Saturday, July 31, 2010

Going Bananas

When even the bananas start stripping, you know it’s too dang hot. I walked into my kitchen and discovered these bananas jumping out of their skins. They look downright suicidal, don’t they?

Some companies seem to be taking drastic measures to make sure their bananas stay decently covered. When I saw this recently, I thought Del Monte was going too far, but now that I’ve seen bananas exposing themselves in my own home, I’m thinking it might actually be an appropriate strategy.

Still, who could blame the bananas? Take a look at our weather forecast. And Oklahoma’s humidity makes sure we’re not just hot, but suffering.






6-10 Day

Mostly Clear

Mostly Sunny




Extended Forecast

High: 101°

Low: 77°

High: 102°

Low: 76°

High: 105°

Low: 78°

High: 103°

Low: 78°

High: 103°

Low: 77°


Every summer, Dr. Lobo asks me why we stay in Oklahoma during July and August. I have no intelligent answer to this question, as the heat has fried what’s left of my aging brain. All I know for sure is that right now, we’re going bananas!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

This is a sing-it-yourself post.

Happy Birthday to me,

I'm now 63.

My joints all ache,

So bring me some cake!

(Chocolate, of course.)

(For a more creative birthday post, read last year's entry for July 24th here. Some birthdays--and writing days--are better than others, and this year I'm taking it easy. You can also take a look at the blog entry Dr. Lobo wrote for me here. Although I'm not exactly pleased with some of the photos he posted, I appreciate the sentiment and his attempt to take up the slack for me this year.)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's More Magical Than a Bookstore?

What's more magical than a bookstore?
During my recent trip to southern California, I had the opportunity to visit The Frugal Frigate, a children's bookstore, in Redlands.
As I approached the store, I could see the knight in shining armor. Now, that promises excitement.

Once inside, there were so many wonderful things to see!

The store had great displays.

Lots of fun stuff! Let's play!

Isn't this CUTE?!!!

All that's needed here is a pair of two-year-olds.

Inviting materials filled every nook and cranny.

Look at this! A princess can celebrate her birthday in this room.

I really wanted to have my birthday party here, but I would have had to stick around for another three and a half weeks. I suspected my brother and sister-in-law might get tired of me by then, so I returned to Oklahoma.

But hey, it's still four days until my birthday. Can't some of you creative people come up with something similar by then? (Dr. Lobo, are you paying attention? You do remember that I'm a princess, don't you?)

What? You think it's not appropriate for a 63-year-old to celebrate her birthday in this way? I can if I want to! You're not the boss of me! And I want a princess dress, too.

Let's get back to the tour. Please do not run up the stairs.

Here's where you can find books for older kids (like me).

Looking down from up here is fun, too.

The photographer apologizes for cutting off a couple of letters, but you get the idea.

What's more magical than a bookstore? A children's bookstore!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Today is Wild Child’s 33rd birthday. My kids’ birthdays always bring memories of years when my life revolved around them. I’m not going to say that those days were all beautiful and precious. I adored my children, but they wore me to a frazzle, and I usually felt impatient, frustrated, and exhausted.

A few moments, though, were greeting card perfect. Today I’m recalling one such time.

Wild Child was three years old. I’d been away from home all day until shortly before bedtime. He was tired and needed his mommy, so I lay down with him. He turned on the radio and soft instrumental music filled the dark room. Fresh from his bath and wearing Pooh Bear pajamas, he snuggled up next to me. Little hands stroked and patted my arms. For half an hour we lay with our arms wrapped around each other—close, content, and quiet. Love for this small son overwhelmed me.

Later that night I tried to capture that experience in my journal. Here is an excerpt:

“My son, you are my ‘difficult’ child, sandwiched between two relatively content and less demanding siblings. You are the one who brings me the most confusion, the one who challenges me, the child who makes me murderously angry. And yet you are so vulnerable and precious. Will you ever comprehend the depth of my love for you? Will you remember these tender times when you’re grown?”

He’s grown now. He’s not a sentimental guy, but on this special day I hope he remembers some of those sweet moments and realizes how much he is loved.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Oklahoma Wump

When Little Guy was young, his favorite book was THE WUMP WORLD by Bill Peet. Every time we went to the library, he wanted that book. I read it to him so many times, both of us memorized most of the story. (If you haven’t read it, you should.)

So what is a wump, you ask? Well, to get a definitive answer, you’d have to ask Bill Peet, and unfortunately, he is no longer available for questioning. But a wump looks much like a capybara (except that a capybara does not have a tail.)

A capybara is the world’s largest rodent, much like a giant guinea pig. It lives in South America, where it frequents dense vegetation surrounding lakes, rivers, swamps, and ponds.

Last week the body of a 120 pound capybara was found by the U.S. Highway 59 bridge over the Arkansas River, south of Sallisaw. I’ve been wondering about that critter for days now. How did a capybara end up in Oklahoma? Are more of them hanging around the Arkansas River?

I’m about as verbal about this situation as a wump. As far as I can remember, wumps only used one word, but they used it repeatedly. Whenever they were frightened or excited, they cried, “Wump, wump!” That’s what I’m likely to say if I run into a capybara in Oklahoma.

If I do meet one, I hope he’s a civilized type.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Time

Summer time, and the living is easy? Not at my house. Not this summer.

I suspect that this blog entry will be like the conversations that take place between good friends catching up with the events of each other’s lives over coffee. It’s a bit of an explanation as to why I haven’t posted recently. So pour yourself a cup of coffee and pull up a chair.

A couple of weeks ago my last living uncle, James Copenhaver (“Uncle Cope”), died, one month short of 92 years old. He was a smart, funny, and personable guy whose mind stayed sharp up until the end. You can read about him here.

From the generations of my family ahead of me, now only my Aunt Wanda remains. I’ve been remembering the relatives who nurtured me throughout my youth and into adulthood. Most of them lived long lives, but I wish I had had more time with each of them.

(This is a picture of my father with my grandparents in the forties, before I was born.)

(And this is a photo of my parents, Wanda and Cope, and my aunt and uncle, probably taken during the sixties.)

While I was still with family in California because of Uncle Cope’s death, my long time friend Marcy died. She was an amazing woman who somehow managed to live with lung cancer for five years. You can read about her grace and courage here. Her memorial service occurred on the day I flew home from California, so I was unable to attend, and that saddens me. But a few weeks ago, I had a deep and meaningful conversation with Marcy. That hour with her was such a gift, and I am grateful.

Here's Marcy, in April or May of this year.

This summer has also brought a couple of situations that tear at my heart. I’ve prayed my way through a lot of dark days.

Still, life is good. Dr. Lobo and I just completed another year of marriage, marking forty-three years together, and most days I feel lucky to have him. (And the other days? Well, let’s just call them interesting. I’ve never been bored with the man.) I’m healthy, and in a couple of weeks I’ll celebrate another year of life—a year that has been mostly very good. I’ve lost some people who were treasures in my life, but I’m surrounded by friends and family members who amuse me, comfort me, and love me beyond anything I deserve. And although some situations are presently causing pain, I know I’ll get through them. During the years I raised my children, whenever they went through difficult stages, I would tell myself “This, too, shall pass.” And it always did.

Even summer’s hottest, stickiest, most miserable days don’t last forever. Until my life becomes more comfortable, I’ll spend time in front of the air conditioner, drink my Diet Dr. Pepper with plenty of ice, and look forward to days when living will be easier than it is now.