes! Not my eyes!

I told all my friends and asked their opinions. They all had suggestions and had experienced similar things. And they comforted me telling me that it was probably nothing…

BUT!  it wasn’t going away.  My eyes! My eyes! My fear is to go blind! I love to read, I love to write! Oh no, not my eyes!

I scheduled an eye exam with my doctor, hadn’t had an eye check up in about two years.

At the examination, I shared with Dr. Brooks, my fear of going blind. While examining me, she told me that her fear was flying.
I said well, imagine how you’d feel getting on an airplane because that is how I feel right now. My stomach hurts. I feel sick and calmy… I…

Dr. Brooks: I don’t get on an airplane anymore. I just won’t! I will check your eyes out thoroughly. Just relax.

Easy for her to say! 

After the examination and all the tests, the result is that I have a floater. It looks to Dr. Brooks like it’s detached which is good. Other than that my eyes are very healthy.

WHEW! Thank you GOD!!! I go back in a month for a follow up….

So, I have revealed my scary, deadly fear and Dr. Brooks revealed hers. What is yours? We all have them.

FEAR is not an enemy. It can be our friend. It warns us when we need to act, change directions, check something out, or maybe, just run away from something or someone. FEAR is a normal reaction and it’s instinctual.

If we act, address, confront, or figure it out, then the FEAR is released as the action, we take or information gleaned creates awareness to understanding.

Deny your FEARS and you deny a piece of yourself. Of course, it’s wise, not to let fear paralyze us, or to make us paranoid, or to make us sick from worry. Worry can be fear’s partner in crime.

Address your fear in every way possible then you are more able to release it. Admitting fears can be the first step to dissipating them.

So, what is your FEAR? Are you brave enough to admit it to yourself and to share it? 

Oklahoma, Texas, Tornado, 911

Labor Day was visiting with my beloved Dad in Tulsa, Ok. Then relaxing with a friend, munching salad and shrimp and sipping beer, at Southern Hills Country Club.  A cozy, safe and wonderful world!

The next day, it was lunch at Diamond Jack’s, for a drip beef sandwich. I crave these, at times, and have eaten there for decades.

That evening, it was the new Wolfgang Puck’s Bistro on Peoria, for dessert and Mojitas.
The next day, after visiting with friends, and before my drive back to Texas  even though, I knew that it would make my four hour drive back to Texas, start a bit late, I just had to go to Goldie’s Patio Grill for one of the best burgers ever!
  It was days and nights of visiting and eating. What could be better? Not much!

It was raining cats and dogs (as my mother used to say) as I headed out of Tulsa and back to Texas. I called my Dad to see if he had heard of any bad weather and he hadn’t. He said just lots of rain and to be careful.

So, off I go. It rains and it rains harder. The rains stops. It rains again. I drive, rocking out to my Meatloaf CD, “Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are.”, and making good time as I travel.  I am so looking forward to getting home and out of this down pour. I really don’t like driving in the rain, never did, and never will.

Outside Durant, Ok. traffic slowed to a crawl. It was raining so hard that I could barely see, even with the windshield wipers flying across the windshield, at rapid pace. I am walled in by large trucks as we crawl along. Something is not right. Something is really off! Too slow and the back up looks like it goes on forever! 

I lower my window to get the attention of a truck driver. “Hey, do you know what’s going on?” His reply. “Power lines are down on 75.” (I know, Amy. I should’ve asked, “Dude, can I snap your photo for my blog?” But, I didn’t. My mind was elsewhere.)

We crawl along going next to nowhere. Police cars appear on the other side of the road. Up ahead, a policeman stands in the middle of the street. I ponder, ‘Okay! What to do? What to do?‘ My mind flashes to that traffic jam in China that could last for months. Okay! Enough already! I’m getting out of this mess!

I dial 911 and tell them where I am and inquire as to what’s going on. The operator informs. “A tornado hit on 75 just outside of Durant. It flipped over a semi-truck and power lines are down. It T-RF-05could take up to 3 hours to get the road clear.”

Me to 911: “Are there more tornadoes around??? I didn’t even realize that there was a tornado watch.”
911 Operator: “No, it swooped down, just in that spot, as far as we can tell, for now. Total surprise!”

Oh my gosh! A Tornado! Three hours!???!!!! Three hours sitting in my car on this highway in the rain!

We all just wait. It’s so dreary! I feel dwarfed and alone in my Jaquar surrounded by trucks and the rain comes down harder! I am getting hungry. Sure, wish I had another burger from Goldies. I call 911 again. There must be a back way out or some way to get off this road and back on my way?!

Me to 911: “Ma’am I am trying to get to Plano. I am stuck on 75 just outside of Durant. Any idea about what I can or should do?”

911 Operator: “Get over to the access road and go down to the road named, Platter, then turn right and head West, then turn left and head towards Plano. It’d be better than just sitting there.”

Me to 911: “That’s for sure. Okay, I’ll give it a try.”

Anything (I think?) is better than just sitting and waiting in the pouring rain. I wave to get the attention of a truck driver. He let’s me through and over to the access road. Truck drivers are usually nice people.

I head down the access road in the blinding rain. ‘Umm, why hasn’t anyone else thought to do this? Ummm… this is bizarre. Is this dangerous?! Was this wise?! Okay, God take care of me and guide me. This feels a bit freaky.’

Then up ahead, I see policemen. I stop and holler out the window as rain slams into my face. “I am trying to get to Plano!?” 

He directs me to turn right then to head West on an empty backroad. I do and it RAINS HARDER!

There is one other car in front of me as I travel the desolate road and wonder, ‘Where in the world am I going?’

I ponder…How fast can one go from indulgent eating in cozy environments with friends to alone driving in the pouring rain not knowing where you are. Cozy to survival can happen really fast! Okay God, please, guide and protect me.’

Then up ahead I see policemen, fire trucks and ambulances, at an intersection. I holler out my window. “I am trying to get to PlaJaguar X-Type 2008no!” He motions to turn left.

I do and it’s onto an even more desolate road. Oh, my gosh! I am the only one driving on this road in this down pour!

My phone rings and it’s a friend in Dallas. “Tornadoes are hitting down in Dallas and there’s flooding in Arlington.”

I tell her what I am dealing with and where I am.

“Ann, Be careful! The weather is crazy today! I will pray for you.”

We stay on the phone talking (I know real stupid to drive and talk on the phone) until, I see more policemen and holler out my window again as the rain assaults my face. “I’m trying to get to Plano!”

He motions to turn left. “Just up ahead, you will connect to 75.”

Hooray! Back on 75, there are few cars, the others must be back there still waiting. LUCKY ME! I was guided out and around. Whoo! HOO!
I am once again rocking out to rockn’ roll as the rain clears and I am back on my path!

Meat Loaf performs at the Celebrity Theatre Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010 in Phoenix.

Like a bat out of hell!

Bat out of Hell II: Back into HellAint no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed
Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed

Aint no doubt about it
Baby got to go and shout it
Aint no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed

Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed

What an adventure! The road less traveled got me home faster. It was a bit scary, I was alone, but I took it anyway! Of course, I was never really alone, I had guidance from both above and below.
Once again, I am back in my cozy world! Thank you 911, Meatloaf (singing to his CD’s), friends, Dad, truck drivers, policemen, and of course, God! I hope that everyone else in that adventure made it home safe and sound!
When I got home and settled, I indulged in one of my favorite treats!

Primavera, I know that wine’s involved and pasta, too!

By Ann

Saturday Night Special! Easy, quick and delicious!


Spinach noodles
Crisp Bacon
Black olives
Green olives
Articoke hearts
frozen peas
Cherry tomatoes
Cream Havarti cheese (several slices)
Parmesian Cheese
Splash of lemon juice
Garlic Salt
White Wine (I like Sauvignon Blanc)
Olive Oil
Brummel and Brown Natural Yogurt Butter (50% less calories as butter and taste fab)
Salt and Pepper to taste

To begin, put five slices of center cut bacon on a papertowel, then into the microwave for five minutes. I don’t use a microwave often, but for crispy bacon, it’s the best and the papertowels absorb the grease. Perfection!
I love bacon and if prepared this way, you lose the negative aspects and keep the positive. I think bacon gets a bad ‘rap’ and I love things wrapped in bacon… such as shrimp…

Next, saute all the vegetables in the Brummel and Brown yogurt butter, add the splash of lemon juice, along with about a glass of white wine, and garlic salt to taste and parsley. Simmer while you continue preparation, taking sips of wine and nibbling cheese and olives as you go. Prepare the frozen peas in microwave as directed on the package, then pour into bowl and mix with butter, add salt and pepper to taste.  Now, that I think about it, I do use the microwave several times in preparation of this dish.
Boil water, add olive oil and salt then add spinach noodles. Boil three to five minutes, making sure not to over cook.

When noodles are al dente, drain. Then in a large bowl combine the noodles and vegetables including the peas. Add a bit more garlic salt, parsley, and also more wine and butter and a generous sprinkling of Parmesian Cheese. Toss then place pieces of Havarti cheese on top.  Place the bowl in the microwave for a minute to a minute and a half, until the Havarti is melted. 
Crumble the crisp bacon strips then sprinkle on top.
And dinner is ready! Serves two generously…

You can obviously do your own variations by adding different veggies or ham, instead of bacon, or in addition to bacon. Bacon adds that extra crunchy, salty yum! Of course, instead of spinach noodles, you can use other pastas. I like spinach because, you don’t get that ‘after eating pasta’ fullness.

One of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs is Edna Valley Vineyard. It has vibrant aromas and flavors of grapefruit, guava and peach with a crisp appealing acidity, full bodied and a long finish. Perfect for light pasta dishes, chicken and fish. Clos Du Bois also makes a good, Sauvignon Blanc. 

For dessert, may I suggest, pieces of chocolate accompanied by orange slices.

A perfect Saturday evening meal! Enjoy!!!
or any day of the week actually….

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What Secrets Does Your Man Keep?

by Ann

Continued from OUR WORLD PAGE…

Does your man keep secrets from you? And are they light secrets or serious, dark ones?

What are the secrets that men keep? What secrets might your man be keeping from you???? And if you don’t think that he keeps any secrets, well, think again…

Any idea???? HUH?

On Our World page is a related article to get your mind going, if you can’t think of anything…

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Are you a Man Eater?

Signs You’re a Man-Eater  

Spotting a player is one thing, but knowing that you’re a player is an entirely different thing altogether. There are several levels of players, with the man-eater being the upper echelon for women. If you’re curious as to whether you’re a mini-player or full blown man-eater, read the seven descriptors below. If you’re guilty of one or two of these actions, you’ve probably played the field, but haven’t rocked the love boat too bad. If you identify with five or more of these descriptions, there’s a good chance that you’re a mom’s worst nightmare, and probably also your own!

1. You Use Sex as a Weapon Against Guys

Man-eaters use whatever they have to gain leverage against guys, and one of their most valuable assets… is free sex. Whether it’s holding the possibility of sex over a guy to get your way, or using your three greatest sexual assets (legs, midriff, and cleavage) to get attention, the man-eater knows what she’s got, and isn’t afraid to use it. You aren’t necessarily looking for sex, but using it as bait to lure your next victim (or ex) into your clutches.

2. You Have a String of Exes You Still Sleep With

Since the majority of your relationships are most likely non-committed (whether he knows it or not), when a relationship ends, you will be neither too upset or poised to do what’s right by him. This is why you’ll usually find yourself stuck among a long string of exes that continue to call long after the break-up. Considering you like the attention and convenience of having a built-in booty-call roster, you’ll usually let them hang around awhile as long as they know their place, and allow you to stay in control.

3. Your Life is One Big Secret

Nobody wants to be labeled a player, so in order to stay in the game it’s essential to keep as low profile as possible. To accomplish this, you may find yourself lying on a regular basis to cover up the fact that you’re dating several guys at once. You may avoid hook-ups in the broad daylight or public places to minimize the possibility of your guys running into each other. Man-eaters tell guys what they want to hear, rather than dealing with the truth, which would only cramp their style.

4. It’s Difficult to Nail You Down to Plans

The man-eater is difficult to pin down because you live life waiting for the next best thing. You prefer to make last minute plans. You do not offer commitment to anything, even if it’s only for one date. This roller coaster ride often works to your advantage, as while he may be disappointed when you stand him up (roller coaster low), he will be all the more happy when you do actually come through (roller coaster high).

5. You Avoid All Major Events

Family reunions, birthdays, and weddings are difficult for the man-eater, as it means being cast under the watchful eyes of relatives. Whether it’s showing up to your own functions or being slipped under the microscope of his, you avoid these major events, preferring to keep distance from anything that might label you a “couple.” If he’s always reaching out to you and you never reciprocate, you’re probably not into him, but are enjoying the attention too much to let him go.

6. You Avoid All Talks About the Relationship

The man-eater knows the best way to string multiple guys along, is to keep the relationship a mystery. While deep conversations are pertinent to building a solid relationship foundation, you are not concerned about a good relationship, but just having fun. After all, it is these very conversations that promote deep feelings and understanding, which is something you’ll want to avoid. Guys that get too attached, become more trouble than their worth once cast into ex-status.

7. Can’t Remember the Last Time You Did Something Nice for a Guy

Man-eaters are selfish. You’ve become so accustomed to accepting gifts of kindness, you’ve forgot how to return them. If you do go out of your way to make a guy happy, there is most likely a motive. More times than not, he will fail to show his appreciation in the way you imagined, and he’ll be cast off the love boat. The guy who does reciprocate appropriately will grow boring, as it’s hard to respect a guy who’s a door mat. In other words, these guys will all fail no matter what they do.

If this sounds like you, stop, drop, and roll, as you are headed in the direction of a very burned and rocky life!

This must be a very empty existence.
And of course, all these behaviors can apply to Males and they might be called what?… Woman Haters?
by Ann


by Ann

FRUSTRATION – a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.
 Feeling frustrated long enough and the emotion of anger
 occurs. If anger is left to fester it may bubble into aggression.

Feelings create emotions… Anger : Couple arguing. Stock Photo

 can have many physical and mental consequences.The external expression of anger is shown by facial expressions, body language, physiological responses, and at times,even in public acts of agression. The internal effects of anger include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline.

Anger is a completely normal and a healthy expression of an emotion. Except, when it gets out of control and turns destructive, then, it may lead to problems – at work, in personal relationships, and in the overall quality of life. And it can feel as though you are at the mercy of an unpredictable and over-powering emotion.

ANGER is important to feel when it serves as a reaction that can be a protection when others try to dominate, manipulate or abuse and it can motivate us to take action. But it’s important to release anger in constructive ways. Otherwise, you’ll be like a pot of boiling water with the lid left on. If the steam doesn’t escape, the water will finally boil over and blow its top! When this happens to you, it’s no fun for anyone. And anger can turn into abuse of self and of others. 

Constructive ways to diffuse anger: 

THINK IT OUT – analyze, ponder, look at both sides…try to figure out the reason that you are frustrated or angry. Identify it. Pull out of your emotions and into your head.

– to friends, a counselor, each other… sometimes, just talking can release it.

WRITE IT OUT – get paper and just write, or type it out…then read what you have written, it will help you process the feelings and bring about awareness to the cause of the anger.
LET IT OUT – SCREAM! SHOUT!  KNOCK YOURSELF OUT! LOL! Well, not really and just make sure that you are where no one can hear you or that you are anywhere that you might scare someone.

CHANNEL IT OUT – Listen to music, read a book, or poetry, paint, draw or sing… create. 

CHILL OUT – take a nap, watch TV, go to a movie, sip wine, eat a good meal, cook a meal.

WORK IT OUT  – jog, jump rope, exercise, ride your bike, play tennis, move, jump, get out and about. Dance around the house to soothing music  or boogey around the house to the beat of rockin’ roll.  Movement shifts energy.

Doing the things listed above, will shift the energy and bring you into a new perspective. 

We are living in times, where ordinary feelings can move fast into anger. Use common sense and skills to release anger from your body and mind so that you will arrive back at peace and joy.  

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