Thursday, August 28, 2014

Birthday: Part 1

Yesterday was my birthday and Round 1 of the celebrations. David is hosting a party for me Friday night and sent me off on a mission to buy a new dress. I went to Norman and finally found something. I'd much rather shop for books or records, though. 

After I got home we went to Rib Crib for one of our HMA shows, Gambit. My parents joined us there (my dad loves Gambit's music) and my mom brought me a homemade chocolate cake. Yum!

Several friends joined us, including Corinna of Boots Kill Too who surprised me with this beautiful, handmade dream catcher. The picture doesn't do it justice. 

The beautiful #dreamcatcher made specially for me by the talented Corinna of Boots Kill Too

My pretty birthday flowers. The purple roses are from Lisa and Justin; the arrangement in front was from David. 

Birthday flowers

My parents gave me this pretty candle. The colors didn't show up well but the container is a dark purple which goes perfectly in our guest bathroom. 

Pretty candle from my parents #birthday

My friend, Renee gave me this bracelet, ring and mug. I love them!

Bracelet, ring and mug from my friend, Renee #birthday

Lisa and Justin also gave me this adorable antique giraffe and my favorite candy. 

Antique giraffe and favorite candy from Lisa and Justin #birthday

It was a wonderful day and I felt so loved. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

A new tradition...

Last night we began a new tradition - Family Dinner. Our niece, Leslie, recently moved here and she is the one who deserves credit for the idea. And because our definition of "family" is broad we had a few others join us as well. 

David grilled burgers and we all had an enjoyable time eating, talking and mostly laughing. I then suggested a group photo. Isn't this nice?

First weekly Sunday Family Dinner

And then David got in on the action and staged this:

It was quite a party.

Wouldn't that be a lovely family Christmas photo? They are all a bunch of nuts and David is the head squirrel. 

After dinner we enjoyed a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity. It was a wonderful evening and we are already looking forward to next Sunday night. I think I'll make lasagna. 

Staying out of trouble

If it's true that staying busy keeps one out of trouble, David and I are positively angelic these days. Here's just a glimpse of what we've been doing the past week or two:

Pandamonium and the In Between
Pandamonium and The Inbetween

Austin Fisher and Dwight Martin #hmagigs
Austin Fisher and Dwight Martin

It's a beautiful night on the patio. Come see us!
Mandala and Thomas, with guest drummer, Sully

Ashley and Angela at Vintage 22 #hmagigs #livemusic
Ash and Ange at Vintage 22

Moloko Litso at Vintage 22 #hmagigs #oklahomalivemusic
Moloko Litso at Vintage 22

Ada Shakespeare Company @ Ragsdale Conversation Emporium
Ada Shakespeare Company performing at Ragsdale's Conversation Emporium

Brittany and Tessa #livemusic #oklahomalivemusic
Tess and Brittany at Rib Crib

United Way Family Fun Night
United Way Family Fun Night at the park - I helped Ada Homeless Services with the hot dogs.

Rasheed Lowery - this guy is amazing! #livemusic #hmagigs
Rasheed Lowery at Papa Gjorgjo's North

Ash and Ange #hmagigs #livemusic
Ash and Ange on the patio at Papa Gjorgjo's North

Ray Davis and Greg Allen #hmagigs #livemusic
Ray Davis and Greg Allen at Vintage 22

Rock me like a Southbound train #RowdyFolk #hmagigs
Rowdy Folk at The FieldHouse

Church choir rehearsals have started back up as well. And the picture at the top of this post is from the Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails concert we attended last Sunday in Dallas (didn't get home until 4 a.m.!). Oh, and David had his wisdom teeth out Tuesday morning.
This week will be more of the same...PLUS my birthday! Hope you all are doing well and enjoying your summer as much as we are. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

French Friday ~ "Forever Chic" (Chapter 7)

Chapter Seven
Confronting the Closet Conundrum

If chapter length has anything to do with it, clothing ranks right up there with skin care in the list of what it takes to be as chic as a Frenchwoman. How exactly do those Frenchwomen manage to look put together, stylish and yet give the air that it was all effortless? 

First up, and perhaps the most difficult for many of us, is attitude. The typical Frenchwoman exudes confidence. Her posture says, "Hey, I'm me and I look great." No matter what one wears, this alone can make a woman more attractive. This is something I've noticed from all the people watching I do, especially on our trips to New Orleans. I can't tell you how many women I've seen who couldn't exactly be called pretty who still manage to exude a degree of confidence which makes them attractive. 

Now, getting to the specifics about clothing, here are the basics which help Frenchwomen achieve their enviable style:

Quality clothing - Their wardrobe may be relatively small but the foundation is a collection of well-made basics which they will wear for many years. They will save and splurge on that black leather pencil skirt and then continue to wear it for ages. The fact that they keep their weight steady makes this possible. 

Neutrals - French women tend to gravitate toward neutrals for the basis of their wardrobe. Black, navy, gray, brown...these form the the bulk of the Frenchwoman's clothing purchases, particularly those quality pieces she will wear for many years. This also allows her to have a smaller wardrobe. No one is likely to notice if she wears the same black slacks 2 or 3 times a week.

Adding color - Just because she favors neutrals doesn't mean the Frenchwoman totally eschews color in her closet. It's just that color is added judiciously, making sure it complements the neutral base of her wardrobe. A beautiful, emerald green cashmere sweater can add a stunning pop of color in a mostly black and gray clothing collection, for instance. But she is likely to limit colorful pieces to perhaps 15-20%. 

Fit - This is the element I think many American women could use help with. The typical Frenchwoman's clothes fit beautifully and are selected to flatter her feminine curves. Perhaps it's because fashion is such a huge deal in France and women are surrounded with good examples, but they seem to do a much better job in this regard. 

Tish Jett, the author, devotes several pages of this chapter to detailed descriptions of real French women's wardrobes including clothing lists. This is actually pretty helpful and has inspired me to inventory my closet and start making a list of what I'd like to add to it. 


You can read my reviews of previous chapters by clicking on the links below:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A "real" writer

I received my first check for a freelance writing assignment this week and I'm just a wee bit excited about it. I've had things published in the past but this was the first time I got paid for it. I guess that means I really can call myself a writer. Right? Right. 

Here's a picture of the article. You can read it on the Ada Hub website if you are so inclined. This is actually my second published article for the Hub and I have been asked to write additional articles. 


Perhaps this was the kick in the pants I needed to actually pursue writing in a serious manner. Maybe I'll even finish that novel I started so long ago. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just because...

Pretty flowers

David brought these gorgeous flowers home to me a couple of days ago. Just because. They were specially arranged for me by a sweet friend who works at the local florist shop. Aren't those peonies spectacular? And then yesterday my mom bought me some stargazer lilies. Just because. 

I'm a fortunate girl. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Without music...

Without music, 
life would be a mistake.
~Friedrich Nietzsche~

I've got a lot of catching up to do here so fair warning - this post has LOTS of pictures. 

July 1st was our lovely daughter's birthday. A bunch of us went to Vintage 22 for Trivia that night and celebrated with her. I'm usually the photo taker and rarely have any of myself. I figure someday my family might wish they had some of Mom so I asked David to take this one of me with the birthday girl.

My birthday girl
I think you can tell we are related. 

Much of our time these days involves music in one way or another. Our Happyland Music Alliance business has taken off like a rocket. We are pretty excited about the fact that Ada now has a vibrant live music scene. 

Last Thursday Rowdy Folk played at Papa Gjorgjo's. We started on the patio but the mosquitos chased us inside. No worries. These two are pros and they easily switched to an "unplugged" set indoors. 

Rowdy Folk unplugged

The musician who was supposed to play at Vintage 22 the next night became ill so Rowdy Folk filled in. That's one of the great things about "the Alliance" - they all work together and cover one another when necessary. They put on another great show and even had a surprise guest. Josh used to be their drummer until he moved but he was back in town Friday. It was great fun to have the original band back together again. 

Rowdy Folk #oklahomalivemusic #hmagigs

Once in awhile David likes to smoke a cigar. And show off...


Saturday, the following night, two of our bands were playing at The FieldHouse. This was the first official show for Angela and Ashley. They haven't decided on a band name yet but they are amazing.

Ashley and Angela at the FieldHouse #hmagigs #oklahomalivemusic

Then Moloko Litso finished out the night. Always a pleasure to hear these guys. 

Moloko Litso #hmagigs #oklahomalivemusic

We haven't figured out how to clone ourselves yet but it would sure come in handy on those nights we get invited to more than one event. Next up was a birthday party for the guy our niece is now dating. Will has been friends with Chris for years and we are excited that Will and Leslie are together. In fact, she got a job in Ada and is moving here! 

Happy birthday, Will!

The party was still going on but we said our goodbyes around 2 a.m. since we had plans Sunday. We left town around noon and headed for Kansas City. However, we couldn't miss the World Cup finals so we found an English pub in the Tulsa area and watched the game there. 

Watching #WorldCup at an #English pub in Jenks

It was a great place to watch because everyone there was focused on the game and very enthusiastic. Congratulations to Germany!

Serious soccer place to watch.

We stopped in Joplin, Missouri for dinner and finally made it to our hotel in Kansas City around 11 p.m. Yeah, we didn't make very good time. Ha! 

Monday morning David left me in the hotel room and went to his Kansas City location to do some employee training and a few other things. I worked on some things for HMA and a freelance article I was writing. After David got back, we headed out for a quick bite to eat (found a nice little pub with delicious burgers) then to the Starlight Theater, the main reason for this trip. You see, David had bought us tickets to see:

Tower of Power:

Tower of Power at #StarlightTheater #KansasCity


Don't Stop Believin'

It was like a trip back in time to our high school days. So much fun! And despite being July, the temperature in the outdoor venue was actually chilly by the time the night was over. After the concert while I was in the restroom, a couple of women came up to David and asked if he was the bass player in the Steve Miller Band. That isn't the first time he's been mistaken for a musician. It actually happens fairly often...which he just hates (not). A couple of guys asked for his autograph in New Orleans. He asked them who they thought he was. Their response? Foghat. 

It would have been nice to have another day or two in Kansas City but we had to get home. We did, however, eat lunch before we left Tuesday. Kansas City is known for barbecue so we decided that's what we should have. David asked at for a recommendation at the front desk and that is how we ended up at Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue. That's right, Kansas City barbecue at a place called Oklahoma Joe's. We waited about 40 minutes in line but it was worth it. Truly the best ribs I've ever tasted. Turns out Anthony Bourdain considers it one of the "13 Places to Eat Before You Die". One down, twelve to go! 

We ended up eating dinner in Seminole on our way home at a diner called Catfish Roundup. Neither of us had catfish so I can't comment on that but I will say that anyplace which brings you hot fritters the minute you sit down and then freshly baked hot rolls throughout your meal is alright by me. 

The next day Lisa and I did our July grocery shopping in OKC. You can read that post here. Then on Thursday I had a piano lesson and plans for David and I to attend the 4th Annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up At the Movies. I was pleasantly surprised when I had found out it would actually be playing at our local movie theater and had been looking forward to it. However, on my way home from piano I called David only to find out he was rushing home to get some clothes and then heading to Kansas where one of his trucks had been in a roll-over accident. Fortunately the driver was okay but he had to take the emergency response truck up there. And then if that weren't enough, he came up on a serious vehicle accident on his way home. He stopped to help with that. As I drove by I saw him at the back of the ambulance. I rushed home and started packing for him. He ran in, finished packing while I made him a sandwich and then he rushed back out. Poor guy. 

That left me without a date for the show but when Lisa heard that she offered to go with me. What a good daughter. There were only six of us in the theater. Apparently there aren't a lot of Deadheads in Ada. But I really enjoyed the show and was so glad I didn't have to go by myself. I would have but I'm glad I didn't have to. 

David didn't get home until late Friday night and I actually stayed home all day. Amazing. Saturday afternoon we had a nice time chatting with our niece, Leslie, before her trip to California the following day. Then David dropped me off at a bachelorette party for a dear friend. He went out for dinner and then picked me up in time for another HMA show at The FieldHouse. Our newest members shared a show. This is Rasheed Lowery:

Rasheed Lowery #hmagigs #oklahomalivemusic

And Dirty Derringer, along with Dwight Martin on harmonica. They all did great and the place was packed. Word is spreading and people are really starting to come out for our shows. 


I went to church Sunday but just a few minutes before we were ready to go David got a call and had to deal with yet another emergency. This one took him to Lindsay, Oklahoma and then to Oklahoma City to check on the injured driver (he'll be okay). I think it was about 9:30 p.m. when he finally got back home. 

And that is the sort of crazy busy life we are living these days. David just told me he has to go to the city tomorrow to check on the injured driver and bring him some things in the hospital. He asked if I'd like to go along and then we'll go out to dinner up there. Sure, why not? It's not like I have any housework to do. Although I did manage to get my kitchen mopped today so there's that.