Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snow Day

A week ago it was 80 degrees and our daffodils started blooming. But this is Oklahoma and the only thing you can count on about the weather is that it will change. Around noon today we had this:

This is the sort of foolishness we are experiencing in Oklahoma today. #snow

And a couple of hours later:

Snowpacolypse 2015

We are supposed to get more tonight and into tomorrow. All the local schools have been cancelled. I am not impressed with winter weather but I'm making the most of it. 

Here is my "nest":

My nest: This is where I read, sip tea, listen to music and meditate. #meditation #tea #library #vinyl

I am reading, playing Trivia Crack, watching episodes of "The Waltons" and drinking copious quantities of Earl Grey. And there's this:



It could be worse. But I am counting the days until Spring.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Thursday, February 05, 2015

February 2015 Grocery Haul (and a dead raccoon)

February grocery haul

My daughter and I hadn't done one of our big grocery shopping trips since November 12th but we finally found time for a trip Tuesday. We couldn't have picked a nicer day for it. It was sunny and around 60 degrees which is just about perfect for a major shopping day. We started out by dropping off several months worth of glass recycling. I hoped no one would notice how much I had and discreetly slip me the contact information for the nearest AA meeting location. 

Then we met up with Lisa's friend, Audrey, for an amazing lunch at Scratch. We all three opted for the pulled pork sandwich on homemade Hawaiian sweet bread. Delicious! We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and didn't actually start our shopping rounds until a bit after 2 p.m. 

We went to six stores plus a final stop at a pet store so I could get a couple of goldfish. Our goldfish, which we had for years, died a couple of years ago and the aquarium has sat empty all this time. I am determined to tackle a bunch of things I have been procrastinating about and that was one of the things on my list. 

Neither of us were hungry for dinner even after all that shopping but Lisa had this absolutely brilliant idea which involved cherry cheese pastries and hot tea at Panera Bread. I like the way that girl thinks.

It was a wonderful day other than our sad collision with a daredevil of a raccoon on our way home. It remains to be seen how much the repair to our bumper will be but I'm fairly certain we came out ahead compared to the raccoon. It was a dark, two lane highway and nowhere to turn around and check on the little guy. When I mentioned this to David he asked me what (in the world!) I thought I could have done about it. I think he envisioned me putting an injured wild animal in the back seat and taking it to a vet. Or perhaps he thought it would turn out something like this. Silly man. I informed him that I wasn't stupid but if the poor thing were lying there suffering I might have tried to find someone nearby to put it out of its misery. He then points out that knocking on people's doors after dark,in the country, and asking if they have a gun might not be such a great plan, either. Whatever. 

So, anyway...here is my grocery haul for February.

 Sprouts:
  • asparagus
  • pineapple
  • fresh green beans
  • mandarin oranges (2 lb. bag)
  • zucchini
  • navel oranges
  • garlic (organic)
  • blackberries (organic)
  • yukon gold potatoes (5 lb. organic)
  • russet potatoes (5 lb. organic)
  • green bell pepper (organic) 
  • red bell pepper (organic)
  • bananas (organic)
  • yellow squash
  • grape tomatoes (organic)
  • cereal (4 boxes and 1 bag)
  • dark chocolate Sun Cups candy (2 with coupon)
  • organic maple syrup
  • English Teatime tea
  • diced green chilies (2 cans)
  • chicken broth (2 cartons organic)
  • coconut milk creamer (2)
  • mini croissants (pkg of 6)
  • Seventh Generation dishwasher tablets
  • glass cleaner
  • bag of ice
  • oven fries (organic)
  • seasoned waffle fries (organic)
  • mints 
Total: $122.12

Homeland:
  • vinegar (1 gallon)
  • Downy fabric softener
  • birthday card for my brother
  • spray starch
  • lemon oil
  • shampoo for David
  • baguette
Total: $31.66

Dodson's:
  • local honey (48 oz.)
  • tortilla chips (organic)
  • chopped tomatoes (1 carton)
  • rice noodles
  • sweet red chili sauce
  • orange juice frozen concentrate (2 cans)
  • natural maraschino cherries
  • lemons (2 organic)
  • grated parmesan cheese (8 oz. organic)
Total: $39.67

Forward Foods:
  • gruyere
  • smoked cheese (like gouda, can't recall the name)
Total: $24.38

Natural Grocers:
  • canvas reusable bag (they have some of the best)
  • purse (really cute, with fringe - Fair Trade)
  • celery (organic)
  • CoQ10 supplement
  • Applegate Farms breakfast sausage links (2 pkg. organic)
  • cheese puffs (organic)
  • cranberry pomegranate juice (2 jars, organic)
  • grated parmesan cheese (organic)
  • sharp cheddar cheese (organic)
  • French style whole milk yogurt (in 3 cute glass jars - organic)
  • sliced provolone cheese (organic)
  • salad mix (organic)
  • chocolate bar (organic, Fair Trade)
Total: $85.61

Earth Natural Foods:
  • locally made baguette
  • cream cheese (organic)
  • cookies
Total: $12.63

Braum's:
  • milk (1/2 gallon)
  • sliced cheddar cheese
Total: $6.10

Grand Total: $322.17


I won't need to order from the coops this time around as I'm well-stocked. In fact, other than fresh produce and dairy I don't know that I will need much of anything else for a couple of months. That's always such a good feeling, especially in the winter when my hermit tendencies kick in. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A much-needed getaway...

This past year just about did us in. It was fun in a lot of ways but utterly exhausting. We went out 3 to 5 times a week, every week, in order to support the musicians in our company, Happyland Music Alliance. But now that we've made a good start in bringing live music to Ada on a regular basis, it's time for David and I to take a step back and focus on other things. Like time with one another, for instance. 

Last week I asked David if he'd take me on a "date" to see the movie, "Selma".  I checked our local theater and it wasn't showing here. Even today, it's still not listed in the coming week. Who knows if it will come here or not? Anyway, my plan was that we would go up to the city Saturday afternoon, watch the movie and maybe grab a bite to eat. But, as usual, David thinks bigger than I tend to do. He had enough points in his Hilton Hotel account for not just one, but TWO nights at the Skirvin Hotel. Did I want to go? Um...YES!

He got off work a little early Friday and we headed out. We had just enough time to grab a quick bite before the 6:45 show so we drove through Del Taco. It's only fairly recently that we got a Del Taco relatively near us. It was a favorite of ours when we lived in California. I will never figure out why other Mexican fast food places don't serve fries. Yes, I like French fries with my burrito. 

So, we hurry to the theater in Bricktown but there is no place to park anywhere nearby. David decides it will actually be faster for us to go check in at the hotel and take the limo back to the theater. It worked out perfectly and we arrived just in time. It's nice to have a limo driver's number in your phone but sadly, Mike is giving up his limo business. In the future we might actually have to call a cab. Horrors. 

"Selma" was an excellent movie. Heartbreaking and difficult to watch at times but such an important story. I highly recommend it. Just bring tissues or wear a scarf to dab your cheeks, which is what I resorted to. 

After the movie, Mike drove us back to the Skirvin where we spent a few hours in the Red Piano Lounge enjoying adult beverages and chatting with Amy, our favorite bartender. 

Saturday we went out in search of food and ended up at The Drum Room:

Having lunch at The Drum Room restaurant in OKC.

The food was excellent. David had a grilled chicken wrap and I had their specialty - a chicken and waffle sandwich. Oh, so delicious! The classic rock music playing in the restaurant was great, too. Have you ever gone to a restaurant where the food and service were good but the music was so awful it ruined the experience? Fortunately this was not one of those places. 

Our only other plan for the day was to check out a couple of record stores. We went to Guestroom Records first and then another shop I had read about - Trolley Stop Record Shop. What a fun place! Any shop with resident dogs (in this case, four of them) is okay by me. 

Found a few treasures #vinyl

Between the two stores we scored a total of eight albums (*I'll list them at the end of this post.):

Our weekend #vinyl scores

We could have easily found a hundred or more we would like to have in our growing collection but we exercised a little restraint. Besides, David has been buying albums on eBay, too. I may soon have to clear another shelf for them. 

After our shopping excursion we went back to the hotel for a nap. The hotel serves really good food so we decided to just eat at the bar for dinner. David had the hoisin grilled pork chop which he said was the best pork chop he'd ever eaten. I had my favorite - the salt-seared chicken - which is perfect in its simplicity. We decided to call it a night around midnight.

Sunday we checked out at noon, grabbed lunch at Sonic and then headed back to Ada. We were selected for an award from the Ada Arts Council and the reception was at 3 p.m.  We didn't quite have time to drive all the way home and then back to town so we stopped at the church to brush our teeth and for me to touch up my hair and makeup. It's handy to have a key to the church - ha!

My parents, our kids, niece, her boyfriend and another close family friend joined us at the reception. We were truly honored to have received this award for our work in supporting the arts in Ada.

We are honored to have been selected for this award.

Afterwards we took the kids out to dinner and enjoyed a really nice time together. The entire weekend was wonderful and just what we needed. 


*Albums:
  • Heart - Dreamboat Annie
  • Joan Baez - The Best Of
  • Genesis - Foxtrot
  • Janis Joplin - Pearl
  • Kansas - Point of No Return
  • Kansas - Leftoverture
  • Steve Miller Band - Anthology
  • Pigmeat Blues Band - Whatever Happened to Ian Buchanan 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Domestic Dee-Va: Exercise Room Update

My project for last week was supposed to be our exercise room. Remember this? Well, it ended up being "one of those weeks". But that's okay. I'll just keep plugging away at it until it's done. I did manage to get a bunch of stuff boxed up:

Boxed up and ready to move out of this house

David and Chris just hauled it over to the back room of our guest house where Chris lives. I have a hair appointment tomorrow afternoon but David will be out of town which means I'll have some time in the evening to work on it again. I still need to find a new home for an old television in there and we will take the bed out soon. I can see it's going to be another week or two before it's all done, mainly because David will have to move things for me and he's terribly busy much of the time. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Domestic Dee-Va: Exercise Room

Before I tell you about this week's Domestic Dee-Va project I want to show you the results of last week's. If you haven't seen the before pics, here is the link. It wasn't easy but I managed to clear out two sections of the bookshelves for the stereo components and the albums. It was quite a job removing all the books and decorative items from each shelf, dusting everything and then putting them back in some semblance of order which probably only makes sense to me. I also catalogued the books on each shelf.

The bookshelves have all been thoroughly dusted, sorted and catalogued. David built the shelf insert for the stereo components. The top shelf where the turntable sits has drawer slides so we can pull it, open the lid and place the album.


I have a small pile of books to get rid off but mostly I just reorganized and really filled up the bottom cabinets.

This section contains books by Clive Cussler, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Steve Ambrose, etc.


Full but organized. There is another section to the right, too. Yes, I have lots of books. And many more in other parts of the house.


That tall object between the hanging guitar and the piano is one of the speakers. You can't tell very well from the photo but the speaker housing is a really lovely cherry wood. And the sound is exquisite.

The tall item between piano and hanging guitar is one of our new speakers.

Here is a close up of the stereo components taken while playing an album. David built the shelf insert and the top section pulls out so you can open the dust cover on the turntable. He did an amazing job designing and building it. 

We will be adding a CD player in the space between the turntable and receiver as soon as we decide which one we want. And just let me say, this stereo thing is one of the best ideas we've had. The music sounds absolutely amazing. I had forgotten just how rich and warm music sounds on an album played on a good system. It literally brought me to tears the first night we sat and listened. Now we will be seriously collecting vinyl. 


Now playing: The Best of the Grateful Dead #vinyl #GratefulDead


Okay, so that was last week's project. This week I'm going to tackle the exercise room. It used to be our son's room but now it houses our treadmill, exercise bicycle and weight machine. Unfortunately it tends to be a place to dump things we don't know where to put.

That big box in this next photo has some sort of music equipment David bought for our business. I think it's a subwoofer but I'm not sure. I asked him tonight if he'll find another place for it and he said he will take it to the rehearsal studio for one of our bands (they have several pieces of sound equipment we've purchased there). Whatever. Just so it's out of this room! Most of that other stuff you see are things we use at our Happyland Music Festival each May. I had it neatly stowed away beneath the drafting table but things keep getting pulled out to use for gigs. I'm going to ask David to pick up several large plastic storage containers for all this stuff and then take them over to the spare bedroom in our guest house where our son lives. That big lamp belongs to my parents. They let us use it in our family room years ago but we've since replaced the lamps in there and it got shifted to the exercise room. I'm going to ask if they want it back. If not, it's being given away. You can't see it in this photo but there is also an old television we don't need which is also being offered up to anyone who wants it. My plan is to move my craft supplies in here and keep the drafting table free for projects.

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I'm also rethinking the need for this bed. A couple of times a year it might be used for a guest but our daughter's old room has a double bed and is really a much nicer place for people to stay. It's pretty rare that we need two guest rooms. I'm thinking that we could always rent a roll-away if we needed it. Well, that's still to be decided. That huge black suitcase holds all our pirate gear. I'm going to clear a space for it in our big storage closet (another project for another week). And the box behind it has filters for our central heat and air system. David stuck them in here a few weeks ago but they really belong in our laundry room. 

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See all that stuff piled on the weight bench? It's all washed and neatly folded but these are things people left behind last Happyland Music Fest. I'll pack it all away in those storage boxes David is going to buy and then perhaps I will be motivated to actually use the weight bench again. 

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So that's my project for the week. At some point I'd like to repaint the room, get wood blinds for the windows, some artwork for the walls, etc. But this week I just want to make it a functional workout room. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

A new weekly blog series: Domestic Dee-Va (Books and Music)

We have made some changes in our Happyland Music Alliance business which will give me a bit more wiggle room in my schedule. I plan to use this time for several things, including some household projects and more blogging. In fact, I'm going to combine the two for a new blog series - Domestic Dee-Va. Each week I will share a home organization project, cleaning tips, or something domestic.

David and I currently are working on putting together a stereo system in our library. We've been collecting vinyl and want a good system to play it on. Now that some of our evenings will be freed up a bit we want to spend time relaxing and listening to music together.

We did some research and decided to buy a 1974 Marantz receiver on eBay but opted for a new turntable and speakers. We haven't found a CD player yet but we hope to have the rest up and running by the end of the week.

Here is a picture of where the stereo is going:

Our stereo components are going in the bottom center area of these shelves and our albums to the left. I'm going to need to rearrange and <gasp> get rid of a few books.

Yeah, I know. The components are going in that bottom, center section and the albums in the section to the left. It might not be obvious from this photo but those books are stacked two layers deep. That meant this was the next step in the process:

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And this:

Operation Install Stereo System: Stage 1 Putting in electrical outlet.

David had to run electricity and install an electrical outlet underneath so we can plug in the system without wires showing. He also built a shelving unit with a pull-out section for the turntable.

My part of this project involved the clearing out of those two sections which sounds easy enough until you think about it. Where the heck are all those books going? I'm not very good at getting rid of books but I did find some I could part with. I then had to re-shelve everything and reorganize the books in the cabinets below. I worked until almost midnight last night. I have been busy with other things today but I'll finish it up tomorrow and show you more pictures.
So that's the "Project of the Week" here at Chez Piercy. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.