Monday, May 31, 2010

Woke up to a thunderstorm!  Nothing like the sound of thunder, a comfy bed and a cool breeze to keep you in bed a little longer than usual.  Perfect morning!

Yesterday I went to the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum.  I had been to the memorial several times but had never gone to the museum.  It is very moving.  They did an excellent job in the design and they tell the story very well.  It was quite moving and very intense. 

Sad news in the neighborhood.  Another one of my long time neighbors (from the hood) has received the devistating diagnosis of stage 4 esophogial cancer.  I can't believe it!  My heart and prayers are with this family as they face the next few weeks of their time together.  We all have to make the most of the time we have in our own lives and especially with the ones we love.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My daughter just called and had just been to the doctor.  She is now able to walk with crutches and put 25% of her weight on her leg and she can now drive.  Hooray!  She was about to go stir crazy so this will get her going again.  I'm so glad this surgery is behind her she will be walking in about 3 weeks so her summer will be a lot better than she was anticipating.

I have taken 4 days off work and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.  I'm doing a little gardening and just going to enjoy the outdoors.  Just 4 days with nothing scheduled.  How good is that?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Out Like A Light

I am just one member of a family full of fainters.  Everyone in my family (with the exception of me) has a problem staying conscious in hospitals. One sniff of the hospital air and out they go.  Unfortunately I have had more than my fair share of surgeries over the years and each of my family members has attempted to be my support team. 

When I gave birth to my twins it was my father who went down for the count.  One minute he was sitting in a chair, holding my hand,timing my contractions and the next he had slid out of the chair to the floor and was out cold.  Poor dad was trying to fill in for my husband who was in the service at the time but was quickly ushered from the room as soon as he woke up.

A few years later my oldest brother (an L.A. undercover police officer no less) tried to fill in as my support during my hysterectomy.  He did fine until the nurse came in to check my bandage and that is when my big brother fainted falling over the bed rail on top of me!  The nurse had him wheeled out on a gurney straight to the ER where they performed all sorts of tests and presented him with an $1,800.00 bill for services.

My daughter Jamie was the brave soul who accompanied through a hand surgery.  I was barely waking up in my room when I heard the nurse asking me, "Is that your daughter?" pointing to the unconscious figure who had just taken the Nestle Tea plunge into the hallway.  My surgery cost her $1,300.00 in ER fees.

The next one to go down was my other daughter.  This time Ron was with me as well as my daughter.  Again, things went well until I came out of surgery.  It was an outpatient eye surgery so I was sitting in a chair in the recovery room.  I had stitches around my eyes and as my daughter describes it blood tears running down my face.  I was unable to see but heard the commotion as Julie hit the floor.  Poor Ron was tending to me while trying to hold Julie up by the collar of her shirt.  He really had his hands full.

Thank goodness Ron came into my life.  He has helped me take every member of my family to the hospital ER for one thing or another.  He has been with me through two surgeries relieving the fainters from their duty.  And he has remained conscious through all of it!!!!!!

Two  90-year-old 
women, Rose and 
Barb had been  
friends all of their 

When  it was clear that Rose was dying,

Barb visited  her every day. 

One  day Barb said, 'Rose, we both loved 

playing  women's softball all our lives, and
we played  all through High School. Please 
do me one favor:  when you get to Heaven,
somehow you must let me  know if there's
women's softball  there.'  

Rose  looked up at Barb from her deathbed

and said,  'Barb, you've been my best friend 
for many  years. If it's at all possible, I'll do 
this  favor for you.'  

Shortly  after that, Rose passed  on.

A  few nights later, Barb was awakened 

from a sound  sleep by a blinding flash 
of white light and a  voice calling out to 
her, 'Barb,  Barb.'  

'Who  is it', asked Barb, sitting up 

suddenly. 'Who is  it?'  

'Barb  -- it's me, Rose.'

'You're  not Rose. Rose just  died.'

'I'm  telling you, it's me, Rose,' insisted 

the  voice.  

'Rose!  Where are you?'

'In  Heaven,' replied Rose. 'I have some 

really good  news and a little bad  news.'  

'Tell  me the good news first,' said  Barb.

'The  good news,' Rose said, 'is that there's 

softball  in Heaven Better yet all of our old 
buddies who  died before us are here, too. 
Better than that,  we're all young again.
Better still, it's always  springtime, and 
it never rains or snows. And  best of all, 
we can play softball all we want,  and we 
never get  tired.'  

'That's  fantastic,' said Barb. 'It's beyond 

my wildest  dreams! So what's the bad  news?'  

'You're  pitching Tuesday.'

Life  is uncertain - eat dessert  first. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I got this in an email from a friend who has been sending me emails about our horrible socialist president for quite awhile.  This was just another one.  I usually don't respond to these but I couldn't help but respond with the question "Is he selling books or saving America?"  Newt's no dummy......he's selling books, testing the water for the next presidential race and in his spare time, "Saving America"?   I've never seen anything like the fear and hatred that's being spit out toward this president.  It's amazing!

A Personal Message From Newt Gingrich
"Two Simple Steps to Help Save America."

Dear Friend,

America is facing a mortal threat from our president and his Secular-Socialist Machine—a corrupt bureaucracy, which is actively using manipulation, bribery, and dishonesty to demolish our core values and replace them with their own.

If left unchecked, their lethal combination of high tax, big bureaucracy, radically secular policies and machine-politics will radically transform our country into something we barely recognize.

That's why I wrote my new book *To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine* , to explain precisely how we can dismantle this machine and replace it with policies and institutions that work. But I need your help.

So today I'm asking you to take two simple actions to help me save America:

*/First/*: Click below to watch my video about the threats we face.
*/Second/*: Send the video URL to your family and friends to spread the message.

Saving America is the greatest challenge we face today. Together, you and I can restore this great nation to our Founding Fathers vision. But we must act quickly, or our children will inherit a country transformed beyond recognition.

/Newt Gingrich/

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Have you ever wondered if the one dollar bills
In your wallet were ever in a stripper's butt crack or a Chippendale's crotch?
If not, you're wondering now.   Have a nice day ..   

 So folks, always remember to wash your hands after handling money

That's my public service announcement for the day. Thank you very much!

Menopause Maude

When I got into my office this morning the light on my voice inbox was blinking.  I pushed the button and all the one million codes and finally heard the voice of my 84 year old neighbor "Florence Jean" from across the street.  Over and over she kept saying my name, "Dani, Dani, Dani, can you hear me? I know you are there honey cause I saw you come home."  OK, now I realize the call was from yesterday but I have no idea how she got hold of my direct number at work but she obviously thinks it is my home number and she's not giving up without a fight.  She went on until the voice mailbox was finally full...calling my name and basically telling me what a dirty scoundrel I am for not picking up the phone.  Oh my, I'll have to call her sometime today and tell her she called the wrong number and I wasn't ignoring her call.  

I remember the day I moved across the street from Mrs. P.  The minute we got out of the car we could hear her "very loud and very shrill" voice bellowing from her porch.  She was complaining about how a "bunch of kids" were moving in and how there was going to be wild parties and noise all the time.  We were off to a good start.  

The first thing we noticed about Mrs. P. was that we could hear her talking in her house from the confines of our living room with all the windows closed.  I also remember thinking she was "old" I mean "really old" but then I was only twenty so what did I know.

Now, do you remember Samantha's neighbor (In Bewitched), Gladys Kravitz?  Well, she lives across the street from me only she has an Okie twang and the loudest set of pipes in the world.  For the past 41 years she has kept track of my every move and I mean that literally.  She can see right into my living room from her porch.  If I open my front door she senses it and there she is on her porch checking to see what I'm up to.  Sometimes she reminds me of my dog Katie.  Katie always sensed when I was coming home and she was always in the window watching when I drove into my driveway.  SO DOES MRS. P.  It doesn't matter which direction I come from she just knows when I'm pulling into my driveway.  You have to avoid eye contact because once she engages you in conversation you are in it for the duration.   She doesn't know truth from fiction and it hasn't got anything to do with her age.  She's been that way for 41 years.  She once told me her son had been kidnapped by some mafia gang and she hadn't seen him or his family for 10 years.  (Uhhh, he was actually about 12 miles away and came over all the time to mow her yard)

During the first few years I lived across from Florence Jean she was married to her  second husband Raymond.  Now I guess Raymond used alcohol to anesthetize his brain in order to live with Mrs. P.  because that woman could nag the paint off a post.  One summer we could hear her harping on poor ole Raymond that she wanted her car painted.  She was relentless and every night it was the same drama.  That is until one night when Raymond came home "anesthetized" a little heavier than usual and armed with a large grocery sack.  Mrs. P. met him in the front yard just as Raymond whipped out about 6 cans of dark green spray paint and went to town painting Mrs. P's car.  There he was painting the windshield, tires, and everything else on that car while Florence Jean ran around the yard screaming.  Hearing the commotion all the neighbors grabbed their lawn chairs and settled down in the Farckle's yard to watch.

About the time she was going through menopause  she decided to paint her house and painted it the brightest metallic red you've ever seen.  (That's when we called her menopause maude)  We weren't very nice.

After Raymond passed away some 15 years ago Ms. Flo had a series of boyfriends.  My mother once commented on the fact that Mrs. P. had a much busier social life than I did.  There was the street cleaner who would park his street cleaning machine in front of my house leaving the brushes turning while he paid a visit to FLorence Jean.  That was the period when I had the cleanest curb in town.  Then there was the poor one armed man she courted.  He would come over and work like a dog pushing her mower with one arm and cleaning her flower beds.  Then he died and she replaced him with yet another handyman.  At that point my mother all but gave up on me.  I'd been divorced 10 years and my social calendar was empty and Mrs. P. was already on her third prospect.  The problem  Mrs. P. had was she was working them all to death.  That or the ole boys just surrendered to death!

Her last suitor was in his 90's.  He would drive over to pay Florence a visit and I'm not exaggerating it would take him 30 minutes to shuffle up to the porch and another 30 to pull himself up the one step leading to the door.  OK....I am exaggerating....but it took him quite a spell.  But sadly, he passed away about a year ago and there have been no more boyfriends since.

Now, I feel sorry for Mrs. P.  She no longer drives but she's still keeping watch from her chair on the porch.  Guess I'll give her a call to redeem myself.  It may take awhile to convince her she called the wrong #.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Honestly, sometime yesterday I had a brilliant idea about something to write about that would be so earth shatteringly interesting that it would hold the attention of anyone lucky enough to come across it.  Now, that was yesterday and today......well, let's just say I have slept since then.  Today I got nothin!

The ability to make and understand puns is considered to be the highest level of language development. Here are the 10 first place winners in the International Pun Contest:

1.  A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons.  The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger." 

2.  Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

3.  Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft.  Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4.  Two hydrogen atoms meet.  One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

5..  Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal?  His goal: transcend dental medication.

6.  A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories.  After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.  "But why?", they asked, as they moved off.  "Because," he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7.  A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption.  One of them goes to a family in  Egypt  and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in  Spain ; they name him "Juan."  Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother.  Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal.  Her husband responds, "They're twins!  If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

8.  A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds.  Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair.   He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not.  He went back and begged the friars to close.  They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close.  Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

9.  Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.  This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh.

No pun in ten did

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It was a hot and humid day in Oklahoma.  I took my daughter out shopping today and about killed myself lugging her wheelchair in and out of the car.  I can't imagine doing that all the time.  Not to mention it is apparent we still haven't made accessibility a priority.  We encountered a lot of obstacles just trying to get in some of  the shops.  But Julie seemed to enjoy getting out of the house and even managed a pedicure so she had fun.  I'm exhausted but I'll get over it.  Julie has about another 4 weeks before she can start bearing weight on her knee but she's really doing good and her therapy is going well.  Now her tired mom is going to bed.

Friday, May 21, 2010


If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

(Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.

(Now that's more like it !)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.


A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death. (Creepy.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour

(Don't try this at home, maybe at work)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.

(Honey, I'm home. What the...?)

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field.

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.

(What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day.

(I still want to be a pig in my next life...quality over quantity)

Butterflies taste with their feet.

(Something I always wanted to know.)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

(Hmmmmmm.... ..)

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.

(If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.

(Okay, so that would be a good thing)

A cat's urine glows under a black light.

(I wonder who was paid to figure that out.)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

(I know some people like that.)

Starfish have no brains

(I know some people like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed.

(If they switch, they'll live a lot longer)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's On My Mind....

After another evening of tornado sirens and threats of baseball size hail and torrential rainfall, Ron and I rolled down the windows and went for a drive.  The air was so clean and it smelled so good.  A tense evening of watching the weather turned out to be a delightful evening after all.  I am sorry for everyone who did get that awful hail.  Baseball size hail can do unbelievable damage.  I'm dreading to see if Oklahoma home insurance rates increase again after all the severe weather we have had lately.  Not to mention the insurance companies that threaten and often do cancel policies if you have the audacity to file a claim.  So, what's the use of having insurance?

Ron and I are going to Poteau, OK over memorial weekend to the cemetery to put flowers on my parents graves and to see if the new family marker has been set.  My brother had his name put on the stone but I didn't.  It would freak me out to see my name on a tombstone.  Since I've been a notary public for the past 40 years I think I just want a stone with a notary seal on it that says simply "My Commission Expired".  I think that gets right to the point!

 I'm going to avoid the whole experience for as long as possible!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sleepless in Oklahoma

Have you ever had one of those nights where no matter what you do you can't turn off your brain?  I think I got about 4 hours of sleep last night because for the first 4 hours my mind was on overload.  I think I replayed my entire 60 years backwards and didn't leave out a single moment.  I wouldn't have minded so much if I could have just skipped the bad stuff.....the regrets and the what ifs.  Not that I have a huge amount of regrets (not huge but definitely more than I want to relive in one night) but I think it is the what ifs that really get me in a tizz because they are so subjective.  Nobody knows whether the what ifs would have resulted in happy endings or just more regrets.
I don't like to run for pills and rarely take aspirin but I gave in about 1:00 and took the only thing I could find in the house, one lonely Sominex (for safe and restful sleep, sleep, sleep) Yea, I don't take pills I just memorize the commercials.  I even tried singing the jingle to myself for awhile hoping that would induce sleep but nope. Then I switched to Ma Ma Cass Elliot's song, "Dream a little dream" which led to me thinking about choking on a sandwich and afraid to eat anything harder than a soft boiled egg.  Oh how the mind wanders!

So I'm going to have to get through this day with less than 4 hours of sleep and hey I'm doing good to make it on eight!  Since my internal clock is set for 4:15 a.m. it didn't give me enough time to recover this morning.  It's going to be a very long day!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ahhhhhh Love is in the air.

You can sure tell it is spring, college and high school graduations, yard sales, lawnmowers humming!  My best friend and co-worker has twin daughters who just turned 21 this year.  Both girls graduated from college this weekend, one in pre-med and the other from nursing school.  They also got engaged Saturday to their high school sweethearts in front of family and friends.  Now talk about an emotional weekend for their parents.  Congratulations to Cory and Tiffany.....two great girls who make their parents proud!

My weekend was uneventful.  I did manage to clean out closets and make donations to Goodwill however that is about as far as my accomplishments went.

I've been inspired by another bloggers effort to control her pre-diabetes and have gone back to tracking my food and exercise.  I had slacked off for awhile but had continued to lose weight however I know that if I'm not diligently watching what I eat I could easily start losing control.  So thanks to Linda and her efforts with her new pre-diabetes journal I am back on track!  I found some good recipes that I'll share when I get a chance.

Here's a few bumper stickers that gave me a chuckle!

Fat People Are Harder to Kidnap

Kids in the front seat cause accidents, accidents in the back seat cause kids.

Stop animal experimentation - use lawyers!

Madness takes its toll, Please have exact change.

and last

Politicians and diapers should both be changed regularly and for the same reason.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bare Bottomed Betty

I have spoken in the past about the great neighborhood I have been fortunate to live in.  When my children were young other young families surrounded us and it was a great neighborhood to be belong to.  There were a few families who had resided on the block since the first house was purchased in the subdivision and then there were a few houses that had several owners over the years.

In the summer time we would usually gather in someone's front yard in the evenings, just sitting together having coffee and dessert.  Since our houses were all centered in the middle of the block we would leave the windows open to listen for sleeping children.  Most of us armed with child monitors whose ranges were long enough for us to keep a vigilant ear out in case a sleeping child awakened.  Something I probably wouldn't do today but it seemed perfectly safe at the time.

Normally the husbands were the first to gather as we wives were usually finishing the supper dishes and preparing the refreshments.  They men would set up the chairs and stake claim to their spots.  

One summer the guys began to gather in the Farckle's yard every night.  We didn't pay much attention to this but by the 5th night or so without rotating our location we did start wondering why we were staying in one yard.  We wondered that is until the night we noticed the guys slowing inching their lawn shairs slightly to the east.  Pretty soon they were a good yard or two away from the women.

At some point I decided to run next door to my house to check on my sleeping children and as I came back out my front door I just happened to look up and into the window of my neighbor directly across the street.  Betty and her husband were new to the block and hadn't started joining our evening coffee group.  What had caught my eye was the fact that the entire house was dark but the living room window was open.  You could see through the living room into the kitchen.  The refrigerator door was open and the light from the frig. was clearly illuminating a naked Betty standing in front of the open refrigerator surveying it's contents. 

There she was, Bare Bottomed Betty. and there were our husbands, about to fall out of their chairs as they strained their necks to catch the late night floor show.  Suddenly it became clear as to why we had moved to the Farckle's yard and the sudden change in venue and why our (the wives) chairs were always facing the house!

To the disappointment of the neighborhood men I called Betty the next day and delicately explained her need to close her curtains at night.  She and her husband never did join our nightly gathering and in fact they didn't remain on the block too long.  We never did stop referring to her as Bare Bottomed Betty either!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The last dance!

Obituary: Doris Eaton Travis, 106, was a chorus girl in the Ziegfeld Follies

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 13, 2010

Doris Eaton Travis, who died May 11 at age 106, traversed one of the longest and more inspiring careers in show business. On stage since childhood, she was the youngest chorus girl ever hired in the Ziegfeld Follies, a popular theatrical spectacle of the early 20th century designed to "glorify the American girl."

By the time of her death from an aneurysm at a hospital in Commerce, Mich., Mrs. Travis was the last surviving chorus girl from the Follies, according to Ziegfeld archivist Nils Hanson. He said Mrs. Travis's death "marks the end of the Ziegfeld golden era of Broadway."

An American counterpart to the Folies Berg?re in Paris, the original Ziegfeld Follies ran from 1907 to 1931 and featured some of the top entertainers of the day, including W.C. Fields and Will Rogers. It introduced songs by Irving Berlin and other leading pop composers.

Impresario Florenz Ziegfeld spared no expensive in celebrating feminine beauty, and his Follies presented acres of alluring women dripping with silk and shimmering art deco jewelry. Hanson said the pageantry and glamour of the Follies inspired flamboyant stage shows of the sort now found in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
"It was beauty, elegance, loveliness," Mrs. Travis told the New York Times in 2005, "beauty and elegance like a French painting of a woman's body."

Well, to a point. For the 1919 show, Ms. Travis was elevated from the chorus to specialty dancer, at one time portraying paprika in a life-size "salad" of women dancers. She was later promoted to salt and then pepper. She became a solo tap performer in 1920, the last of her three years with the Follies.
Afterward, Mrs. Travis appeared in a few silent films and was regarded as a reliable performer in stage revues and musical comedies. She introduced the song "Singin' in the Rain" in a 1929 Broadway production -- "You know what that did for Gene Kelly," she later said, "but anyway, I was No. 1.

"With her stage career dwindling by the mid-1930s -- many theaters shut down during the Depression -- she taught ballroom dance for an Arthur Murray school in New York before opening a franchise in Michigan. She later launched a prosperous horse breeding ranch in Oklahoma.

Doris Eaton was born March 14, 1904, in Norfolk, where her father was a newspaper Linotype operator. The family, which included seven children, soon settled in Washington.

With her sisters Mary and Pearl, Doris appeared in a 1911 production of Maurice Maeterlinck's play "The Blue Bird" at Washington's Belasco Theatre, which led to professional assignments for a stock company that played the Poli theater chain. She said that President Woodrow Wilson was a regular at the Poli Theatre in Washington and often waved from the balcony to the Eaton children onstage.

The three daughters were soon out-earning their father, and Mrs. Travis wrote in her 2003 memoir, "The Days We Danced," that theater managers knew "if you needed three or four more children, you could call Mama Eaton and get them all in one place." Underage Doris lied about her age and used pseudonyms to avoid problems with child-labor laws.

The children began winning stage roles in New York, where Pearl Eaton had landed a job as a dance rehearsal coach with the Ziegfeld Follies. Mrs. Travis, then 14, was visiting during rehearsals when a producer appeared smitten by her looks and engaged her to be an understudy for dancing star Ann Pennington.

(Photo courtesy of Zeigfeld Club)

After leaving the Ziegfeld Follies in 1920, Mrs. Travis appeared in a number of Broadway plays, revues and forgettable silent films, among them "The Broadway Peacock" (1922) with Pearl White of the cliff-hanging silent serials.
Mrs. Travis's sister Mary, meanwhile, enjoyed a brighter stage and movie career, notably singing in the early Marx Brothers film comedy "The Cocoanuts" (1929), before her career dried up. She descended into alcoholism and died in 1948.

"Ballet dancing and the theater was really my sister's whole life," Mrs. Travis told Playbill magazine. "With me, it was just a job. I never had stars in my eyes about the theater. With Mary, her dancing was part of her soul. And when she had no place to go, I think she just died inside."

Several of the Eaton siblings became alcoholics, and Pearl died in an unsolved murder in 1958. Mrs. Travis's brother Charles Eaton died in 2004 at 94.

Mrs. Travis's first husband was Joseph Gorham, a theater producer twice her age. She called him a cruel, abusive man; he died from a heart attack six months after their marriage in 1923. She later had a long affair with Nacio Herb Brown, who wrote "Singin' in the Rain," which Mrs. Travis sang in the Hollywood Music Box Revue.

In 1949, she married one of her Michigan dance pupils, Paul Travis, an engineer who became wealthy from a doorjamb he invented and used on many cars. He died in 2000, and they had no children. Mrs. Travis had no immediate survivors.

Operating dance studios was fun and profitable, she said, but rock-and-roll "sort of put a damper on the ballroom dancing business," and in 1970 the Travises moved to Oklahoma from Michigan. They oversaw an 800-acre ranch and made a small fortune by renting out parcels of land.

In her spare time, she earned a high school diploma and, at 88, a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma. One of her American history professors told the New York Times, "It was unnerving when she came up to me after I lectured on World War I and said, 'I met Mr. Wilson.' The first thing that went through my head was, 'Did I get everything right?' "

Mrs. Travis never retired. In recent years, she was regularly featured in an annual Broadway AIDS benefit, most recently in April, when she danced a few steps with the help of two shirtless young male dancers. After rapturous applause, she walked off stage by herself.

 I had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Travis dance at the Sooner Theater about 8 years ago at age 98.  She was the cutest thing.    She was literally a walking history book!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Strangers are just friends we haven't met.

It will be a week tomorrow since my daughter's surgery.  Happily she is on the mend and getting around much better now that the heavy duty pain meds are only taken before therapy sessions.   Although the day she had surgery was quite a long day and sitting in waiting rooms can be quite tiring it was not all bad.  I met a very nice woman whom I had quite a long visit with and this chance meeting is entirely credited to her very outgoing personality. 

I had been sitting in the waiting room only a short time after Julie was taken to the pre-op room when someone gently tapped me on the shoulder.  I looked up to see an older lady (somewhere in my age range) smiling down at me.  She said she noticed I was also waiting on someone having surgery and had just learned about a hamburger place down the road and invited me to go with her for some lunch.  I declined the invitation as my son-in-law and I had just finished a late breakfast but I was so struck by her friendliness.  I have always been a little shy with strangers and so I admired her straight forward friendliness wishing I could be more like her. 

Later when she returned from lunch she immediately struck up a conversation.  She had a youthful quality about her inspite of her obvious gray hair and facial lines.  She was tall and slender with a boyish haircut.  She wore a plaid work shirt over a plain white tank top and khaki pants rolled at the hem.  She had an Annie Hall quality about her.  

Within minutes I learned that she was a horse woman and that she and her husband (who was having shoulder surgery) owned a horse ranch about 50 miles from where I live.  She and her husband moved there from Utah about seven years prior.  I asked what brought her from Utah to the small town in Oklahoma and she immediately replied, "horses".  She had always wanted to raise horses and it seems that Purcell, Oklahoma is well known horse country.  (I had no idea)

She told me about her love affair with horses but how the economy had pretty much forced a decision to get out of the business.  She was preparing to transport her last 3 horses to Amsterdam to deliver them to their new owners.  She and her husband would then be moving to their rental home in Florida.  When she told me the horses would travel by air to Amsterdam I was astounded.  It had never occurred to me that livestock flew on jets (duh).  She said that a jetliner can carry up to 16 horses at one time.  She and her husband will be flying as the grooms for their horses, staying in the cargo area with them for the entire flight and feeding and watering them every 30 minutes.   She said that this will allow them to fly for free round trip.  On the trip back they will fly in business class as they will be considered temporary employees of the airline.  

I found all this so fascinating as I had never heard of such a thing.  She then told me that she and her husband plan to continue taking trips as grooms in order to provide a means to travel around the world.  

We talked for about 3 hours and I learned she had had two knee replacements (on the same knee) and got the name of her doctor who came highly recommended.  

She told me of her 175 pound weight loss and how hard she had worked to try to avoid the knee surgery (but to no avail).  She was just one of the friendliest and most interesting people I have met in a long time.  

Our conversation was interrupted when we were called back to the recovery room to sit with my daughter.  I never got a chance to even exchange names but she turned a long, tiring day into an opportunity to make a new friend and learn something new to boot.  I guess the moral is to keep your eyes open for those opportunities as you will know never what you might otherwise miss.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Follow the Yellow Brick Road......

Happy to report that myself and my family survived the storms yesterday!  One tornado touched ground less than a block behind my daughter's house.  Her husband picked her up from therapy early so they could get home before the storms hit.  Surprise!  They had no more gotten in the house when the sirens blew and the tornado was touching down on highway 9 behind their house.  This is it and what they saw when they got out of the car!

Then it traveled east toward Ron's place of employment.  He called me on his cell phone as the twister went by their building and it was LOUD even through the phone!  The ceiling tiles in the building were being lifted off their track and it took the door off the building so they had a lot of leaves and debris blowing in but other than that everything was OK.  It did destroy an out building on the property but they were all lucky.   This is Ron's account of the event as told to his daughter:

"There were Tornadoes to to Left of me! There were Tornadoes to the Right of Me! There were even Tornadoes on Top of ME!  But I did not make a visit to Oz!
At work there is a new building going up in front of where I work and all that had been completed was the "rib cage" of steel girders. Well, let's just say that the left side ( north side of the building) has some broken ribs now.
At work we were told to get into the class room as a tornado was on the way. It was! It touched down and hit that new buidling and went just to the north of my work building. As it went by, the building shook and the ceiling tiles were lifted up and down several times. Thought I was going to see the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow or maybe the Rapture was coimg. Had two thoughts about the second option. If it was the rapture and I "disappeared" then that would be a good thing. If I "stayed" behind, then that may not be such a good thing.
About an hour later we repeated getting back into the class room as a another one was coming. But that warning was not as exciting(?) as the first one.
Finally, Sitel said to go home, so I did.
So in summary, I am still in Norman and not somewhere else."

Unfortunately there were a lot of people not so fortunate.  I believe today they said 5 people were confirmed dead and there may be more.  There were still some people missing.  I heard this morning on the news that there were 10  tornados in the entire state but a co-worker just told me that one station said there were more than 29 from the beginning to the end of the storm crossing the state.  I sure hope the storms lessened their intensity before traveling on east.  We are having a reprieve today but storms are expected for the remainder of the week.  Our tornado season didn't really get started here until yesterday.  We had been lucky so far this year.  Hope that's it for awhile!

 The Country Boy IGA on highway 9.

Monday, May 10, 2010


An older lady was somewhat lonely and decided she needed a pet to keep her company.  So, off to the pet shop she went.  She searched and searched. None of the pets seemed to catch her interest, except this ugly frog.  As sh e walked by the jar he was in, she looked and he winked at her.


The old lady figured, what the heck! She hadn't found anything else. So, she bought the frog.  She placed him in the car, on the front seat beside her. &nb sp;As she was slowly driving down the road, the frog whispered to her KISS ME AND YOU WON'T BE SORRY!

So! The old lady figured, WHAT THE HECK, and kissed the frog.

IMMEDIATELY the frog turned into an absolutely gorgeous, sexy, young, handsome prince.












She's old...... NOT DEAD!!!




Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn't seem to get to work on time.

Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their "Older Person Friendly" policies. One day the boss called him into the office for a talk. "Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang up job, but your being late so often is quite bothersome."

"Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it."

''Well good, you are a team player. That's what I like to hear. It's odd though your coming in late. I  know you're retired from the Armed Forces.  What did they say if you came in late there?"

''They said, "Good morning, Admiral, can I get you coffee, sir?'''


Friday, May 7, 2010

On the mend!

My daughter's surgery went well but it was a long day.  She was in the hospital at 8am but didn't get into surgery until 12:00.  We were home by 5pm.  I stayed all night with her and got up ever 3 hours to give her pain meds.  We managed to stay ahead of the pain and she did really well.  She started therapy today and tolerated it pretty good.  Soooooo everything is going great and I hope her rehab. goes just as well.  She has about 4 months of rehab. ahead.  The doctor didn't know why the last surgery failed but this time they did a donor graph.  He just said she was in that 10% failure rate and the cause is unknown.  I sure hope this one heals the way it is supposed to. 

It is only 8pm but I'm to bed!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tomorrow is a big day!

Tomorrow is my daughter's surgery.  I talked to her last night and she sounded a little anxious.  On one hand she knows what to expect and on the other hand "She Knows WHAT to Expect".  She is having a good-bye party with her kindergarten class today.  She is so sad about missing the last month of school with them because as she has said several times, "This is the best class I've ever had."  Hmmmmm seems I heard that last year, the year before and the year before that.  I see a pattern here!

I was thinking on my way to work this morning that Julie will now have spent 3 years teaching from a wheelchair.  Her first year as a teacher she broke her foot so bad that the bone wouldn't heal and so she was in a wheelchair almost the entire year.  She had to wear a bone stimulating device most of the time which required her to be in the chair.   Julie isn't very big herself so she got a child's wheelchair to use and that put her more eye-to-eye with her 4 and 5 year olds.  Her classroom was in a portable building outside the main school building and because it had stairs going to the door she would have to get out of her chair and crawl up the steps dragging her chair behind her.  The school was not very accomodating I might add.  I told her at the end of the year that if she could survive that first year she could survive anything.

I remember one day she decided to take her little ones on a field trip.  They walked from school about 2 blocks to the downtown children's theater.  On the way she allowed two of her little boys to push her in her chair.  Well, the enthusiastic duo got carried away and began running.  Julie said her hair was flying back like a dog in a car window as they ran full speed down the sidewalk with the rest of her class running to catch up.  Julie was screaming and the boys were laughing and I'm sure they were quite the sight.  I later heard about the caravan from a friend who caught me at the grocery store and said, "I think I saw your daughter this afternoon."

If I were five I know Julie would be the kindergarten teacher I would want.  She has more energy in her toe than a room full of 5 year-olds.  Her imagination is off the chart and she is the world's greatest story teller, next to her grandpa.  What I admire most is her heart...she truly loves each and everyone of her students and has a special connection to the children with challenges.  Having a learning disability and having had to work so hard to compensate for her dyslexia she has a natural empathy for children with disabilities.  Although she identifies with their struggles she gently pushes them to keep trying and applauds their successes with gusto.  I think she also gives parents that reassurance that with a lot of support their children CAN succeed.

I could write a book about how I admire my lovely daughter.  She is the funniest person in our family and the most stubborn.  When she gets something in her head she will not rest until she has either done it or talked someone else into doing it.  She never gives up!  That determination has carried her farther than anyone ever thought possible.  I cannot imagine my life without her and I thank God every day for my surprise baby.  I may not have known she was sharing a womb with her sister for 9 months but believe me she has made her presence known every day since.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Farckle Family

Oh how I miss my old neighborhood!  It was never dull!  We had some colorful people on our block back in the day.  My next door neighbors were some of the most interesting and fun people I've ever known.  Now their name wasn't Farckle but that's pretty close.  Now PaPa Farckle was as tight as a tick on a boar hog.  He could squeeze molten copper from a penny with his bare hands.  He came by his frugal ways honestly as Grandpa Farckle was just as tight as his son.  PaPa and MaMa Farckle had 4 children and they were a rowdy but sweet bunch of kids.  Since PaPa was in the National Guard he had access to army rations, those mysterious cans of mystery meat, mystery desserts and mystery everything.  They were especially mysterious because none of them had labels identifying their contents.  PaPa Farckle was so cheap he fed this stuff to his family whenever he could get his hands on the army cast offs.  When sea rations were on the menu the kids would get so excited that no one was late for supper.  I guess they loved the not knowing what they were going to get.  Everyone picked their cans and then one by one they would uncover the hidden treasure.

Now PaPa Farckle and Grandpa Farckle were a couple of meisers to be reckoned with and they ran a very tight patriarchal society.  Grandma Farckle really didn't have much of a voice in her family and neither did MaMa Farckle though she managed better than Grandma.  Well, as in the natural cycle of life, Grandma and Grandpa got older and unfortunately Grandma became ill and passed away.  Poor Granpa in the throws of grief put Grandma's ashes in the closet and took a trip to see his cousin.  When he returned he had married the non English speaking housekeeper of his cousin.  (Nothing soothes a grief stricken heart more than a new spouse)  Anyway, the new wife moved into Grandpa's home and one day while cleaning her new house she came across the brown paper wrapped box in the closet.  Without identifying the contents she just threw it out and that's how Grandma Farckle's ashes ended up in a Hefty trash bag at the local dump. 
As soon as the deed was discovered the entire extended Farckle family went straight to the dump to search for Grandma's ashes.  Unfortunately, they were never discovered but being a creative bunch of people they simply held Grandma's memorial service at the town dump site with one of her grandsons providing music on his guitar.   Now, although this story (as told to me by my neighbor and Grandma Farckle's own son) didn't really surprise me however I was horrified that he could tell it with a straight face!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I had the best "Honey Do" weekend ever!!!!!!!! Ron was my loyal servant all weekend and we got the gutter screens put on the guttering.  Hooray!  No more cleaning the gutters (or at least not as often).  We got the washers replaced in the hoses and outdoor faucets and they don't leak buckets anymore.  We helped my daughter get her garage cleaned out and some furniture moved around.  We were busy bees all weekend and ended it with a backyard cookout yesterday.  Oh, we even squeezed in a trip to the May Fair yesterday as well.  I just love productive weekends.  I'm trying to get everything caught up before my daughter's surgery on Thursday!