Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010!

At the end of 2009, I reviewed my year in a blog post. That’s not happening this year. Some very good things happened in 2010, but for the most part, I’d rather not think too hard about the past year.

Last summer my pastor preached about times when you’re living in the belly of a big stinky fish. You’re alive, but you almost wish you had died, because living in that stinky fish belly is so miserable. That’s what 2010 felt like for parts of the year.

As the last hours of 2010 go by, I’m grateful to have survived this less than wonderful year. I’m grateful for my friends who stood by me and listened to me and comforted me. I’m grateful to my pastor, who sometimes tells me things I don’t want to hear, but that I need to acknowledge. And I’m grateful to Dr. Lobo, who lived with me in the stinky fish belly and loved me through it.


Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year, and I am greeting it with enthusiasm and hope. I wish for all of us a very good 2011.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Woman Has a Few Nativity Sets on Display

Collecting is about passion.

Last week I spent a few days in Denver, where some of my favorite people live. I stayed with my friend Susan, who has collected several hundred nativity sets. Although she displays some of them throughout the year, during Advent they take over her home.

Susan’s Christmas tree holds only nativity ornaments.

Her nativities come from all over the world and are made of many different materials.

They come in various sizes. Some of her smallest ones are displayed in a glass case surrounded by mirrors, and I didn’t try to photograph them. She keeps a magnifying glass handy so that her visitors can examine them. While I was there, she dropped a seed that contained a nativity, and when I left two days later, we still hadn’t found it!

This armadillo was one of my favorites.

But my very favorite of Susan’s nativity sets is the one she sent home with me. It now sits on my mantle.

You probably remember that I have a rather extensive bear collection. I know, it doesn’t make sense. What can I say? Collecting is about passion.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Timing is Everything

For several weeks this fall I considered making a trip to eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. I wanted to drive the Talimena Scenic Drive between Talihina, Oklahoma and Mena, Arkansas and enjoy the autumn leaves. But fall came late this year, and once it showed up, I kept finding other things to do.


Last week Dr. Lobo and I finally made the trip. Although we found a few beautiful trees, we missed the big production. Repeatedly, we heard “You should have been here two weeks ago.”

We had reservations at the Queen Wilhemina Lodge near Mena, but driving up the mountain on a narrow road proved to be an adventure. Enveloped in a cloud, I felt like we had entered the Twilight Zone. I’m telling you, it was eerie.

When we arrived, the lodge looked like this.

I hear these are normally gorgeous views, but this is what we got.

Still, we had a good time. The lodge was nice, with a fireplace that burned brightly and comfortable chairs for reading.

The day we left, the weather cleared a bit.

Yeah, we should have been there two weeks earlier. Timing is everything.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Out of Style? Not for Me!

I understand all too well that some of my readers weren’t even born in the seventies, but those of you who were around during those years probably remember the crocheted poncho. My clever and crafty sister made this for me in 1972 or 1973.

No one would ever describe me as being stylish, but even I know that the fashionable woman of today does not dress in a crocheted poncho. I understand that wearing it announces to the world that I am not classy. During my kids’ teenage years, it gave me great pleasure to wear it, since doing so gave them fits. My daughter once made the comment, “I’ve heard of fashion statements, but that is a fashion exclamation, and it’s exclaiming ‘OUCH!’”


I am always happy when the weather gets cool enough to pull out my poncho. I may look like a pathetic old hippie, but underneath all that yarn, I feel young.


Thanks, Sis. I still love my poncho. In fact, I would love one in pastel colors for spring.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Posts I Didn't Write

It’s been quite some time since my last post to this blog. (Did you miss me? Oh, I hope so!) Those of you who don’t see or hear from me regularly may have thought I died of food poisoning from the church picnic. (See previous post. And no, no one got food poisoning.)

My break from blogging wasn’t intentional. I’ve been busy, but that’s nothing new. Having written 103 posts in less than two years, maybe I’ve said most of what I want to say, but I doubt it. I have lots of opinions and stories.

Recently I read a charming, but strange, little book written by a couple of very old ladies. They called one chapter “The Men We Didn’t Marry.” Taking a pointer from them, I thought I’d mention a few things that have happened in my life this fall that I didn’t document. They are all topics I thought about pursuing, but didn’t. So here’s a summary of “The Posts I Didn’t Write.”


Every year the Oklahoma State Department of Education holds an event designed for educators and librarians called “Encyclomedia.” I met some writers, learned about the latest books, and hung out with my writing friends. But I didn’t blog about Encyclomedia.


I toured two historic neighborhoods (Linwood and Heritage Hills), where I saw some beautiful homes. I had a great time, the weather was perfect, and the friends who accompanied me were fun. But I didn’t blog about the home tours.


My friend Randi, from our Mark Twain years, married Steven. It was a beautiful wedding, and Ienjoyed spending time with school friends. But I didn’t blog about the wedding.


I used to love to go to the state fair. Then everything started to look like the same old stuff I’d seen the previous year, so I stopped going. I don’t know when I last attended, but it has been many, many years. In September I decided to check out the fair again. Unfortunately, it looked like the same old stuff I remembered from way back when. And it cost $3.50 for a soft drink! I didn’t want to sound cranky, so I didn’t blog about the fair.

I've also done a lot of very routine or boring things. But I didn't blog about them.