Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet The Cast Monday #5: Gran (Part I)

As I mentioned last week, I'm excited to do several Meet the Cast Mondays featuring Gran. I did this interview with her in April 2002, when she was 79 years old. Hope you guys enjoy!

Were you named after anybody?
I was named after my mother whose name was Amy Mae.
Where did you grow up?
18 miles west of Tatum on a ranch and farm and country store. {You guys read about that in this post previously!}
What was it like to grow up on a ranch in the 1920’s? Nobody had any money, neighbors would visit back and forth a lot, because you didn’t go to any town to shop. You grew your own vegetables and fruits.

Is there anything that’s the same about living on a ranch today as it was back then? Well, just you have to clean your shoes when you came out of the cow lot. About the only thing I can think of.

You’ve been a rancher now for almost 80 years, so what advice would you have for someone who wanted to become a rancher? You don’t need to expect a lot of money from anything. But enjoy life, because you’re out in the country and no close neighbors.

When you grew up, what did your parents do for a living? Just about anything they could think of. We had a garden and we grew vegetables and canned. Besides raising cattle, my dad had a little country store and he sold gas and oil, a few groceries, and he would fix flats for people and put a patch inside tires. And I guess that’s about it, well, my brothers would work out for laboring, day labor maybe, and they were paid a dollar a day.

What was it like to grow up with 4 brothers, you being the only girl? Good and bad. They boys wouldn’t ever let me go out to the barn, they didn’t want me out there at all. When it was milking time, if I would go over there to try and figure out how to milk, they would squirt it in my face. So I didn’t learn that technique. My dad wouldn’t let me wear any pants at all. He had four boys and he wasn’t going to have me wearing pants.

What’s your favorite memory of the family that you grew up with? Well, everyone played some sort of musical instrument. My dad played the fiddle and my brothers all played a stringed instrument, banjos and guitars. And then, later on, my dad bought a piano for $80 and we hauled it in a two-wheel trailer from Tatum and I took lessons then, finally. But one of my brothers could play it a lot better than I could with lessons, and he’s still going on it.

Then we’d all get together on Fourth of July and we had a big picnic for all the neighbors and they’d bring a covered dish, and we had a tank down there and swings at the old place, and a lot of trees and shade. Sometimes we’d have parties at my house and everybody in the community were Baptist. And Baptists don’t believe in dancing, so some of us kinda got around that by having what we called swinging plays. I don’t know if anyone knows what I’m talking about here. Well like a little song, “Oh we got a new pig in the parlor.” We’d have to do that outside on the ground, no lawns, because there wasn’t room in the houses for that many.

I know when I was little we would always have a New Year’s Party and a Halloween picnic. Is that where the idea for that came from?

Where did you go to high school?
Tatum, New Mexico.

What was different about high school then from high school now?
Oh goodness. Course this was a small school, everybody knew everything about everybody else. {Some things don't change apparently...remember this blog?} There was still no money. If you got a new dress, you were mighty happy to wear it the first day of school. Let’s see. We didn’t have much freedom in high school then. You went from class to class and that was all day long. Well, like for home economics, we had a little building out to the side which was considered a home and we learned housekeeping and all kinds of things over there, just for girls. And I learned how to make good candy there, and we’d never known. My mother wasn’t a good candy maker, so I learned to make good candy. {Did I learn anything this useful in school?}

Were you involved in any clubs or sports in school?
Well, I played tennis some. And that’s about it, I went to a track meet at Hobbs and maybe got 4th place maybe. That’s county-wide. And, then I was in the band. And that was really a wonderful experience. I played a horn, I didn’t have the money to buy one, so the school furnished it. And I took good care of it. And my brother was in it and we made band trips and some of us hadn’t ever been out of the county, I guess, and we’d go to Hobbs and Lovington and one time went to a band clinic in Plainview, Texas and that was out of state.

Stay a couple of months I'll post Part II. You can hear Gran talking about college and World War II!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Project 64: Week 4 - Robin's Egg Blue

I don't know about you guys, but I get excited every week to see the new color theme! Here was the crayon inspiration this week:
This week, I have a little bit of a funny story. On Sunday afternoon, I got a short break from working all day (and night...) and decided to pick up my Aggie Friend to go take a few pictures at the river (you saw one of those yesterday) and hit the grocery store. While I was waiting for her, I noticed this door on the house next to hers. I told her I had to take a few pictures because "one of these days that door will be the color of my photo challenge." I'm apparently psychic....because the next day, the same color was announced as the theme for this week!

So, I give you my version of Robin's Egg Blue!

In case you missed my other photos, be sure to check out yellow green, carnation pink, and chestnut.

And, to see photographs from lots of people who actually know what they are doing, check out the Project 64 website!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Photos of the Week: Week 4

First off.....I'm happy to announce the winner of our January Giveaway....Jennifer Zachary! (Shoot me a facebook message with your address and I'll get it in the mail to you!) Thanks for playing everyone!

Well our little project continues this week! I am happy to report that this little project got me out and about and seeing things that I hadn't seen before! I had a great time doing some exploring around and think that it paid off in the pictures I got! I also focused on doing a little bit of editing this week on each of the photos (with tutoring from The Bride). I am brand new at this, but it was fun to play with the different effects. To show you the differences, I put the before and after photos for you to compare. Hope you guys enjoy!

Theme: Hopes and Dreams


I was in Santa Fe last week meeting with a client. I went up a little early so that I would have time to stop by the St. Francis Cathedral and to take pictures of the Loretto Chapel (you'll see pictures of that in the coming weeks!) I love the St. Francis Cathedral--it's beautiful and peaceful, and it was a great place to start my morning! While I was walking in, I noticed the Prayer of St. Francis on the wall. While I had only intended to take photos inside Loretto, I quickly took out my camera to get a shot of this plaque. When I edited, I loved how the photo almost looked like a light was shining on the words. Anyway, this is one of my favorite prayers, and I hope to live my life this way!

Theme: Liquid


When I saw this was the theme for the week, I knew immediately that I had to go take some photos at the river. I hate to admit it, but I had never been on the path next to it.....I'm SO glad that this little project got me out exploring because it is beautiful down there! I had several shots that I liked, but this one was my favorite. I'm hoping to find a way to either use the others for an upcoming theme, or incorporate them into a blog stay tuned (and cross your fingers for a theme of "bridge"soon!)

Theme: Tree


Lucky for me, there were a lot of tree photo options at the river! I took several "normal" tree shots, but really liked the strange angle of this one for some reason. I loved this focus that made the sky brighter and the focus more on the center of the picture.

Theme: Tired

I love my bed. And my bedding. And my whole room, actually. And when I get really tired, all I can think of is snuggling up under the covers! I thought that the editing just made the lighting better and some of the colors pop more.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ten Personal Commandments (Happiness Project Book Club)

"Well... We want you to be happy. Let's figure out what does that and let's do that." ~Sean Unger (giving me life advice)

So as you guys might remember, I'm currently in the middle of my Happiness Project! Even though I've already gotten started (read about my start here), I joined a blog book club that will be going through the book together!

When I went back and re-read the introduction, I decided that in my hurry to get my project started and to get my life organized/energized that first month, that I didn't take much time to think about some of the ideas that the author discussed in the book.

One of these points that I glossed over the first time was creating Twelve Commandments. The author identified twelve commandments that she would try to live by--that would help her to live a happier life. Why did she do this? She explained, "I didn't want to look back, at the end of my life or after some great catastrophe, and think, 'How happy I used to be then, if only I'd realized it." You and me both, sister!

(Sidenote: Yes I took this picture!)

So.....I have come up with ten of my own personal commandments and I've printed these out and put them a few places that I'll see them every day. (I felt bad that I didn't have 12, but then I realized there is some precedent for 10 commandments, so I'm good!) I'm tossing around the idea of doing a blog on each of these....thoughts?

- My life is now.

- Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
(If it was good enough for Confucius...)

- I am enough.

- Why not?

- The people who care about me are always there for me.

- Don't miss any miracles.

- There are some things I just cannot fix.

- Pray every day.

- If I don't like it: change it or get over it.

- If I don't, who will?

Even if you don't do your own Happiness Project (which you should!), I would still recommend taking a little time to think about your own personal commandments. It's a simple exercise, but I think that it may change the way I try to look at things and situations!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Remembering The Ten

"No true Cowboy could ever forget." ~Doug Gottlieb

At Oklahoma State, we always Remember the Ten.

Ten years ago tonight, a plane carrying ten members of the OSU basketball family crashed on its way home from a game in Colorado. There were no survivors.
Those lost were two basketball players, a student trainer, radio announcers, student assistants, basketball opertion officers, pilots, and media directors. They were also (and more importantly) someone's sons, fathers, brothers, cousins, husbands and friends. And they were Cowboys. Which means that, to all of us, they were like family.

Last night, Oklahoma State hosted Texas at home. Before the game, all of the players, OSU and Texas, wore the same warm ups. Basketball is big in the Big 12. Clearly, everyone realizes that some things are bigger.The Ten were honored at halftime. OSU basketball retired the #10 jersey, in memory of the 10th anniversary of the crash. No other jersey has ever been retired.

The pain that the anniversary of a death brings is fresh and raw and never goes away. Please keep the families and friends of these men in your prayers today. If you want to read more about these men, I blogged about this last year here and here. Doug Gottlieb, a former OSU player, wrote a wonderful article last year as well. And yesterday, this heartbreaking article about Nate Fleming, a freshman walk-on, was posted.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday #1

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” ~Frederick Keonig

The Blonde Oklahoma Girl has joined a little Wednesday tradition on her blog that she stole from this blog, and I thought that I'd join in this week! is a list of things that I'm currently loving this Wednesday!
1. This blog by the Blonde Oklahoma Girl. She describes our friendship--that between Miss America and Miss Football--perfectly! And, yes, I would have been a killer good linebacker for OSU or Notre Dame! (I thought the pictures below were a perfect representation of Miss Football and Miss can guess who is who.)
2. My Specialties semi sweet chocolate chip cookies that Cousin Kevin got me from San Francisco while he was at some food show promoting Big Little Fudge. PS--they were totally a hit at the show.....go Cousin Kevin!

Anyway, these cookies were my FAVORITE thing when I lived in SF (and part of the reason I gained 8 pounds that summer!). Cousin Kevin was awesome enough to make a pit stop to send me some. He's my favorite. (There is a slight possibility that as soon as I got one out of the box, I hid it so as not to have to share with anyone at judgment.) :)
3. "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not" by Thompson Square. I think this song is totally adorable! I played it on repeat for most of the day yesterday. Check it out for yourself:

4. This blog by Caroline at A Life of Color. I talk about similar issues on this blog once or twice, and even more frequently with my girl friends. I love the fact that there are other girls out there who feel the same way as me! I really can't add much to what she said.....other than ditto!
5. That in 10 days I will be seeing the Oklahoma Girls and SoulMate Friend in Stillwater for.....Little Linebacker's FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!!
6. That some days, God seems to reach right down and whack me upside my head. Monday was a super stressful day at work, I learned that the insurance company had denied my MRI for the second time because it was not medically necessary (even though it was ordered by A DOCTOR....don't get me started) and I was tired and cranky and feeling pretty sorry for myself. Then I came home and found this blog. That, my friends, was the whack He knew I needed. Forget my problems. Let's all say a prayer for that family!

7. You like me, you really like me! It seems like I was stuck at 27 followers FOREVER....but now I'm up to 59 and I know that there are a few people who read but don't follow! I appreciate all of you taking the time to read my ranting and I'd LOVE for you to become a follower! And I'd love to hear what posts are your favorites or if you have any blog ideas!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January Giveaway!

“Have the courage to live. Anyone can die.” ~ Robert Cody

Okay, first off, I just have to tell ya'll that I actually won a blog giveaway myself!! I was SO excited to get this awesome calendar from Little Thoughts! Thanks so much, Lindsay!

Second.....Michabella at Living a Life of Love is doing a giveaway of.....wait for it....SHOES!! Yes, I said SHOES! Check it out here! is apparently the BEST month EVER for giveaways, because Neely at A Complete Wast of Makeup (how great is that blog title??) is giving way a $50 gift card get to pick between several different stores including.....wait for it.....BANANA REPUBLIC and TARGET! So have my fingers crossed on that one!! :)

And my blog for the day! Now that this month is almost over (does anyone else feel like it was just New Year's Eve??), it's time for our January giveaway!

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. I think that they just set up you for failure. And, I am always annoyed for the first two weeks of the year when I have to wait on a treadmill or weight machine because of all the "resolutionists" who invade the gym.

But I do love the idea that each year begins anew and we have the opportunity to set goals and priorities and figure out all of the fun things that we intend to do for that coming year. So...with that in mind, we have the January giveaway!

I have a copy of a mini-book called "98 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime" that I will be giving away to our lucky drawing winner. (Sorry any boys who read this and are bummed about this giveaway---I really did look for something similar for men, but apparently one hasn't been written!) Here's a great quote from the book just to give you a little taste, "Life is too short for ironing, nonfat dairy creamer, and regret of any kind." My kind of book!


You can enter one of two ways (or both)!

1. Leave a comment on this blog or on the facebook post of it telling me one goal for the year and I'll give you one entry!

2. If you are a follower or become a follower the blog (see directions here), I'll give you 5 entries. Be sure to leave a separate comment letting me know you are a follower so I can enter you!

Enter by Thursday, January 27 at 6:00 pm and I will announce the winner on Friday! Good luck!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meet the Cast Monday #4: A Twist

"What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies." ~Rudolph Giuliani

I hated my ITV English class in high school. I shouldn't say that...the class itself wasn't so bad, except for that the teacher hated our school and then accused me of cheating. Yea....ME. I was so irate. Not only would I not cheat for moral reasons, but I think I was more insulted that the teacher thought that I thought there were people in the class that were smarter than I was (which, there were, but it's a pride thing that you don't actually admit that!)

Anyway, I know you are all wondering what this has to do at all with Meet the Cast Monday. Well, it is thanks to that teacher that I am announcing a Meet the Cast Monday twist.

As you know from reading the blog, my grandmother was one of my favorite people in the world. She lived right next door growing up, so it was like she was a third parent raising Little Brother and me. You also know that she passed away in 2004. Well....thanks to that English class I hated, a few Meet the Cast Mondays this year will star.....Gran.
How you ask? Well, one assignment for that English class was to do an interview with the past. Obviously, Gran was my choice. We had to tape record the interviews and write a paper on them. As I was cleaning out some drawers a couple weekends ago, I stumbled across that tape. After hunting down a cassette player (talk about feeling old....I remember when that was ALL I had and now I can't find one anywhere!) I wrote out each question and answer. I will be posting them over the nex year periodically in Meet the Cast Monday style.

I'll start this up next week, but to give you a little sneak peak at what is to come:

Is there anything that’s the same about living on a ranch today as it was back then?
"Well, just you have to clean your shoes when you came out of the cow lot. That's about the only thing I can think of."

So thank you, mean English teacher for assigning this project. Makes it worth having been called a cheater to have this memory of Gran and to be able to share it with everyone!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Project 64: Week 3 - Chestnut

Okay....when I saw that this week's color was Chestnut, this country girl started looking for a horse! My current residence in the city was not so helpful, and then life seemed to get in the way of my search! So, sadly, I had to go with something else....but I think it worked out okay!

So, here we have this week's photo.....I give you.....Chestnut!
I liked how this photo had both the redish-brown chestnut color of the crayon itself on the branch and the tips of the pinecone, and the lighter color of the crayon paper!

This picture is actually a great example of how much fun this project is! I found these little pinecones on a tree right in front of my house.....and although I've lived here going on 2 years, I had NEVER noticed it before! Shame on me!

If you missed my first two photos, be sure to checkout yellow-green and carnation pink! And to check out all of my photography challenge posts, click here!

And, as always, go check out the people who actually know what they are doing at Project 64! It's not too late to start your project--61 more colors left to go--it might open your eyes to the trees around you!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Photos of the Week: Week 3

Well, this week I became more familiar with my little pink camera (remember my discovery last week of the"flash off"button)! I am amazed at the great settings that this cheap-o point and shoot actually has....and more amazed that until I started these challenges, I never knew about them! So, with that intro, I give you....Week 3!

Theme: In The Kitchen

I don't have a super cool kitchen. And I don't have awesome wine glasses....although that's been on my "want" list for a while now! Lucky for me, my friend Brett-Brett does have these things, so I snapped a few shots of his gorgeous wine rack cabinet while I was there last!

Theme: Macro

Well, I'll be honest....had to do some research to find out what this means! Apparently in photography, a macro shot is one that is a close up of a very small subject. The idea is for the object to be almost life-sized in the photo. This assignment, and my research, made me learn that my camera actually has a macro setting! Who knew?

Theme: A Day In The Life

The life of a lawyer is not super glam. Nothing like you'd see on tv! So, I decided that sharing a little piece of my office with you would give you some insight into what my day consists of!

Theme: Dawn

I'll be honest. I saw this and my first thought was, "Crap. I'm going to have to get up early for this!" But, turns out, the sun doesn't rise here until approximately 7:13 am. Because I learned that dawn is the period just before sunrise, I took my picture at about 7:08. :) Too bad I didn't look out the window last week--this would have been perfect for Carnation Pink! And shame on me for not opening up my blinds to see this every morning!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Family Farm Friday #39: Even on the Other Side of the World

"I suppose it's where your roots are." ~Scott McKenzie

After a couple week hiatus, I am glad to announce that Family Farm Friday is back! :)
Family farms are a special thing. Even on the other side of the world.

I was reading an article last week about a man who gave up an exciting life of travel to return home to his family farm in New Zealand. When questioned about his "sacrifice" he gave the reporter the quote you see at the beginning of this blog. Even when he left, he felt a lure back to his family's farm.

I know exactly what he is talking about. Every time I go home for a weekend or a holiday, I hate leaving. Every single time the following thought goes through my head. "I could just quit my job, sell my house, exchange my car for a truck and move out here and never leave!" So far, I have not acted on this impluse.....but maybe some day. :)

It's funny to me that Scott from New Zealand and I can both share this attitude, even though we live in different worlds and we have never met. I guess maybe the key is that we don't actually live in different worlds. We live in the same world---the world of a family farm. I think when you raised on a family farm, there is just something in your blood that is different from people who were raised in different places.

And whatever it is that gets in your blood is apparently the same even on the other side of the world.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Throwback Thursday #46: Book the Cruise

"Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think." ~Robert Henri

For just about as long as I can remember, it had been a running joke in our house that anytime we got or saved a small sum of money (i.e. a 50 cent off coupon, or a royalty check for $1.42), someone in the family would say, "Well book the cruise!"

Well after my first year of law school, I literally booked that cruise! Trust me, after a year of tortue at law school, I deserved a little break! I mean, imagine going from 24 hours a day of staring at law books to this:
That summer before I started my job, Cousin Whitney and I headed for a 5 day cruise to Mexico. This was the first time for both of us to be out of the country and we were pretty darn excited! Our parents were less excited when they learned there would be no cell phone access the entire time! My two home-body parents shudder any time I mention trips where they can't call to make sure I'm not dead in some foreign ditch. (Turns out, there was no need to worry because I met this nice (or creepy) Mexican cop who liked blonde American girls).
Now, please understand that I'm the person most people hate to go on vacation with because I feel like if we spent the money to get somewhere, by golly we are going to bust our rears to see everything that we can possibly cram into that time. The cruise was pretty much the opposite of this---we spent the money to lay by the pool and stuff our faces--and we busted our rears to do this every day! :)
So we set sail from Galveston (after Cousin Kevin was kind enough to drive us to the boat from the airport!) for Mexico. Our first day was a day at sea, so we just chilled on the ship. If you've never been on a cruise, there is SO much to do on a cruise ship that it's just unreal. Here are a few pictures!
This was us headed to a show...WHY was I wearing long sleeves on a cruise ship??
We spent most nights at a karaoke was awesome! This family put on full routines that they must have practiced all day. And, true to bucket list form, I did karaoke....and was not good, but got that checkmark!
The second day we stopped at the port in Progresso, Mexico. This is a stop you could miss when planning your cruise---it's just not much of a touristy destination. We did a little walking around town and went on some sort of Corona Beach Party for an excursion. We chose this because we are both cheap and there was free margaritas....unlike the expensive ones we'd been drinking on the boat! Plus it sounded better than hiking around in the heat at Aztec ruins. (I'd like to say that my grown up self now would go see the historic ruins.....I think that would be a lie. Unless they were serving free margaritas too.)
Then the next day was a great stop at Cozumel. Loved it there!! Beautiful water, so many fun stores and restaurants and bars....I wish we could have stayed a week!
We went on a great catamaran excursion where we cruised on the boat, then went snorkeling with the fishies, and ended up at a party on a private beach. Not too shabby! And snorkeling in the ocean was another bucket list checkmark for me!
Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed the little look back at our cruise....I didn't realize until I did my decade in review post that I had never blogged about it before! I would totally encourage you to go on a cruise at some point in your life. I know that we had a complete blast!

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