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Boomer Sooner!

16 Oct

This past weekend was amazing!  I can’t remember the last time I had a more enjoyable weekend.  My husband and I are huge OU Sooner fans.  This past Saturday was THE game of the season.  This was my first OU vs UT game and I was about to burst with excitement.  Thankfully I was not disappointed.  OU decimated UT with a final score of 63-21!  Hook that, Texas!

I love the glaring diving line between the OU and UT sections of the Cotton Bowl.  That said, I don’t know if I’d want to be standing on that line.  The smack talk at these games is pretty fierce.   Then again, the smack talk at these games are pretty fierce.  ;]

The next day we drove over to Denton, TX to walk around the square and visit some of our favorite shops there.  We absolutely love downtown Denton.  First we stopped by Recycled Books, one of our all time favorite used book stores.  Then, while Jordan continued to browse books, the kids and I walked over to Denton Square Donuts.  The square donuts there are fabulous and the owners/staff are some of the nicest people who you’ll ever meet.  Have I mentioned how much I love Denton, TX?  ;]

Oreo Square Donut!  Yum!

Smores Square Donut!  Could it hold any more toppings?

This weekend get-away was just what we needed.  Tomorrow I go in for my Septoplasty.  (Eek!)  My nose is quivering at the thought.  ;]

Stay tuned for some Nosey updates.  Wish me luck!

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Back in black….and white

20 Jul

After six weeks of visiting family back in Georgia, Jaden & Fisher will finally come back home this weekend.  And with that factoid comes my yearning to write once more.  Apparently my gift of gab  wanes when the kidos are away.  Go figure.  I guess it is that I have spent my entire adult life as a parent and the sudden loss of children leaves me aimless.  I got married two weeks after graduating highschool and gave birth to Jaden a mere six months later.  That’s right, you do the math.  So when I say I’ve spent my entire adult life as a parent, I’m not exaggerating.

So, Raine, what have you do with your free time these last six weeks?  Oh, you know, the usual.  I’ve watched four seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, much to the disapproval of my sofa.  (Because what sofa wants to be used that much?)  And I’ve also been conducting self research into why I feel like the proverbial “death warmed over” all the time. 

That’s right, folks.  It’s time for Raine’s Medical Mystery once again!  But wasn’t the two-year search for an elusive hernia enough?  Apparently not.  Thus I’ve kicked off another grueling journey through countless doctors offices.  Oh, it’s exciting stuff.  I’ve already gotten a visit with a Gastroenterologist set up for next week.  Let’s see what’s causing my early satiety and nausea, y’all.  (Yes, I channeled my inner Paula Dean just now.) 

So far during my search I’ve determined that I’m hypoglycemic at times and that monitoring blood sugar is hell on your fingers.  Because my fingers like to put up a fight when it comes to squeezing out a drop of blood.  I had to dress of my lancet like a Trojan horse to get an ounce of cooperation.  Sheesh.  

But back to the kids…

Jordan and I will be driving to Memphis again this Saturday only to turn around and drive back to Oklahoma the next day.  Not a fun trip, but definitely worth the drive.  We’ll have 8+ glorious hours to listen to the kid’s stories of summer.  Me = Excited

Gettin’ our kicks

6 Jun

This past weekend the kids and I along with my co-worker and her family set out to get our kicks on Route 66.  The historic highway runs East to West through Oklahoma and is brimming with sights and attractions.  (Yes, I know I sound like a travel brochure.  Just know I’m also wearing a name tag and a State Park uniform…it’s niiice.) 

In true Southern style, we started the day off with a free lunch courtesy of the new John Deer sales facility in Edmond, OK.  Can anyone say redneck?  I think you can.  We feasted on hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and sodas that were chilling in a John Deer pull-along trailer full of ice.  That trailer was strategically stationed by the clown so that you could grab a soda and a balloon animal in one go.  Want a Sprite?  How about a balloon poodle to go with it?  Oh yeah.  Life is good.

Next we set out for the Old Round Barn in Arcardia, OK.  It was built in 1898 and restored in 1992. 

Old Round Barn, Route 66

The barn is amazing.  I know, some of you may scoff at driving an hour just to see a barn.  However, I think that this one is a barn worth seeing.  As your come out of a curve on Route 66 the barn comes into view and you are taken aback by its size, shape and height.  It’s a big barn!

The barn is two stories tall and part of it is still used for its original purpose.  The bottom floor is where the livestock and other farming equipment was stored.  However now it is a store/museum.  It has some amazing photos that were taken during the restoration.  The upstairs is still a large open room, used for gatherings and dancing.

Interior shot of the Round Barn Roof

This by far has to be my favorite shot of the barn.  The interior shot of the roof is…well, indescribable.  Call me dull, but I could look around this place all day.  (And practically did.)  The upstairs area was the favorite of the kids.  The briskly walked about the room because running was prohibited.  [cough]  They also stuck their heads out of the several open windows to get their pictures taken and giggle at passers-by. 

Pop’s on Route 66

 Last by not least there was Pop’s.  We actually stopped by here on the way to the barn after taking a quick stop off at Acardia Lake.  It was 97+ degrees outside and we were due for a cold drink.  Pop’s, also called Soda Pop’s, is built in the style of the bridges that were common along the highway during its heyday.  The walls are all glass and they are adorned with glass shelves full of exotic sodas.  There have to be hundreds out different sodas in Pop’s.  They import them in from all over and sell them almost as quickly as they get them in.  To say the place is popular would be an understatement.  You have to jockey to get in line for the sodas coolers.  Annoying?  Not a bit.  While waiting to get near the coolers, you have time to browse the soda selection.  You can even get a card board six-pack to fill up with your choices.  I absolutely love it.  The only down side is the price.  The sodas are $2.79 each.  However, I don’t mind splurging every once in a while for a fabulous family outing. 

Oh, and did I mention that they have excellent food as well?  Their cheese fries are a-freakin-mazing. 

Seriously, I may have to write a brochure for Oklahoma Route 66.  [smile with tooth sparkle]

Pilot Point

21 Mar

This past weekend Jordan, the kids and I went down to Texas to visit with Jordan’s Grandmother.  The trip was a fabulous end to spring break for the kids.  They played outside, got some new toys, went to Dave & Busters, road a carousel, etc…  It was everything a child could ask for in a trip to Grandma’s.  As for the adults, we got the treat of seeing this weekend’s “super moon” in Texas.  With its flat horizon and sparse, short trees, Texas provides ideal viewing when it comes to the night sky. 

Thankfully we’d thought ahead and brought a telescope with us.  Not only was the moon larger than normal, we got to view its craters up close through the telescope.  Now that some educational fun for you!  [wink] 

On the way back home we stopped so I could snap a few pictures of some of my favorite land marks north of Ft. Worth.  In Jordan’s grandmother’s home town are some of the most interesting murals to be found in the deep south country side.  I’ve never seen a nude mural in the south and definitely not two so close together.  And I can’t even imagine what the hand and apple have to do with lounging nudist.  Go figure.  Either way, they definitely make for some interesting conversation.

Then there’s the most interestingly named hotel I’ve ever seen.  I just want to know if the rooms have themes.  Decisions, decisions….do I want the Famine room or the Death room?  [siiigh]

Interestingly enough as I was taking this picture, a leathery old man stopped in the middle of the highway to try to win my affections.  His missing teeth and belly-button length beard did not help him in the least.  “Hey thar purdy lady, you want to take a picture of a REAL Texan?!”  I’m sure there was a wink in there somewhere, but I missed it as I ran back to the car for safety…because all winks from crusty old men are followed by an offer to view scars.  Ick. 

As we passed over the local lake we missed the opportunity to stop at “The Dam Store.”  No worries.  If we got a flat, we could get a “Dam” tow for only $50.  Oh, Texas.  You make me smile.  ;]

Of course the rest of the trip back home was an utter nightmare.  We spent over two hours at dead stand-stills in three traffic jams of epic proportions.  One involved an “interesting” trip across a wide and steep median to gain access to an escape route.  You never want to hear the words “lean to the right!” as you’re driving up an embankment.  [laugh]  Of course, you don’t want to sit on the Interstate for hours on end with two children who have very active bladders.  Good times, good times.  [wink]

Captain Kirk is climbing the mountain…

28 Feb
As promised this weekend Jordan and I took the kids rock hunting.  Jaden’s rock collection was in serious need of some new additions.  And since I didn’t want to spend my weekend pilfering through the play ground for rocks that might be petrified poop, I decided we should turn our hunt into a road trip.  After researching several State Parks in Oklahoma, we settled on Mount Scott.  Mount Scott is located inside the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge just outside Lawton, OK. 
  
After driving for almost an hour and a half, and after looking at nothing by flat land and tumble weeds (and numerous toll plazas), we rounded a bend in the road and we suddenly confronted with the silhouette of mountains on the horizon.  It was absolutely breath-taking.  After living in Oklahoma for seven months now, I never dreamed that the landscape could change so drastically just two hours from home.  As if someone turned on the “lets get excited” sign, the kids went from bored to tears to jumping with glee in the backseat upon laying eyes on our destination.  But we still had to find our way to the top…and that was an interesting trip. 
 
As we neared Mount Scott we came across a lake that set at the foot of the Wichita Mountains.  It was a beautiful lake, one that you would imagine to be surrounded by beautiful homes and beautiful people.  Not so much.  Oh, there were a few nice homes…that were sprinkled in amongst the trialers, RV’s, tents and house boats.  Somewhere we took a wrong turn and ended up in the heart of a hippie commune…at least, that’s what it looked like to me.  I kept waiting to get bum rushed by hill billies.  Or worse, getting invited to take a joy ride on one of the hundreds of golf carts that were zipping about a nearby camp ground.  It was as if the twilight zone existed in a small pocket near the mountain.  Odd is the least of the colorful descriptions I can think of for such a community.
 
Eventually we re-entered the real world and made our way onto the Wildlife Refuge, which was dotted with Buffalo and Longhorns.  The kids adored them and I just hoped that none of them would wander over for a visit.  [wink]  After winding through the refuge we made our way to the top of Mount Scott.  The rest of the day was spent hiking and climbing and soaking up the scenery.  I have to say that Mount Scott is now one of my favorite places.  I can’t wait to go back:

The landscape suddenly transforms from flat to mountainous.

The amazing view from the top.

A quick stop on the way to the top.

Standing on the top of Mount Scott

Eighty degrees and windy.

Mountain goats, unite!

Aaaggghh! Give me your hand!

Just go on without me!

All we need now are explorer hats.

I could soak of the view all day.

Free range Buffalo anyone? No? How about the Longhorns in the next field?

This boulder would be perfect for human sacrifices!

Weekend Update at 9

30 Nov

I have finally recovered enough from our non-stop weekend to regale you with its exciting details.

Saturday Jordan and I packed up the kids in the car and set off for the middle of nowhere.  Which, surprisingly enough is in Western Oklahoma.  Who knew?  (And the kids didn’t mind being packed up as long as we poked holes in their boxes….drum roll, please.)  Jordan’s Great Uncle owns quite a bit of land out there and was also in the possession of most of his grandchildren.   Awesome stuff since that meant that Jaden & Fisher were constantly entertained.  Most of the entertainment stemmed from the elevator they had in their house.  (For reals.  I would have flipped as a kid if I’d visited a house with an elevator.)  Thus, as the adults visited downstairs, the kids rode up and down between the first and third floor about 38 times.  The loud “ding” that the elevator would emit upon arrival kept us up-to-date on their location.

Of course, the elevator didn’t get truly exciting until I agreed to ride in it with the kids.  Somewhere between the first and second floor we got stuck.  And then again on our way to the third floor.  It was hilarious….well, not really.  I was wondering how loudly we would have to yell for help and how long it would take for someone came to the rescue.  Thankfully the elevator, or “alligator” as Fisher calls it, sensed my panic and decided to get its act together.  [whew]  I  have never been so happy to see three flights of stairs.

And what was my favorite part of the day?  Seeing my first Wind Farm on the way home.  I must confess that seeing those giant, lumbering wind mills set as a backdrop to rural Oklahoma was amazing.  I couldn’t stop staring.  (Until I ran off the road…then I stopped.)  ;]

Sunday brought another full day of non-stop fun for us.  We drove up to Jenks, OK which is just outside of Tulsa to visit the Oklahoma Aquarium.  A friend of Jordan’s works there and offered to give of the grand tour.

 

As you can tell, I loved it.  The aquarium was practically crawling with turtles.  [sigh]  Look at that face?  It makes me want to pinch its cheek if that didn’t mean I’d take its head off by accident.

Jaden was content to view the exhibits at her leisure whereas Fisher appeared to be in a race to see everything at once.  (Either that or he was anxious to get to his favorite part…Lunch!)  By the time we reached the Shark exhibit Fisher had finally lost some steam and was ready to really soak in the scene before him.  And around him.  He really got a kick out of standing in the tunnel that ran through the Shark Tank.

 

 

And then came the Loggerhead Turtles.  (A moment of silence please.)  I am almost ashamed of how much I worshiped these turtles as a child.  Instead of logging several hours each day playing Super Mario Brothers, I would spend hours at the computer researching turtles, mostly Loggerheads, and dreaming of a day that I could work with them in the wild or at a facility.  Sadly, that dream didn’t come true.  However, getting to spend some one-on-one time with these guys was amazing.

 

 

This one in particular was super friendly.  (Or super hungry…I am going to pretend that he/she liked as for who we were and not for the slight chance that we were going to feed her/him.)

There were scads of other awesome aquatic creatures there, most of which were in areas too dark to document.  Didn’t want you to think that I was biased towards the turtles.  [Ahem]  ;)

Anywho…the day at the aquarium was amazing.  I could not be more grateful for the chance to have the full tour by Jordan’s friend.  Kudos.  It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for us all.

Tumble Dry Low

27 Oct

Continuing with the theme of “What I Did in Georgia,” let’s talk about cotton.

Cotton!  Could you imagine a more exciting topic?  I daresay that you could.  The wispy, white stuff is everywhere.  Heck, I’m wearing it tip to toe right now.  (Take that, polyester!)

Let me explain…

The beauty of traveling back home for a four-day visit is that you are guaranteed to never get bored.  And if you’ve got as much family to visit as I have, then you’ll probably scamper about in an almost frenzied panic to make sure that you see every relation that you have.  Thus said, I went to see my paternal grandparents last Saturday.    Their house and adjoining farm are situated in the heart of a small farming community.  During the fall there is cotton as far as the eye can see.  The land is transformed into a swaying mixture of maroon, green and white as the cotton fields bloom and then fade away to leafless stalks.  The air is thick with the scent of defoliant, which signals the oncoming harvest.  I absolutely adore it.  My childhood is dotted in weekends spent huddled in a cotton trailer at my grandparents farm.  It was simple, cheap fun that was unrivaled in possibilities.  The cotton trailer could be  a cave in which to hide or an Eskimo haven when you decided to be one.

Cotton season is something I have always wanted my children to experience.  It was such a magical time of year for me as a child…almost like Christmas, but without the presents.  So when we arrived at my grandparents last week, the kids struck out on an adventure in the cotton field that runs along their house.  Jaden and her cousins picked and played and acted silly as they made their way across the field.  Fisher, however, took the business of picking cotton seriously.  He sequestered himself to one corner of the field and picked cotton as if he were panning for gold.

After thirty minutes the children retired from the field to the back porch to sift through their bulging bags.  They were delighted and pleased with their work and couldn’t wait to make something of it.  I plan to turn their cotton into teddy bears like my grandmother did for me when I was young.  It should prove to be an exciting weekend project for us all.