Category Archives: Silliness



Plan A was to make a psychedelic lawn gnome (think Janis Joplin’s Porsche meets J.K. Rowling) inspired by some crazy earthy-hippie-celestial stationery I have … but then I noticed that my little concrete companion’s beard and bangs had kind of a leafy texture … and you know how I love the Green Man … so of course I had to scrap my original plans and go for a more mythical look.

The metallic paint on his hat, legs and feet sort of overpowered his face, so I added just a little iridescent glitter paint to his beard and eyes after I finished. Now he looks like what you’d get if RuPaul gave the Green Man a makeover. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

He still needs a coat of lacquer before he goes outside to keep an eye on the garden. I’m also thinking of picking up some crazy-looking ceramic mushrooms from Garden Ridge for him to tend.

Does anybody else* find it pathetic that I used a perfectly good snow day to turn an innocent lawn gnome into an English-folklore-inspired drag queen?


*Besides Ron, I mean. His response, upon seeing my new friend, was: “Oh, my God. That’s just scary.”

Eeeee! Bees!

It is too cold to play with my bees, and it is going to stay too cold for a long time, so I decided to get my Apis mellifera fix via retail therapy. (Marilyn, you do NOT want to click the preceding link.)

These ridiculously cute galoshes, which I just ordered from Amazon, should inspire me to walk to work once in a while.

I saw this adorable cake pan at Williams-Sonoma the other day. I was very excited to find it, but Ron talked me out of buying it. I have since decided that my judgment is better than his, so I am going to Utica Square tomorrow after my Reading Room shift to buy one. I’m thinking I might use it to make a cake for the first homework night of 2009, which will probably happen in mid-January.

I also bought a bee-and-flower cookie cutter set the other day at Hobby Lobby, but I haven’t had a chance to use it yet.

I wish I could find an umbrella with bees on it, but apparently they don’t exist. Maybe I can get a black umbrella and paint some bees on it. That would be way cute.

I’m told it’s weird that I keep buying bee stuff, but I think that’s wrong. It’s not weird when cat owners buy sweatshirts and coffee mugs with kittens on them. Bees are cute and fuzzy, too. They’re just more ambitious than cats.



Because I have to get up at 7 a.m. to finish preparing for class, I can’t stay up all night Photoshopping images … but I did want to share just a few shots from our trip this weekend. The photo above is the view from halfway up Tucumcari Mountain, which Ron and I climbed on Saturday.

The climb was Ron’s idea. He’s been looking forward to it for weeks and even did some training for the hike (which is roughly a three-mile round trip over mildly challenging terrain) by walking to the gym several times a week and walking the dogs up and down a long, steep hill near our house. This is how he looked when he got to the top of the mountain.

The view was nice, but I was more fascinated with the tiny creatures we encountered on the way up. This butterfly — which was about the size of a nickel — left me wishing, once again, for a macro lens…. 

For some reason, this rock reminds me of a wise, gentle Muppet.

Luckiest. Shot. Ever. I was surprised by the number of pollinators we saw on the mountain. I was trying to get this wasp working the flower you see in the foreground, but it decided to take off just as the shutter opened. Awesome.

A wonky shot of the gorgeous U-Drop Inn on Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas. We passed through town late Friday night on our way to Tucumcari. 

Here we are on Route 66 at the Blue Swallow, where Bill kindly took our picture this morning in front of one of the new murals he hired a guy to paint on the exterior walls. Ignore my hair, which is a complete disaster because A.) I’d just gotten out of the shower, and B.) I forgot to bring a hairbrush on this trip. 

The hair situation factored into my otherwise inexplicable decision to purchase a straw cowboy hat for $3.50 at a convenience store on the way out of town.

Ron shot this just before sunset as we were coming through the Gloss Mountains on the way home. It still blows my mind that we have mesas like this in Oklahoma. 

I’m not sure I’m really getting away with that hat, but normal style conventions do not apply to road trips, and it’s definitely not the silliest souvenir I’ve worn home from Tucumcari. That honor goes to a beaded Indian barrette with two huge, charcoal-gray feathers attached, which I bought at the late, great Coyote Moon one evening and insisted on wearing all the way home. (You can imagine how awesome it looked with the screaming red dye job I was sporting at the time.)

Hope your weekend was as much fun as mine.


Red Fork Romper Room

When I was 15, I had the best Crayola collection in three counties. That and a fondness for sparkly finger paint, blue freezy pops, and bubblegum-flavored soda ensured that I never lacked for weekend babysitting gigs.

Babysitting, apparently, is one of those things you never really forget how to do … as Her Royal Highness Princess Wiggly helped me demonstrate this week:

I forgot to take the camera along for our visit to a Pawnee storytelling session on Monday, but I remembered to bring it for craft time at the library on Tuesday, where Ron kindly served as our photographer. Above, we are making a God’s eye. Every vacation Bible school teacher, camp counselor, or Girl Scout troop leader worth her salt knows that God’s eyes are The Best Craft Project Ever when you’re working with little kids, because they’re fast, easy, and colorful — the perfect combination for a roomful of busy munchkins.

Here, Her Royal Highness is coloring a Little Miss Muffet puppet during the same craft session. (The theme was spiders, so all the crafts involved spiders, yarn, weaving, or some combination of the above.) 

As her pseudonym suggests, Princess Wiggly is not, as a general rule, big on naps … but once she sat on the papasan, she found it sooooooo irresistibly comfortable that she actually asked permission to sleep there.

Scout — who adores Wiggly — stood guard on the floor in front of her for an hour or so before joining her for a snooze and a snuggle.

Below are some pictures of the craft projects Wiggly made today.

With a little help, Wiggly created a personalized tiara, a scepter, and a scrapbook all about her adventures at the zoo. I was a bit skeptical about the prefabbed fun-foam craft kits, but after watching a busy 5-year-old spend the better end of five hours covering every available surface with rhinestones, glitter, and puffy stickers, I’m a believer. Here are some of the pages from Her Majesty’s scrapbook, featuring those crazy square pictures I mentioned yesterday:

The text — which Wiggly carefully printed on there herself — says, “I rode the train.” And yes, that is a photobooth sticker of Ron and me on the right. Wiggly, who was generally impressed with my eclectic sticker collection, was particularly intrigued with this bit of ephemera. I have made a mental note to track down a photo booth for our next adventure together….

The page on the right is probably the most ornately decorated of the lot. Wiggly shot the picture on the left from the zoo train. The text says, “I took a picture.”

We dug the sea lions. The text says, “I saw seals.”

The text at left says “FLAMINGO.” We were running out of puffy heart letters, so Wiggly filled in the missing letters with a purple colored pencil. The text at right says, “I got a flat penny.” What you can’t tell from the picture is that the penny in question has a penguin embossed on it. Wiggly really dug the penguin reward stickers, although I’m not sure whether she has any particular fondness for penguins or was simply enchanted with the possibilities offered by the sheer quantity of stickers at her disposal. It’s hard to turn down a sheet containing more than 100 tiny stickers.

Wiggly drew birdseed all around the border of the picture at left. The text at right says “Wiggly fed birds.” Except, y’know, we used her real name. I think she looks hilarious in my sunglasses.

We were really into the interactive budgie exhibit. The page at left proudly proclaims, “I TOOK THE PICTURE.” At right: Note the budgie perched on the stick Wiggly is holding (which had been dipped in something sticky and then dredged in birdseed to attract avian acquaintances) and the feather that Wiggly and I found on the ground and kept as a souvenir.

“PHOTOS BY WIGGLY.” It’s hard to tell, but these are from the African penguin exhibit — hence the parade of penguins dancing madly around the borders.

And last but not least, here are Wiggly and a little boy admiring the penguins (those are waves around the edges of the page, drawn by Wiggly and then treated with glitter glue to look more like water) and Wiggly riding an ostrich on the zoo carousel.

We had a couple more pages in the scrapbook, too, but they didn’t look as cool ‘cos we didn’t have time to finish them up before Wiggly had to leave for gymnastics class.

Now … time to get offline and reorganize my craft closet. After all my artsy-craftsy adventures this week, I’m beginning to realize that there are disadvantages to my throw-everything-in-a-bin-and-shut-the-door approach to storing craft supplies….


Inner child

Sorry for the sporadic posts. We’ve had a lot of storms this week, so the computer has been unplugged more often than usual. My tomatoes are getting tired of the rain, but the local frog population loves it.

I’ve also been a bit busy. My inner child has a playmate this week, as I’m babysitting a friend’s 5-year-old every day except Friday. We spent a good deal of time yesterday making Shrinky-Dinks. Today, we made a lot of bead necklaces, fixed quesadillas for lunch, and spent part of the afternoon at the library, learning about spiders and making a God’s eye and a paper puppet of Little Miss Muffet and her spider.

My young friend is WAY into crafts. She is also way into princesses, so tomorrow, Her Royal Highness and I will be making a sparkly tiara and a scepter, which she will probably insist on carrying to the zoo….



Great Stone Frog

(Photo by Ron.)

It’s not quite the Old Man of the Mountain, but if you happen to be in northeastern Oklahoma, this big stone frog west of Mannford makes a pretty good excuse for a Sunday drive and a silly photo op. (And if you’re playing along at home, that’s 55 down and 65 to go. I’ve gotta rustle up a freelancing gig to pay for some gas and motel rooms so I can devote an entire week of my recently-freed-up summer to finishing item No. 64 on my 101 Things list….)


Road trippin’

I had occasion to carpool to Springfield, Mo., today with some friends. On the way back — somewhere between Bois D’Arc and Halltown — one of them decided she wanted some ice cream.

I happened to know that the best Route 66 soda fountain this side of South Pasadena was just up the road in Webb City, so we got off the interstate at our earliest convenience and headed for the Bradbury Bishop Deli.

Unfortunately, it was closed by the time we arrived … but being the resourceful roadie that I am, I also happened to know that Four Women on the Route in Galena, Kan., was staying open late for a cruise-in event this evening. I happened to know that one of the girls had mentioned that her grandson was crazy about the movie Cars. And I happened to know that the truck that inspired the character of Tow Mater in Cars was parked in front of Four Women on the Route … so three women cruised 66 to Galena to see the Four Women.

My friend Donna and I enjoyed our smoothies at Four Women on the Route.

Our friend Jana — whose ice-cream craving inspired this side trip — had a bowl of warm brownie bites with two scoops of ice cream melting on top. Mmmm….

Dean “Crazy Legs” Walker gave us a partial demonstration of his famous foot trick while we posed for a photo op in front of “Tow Tater.”

Predictably, I didn’t have my camera out for the most memorable moment of the afternoon — the moment when the First Lady of Country Fiddle exchanged autographs with the man whose feet inspired Mater’s driving-backwards trick.

I did, however, have my camera out yesterday afternoon, when a trip to Catoosa in search of pond plants degenerated into a pointless drive down 66 to Afton. I started to come back by way of the turnpike but made a last-minute decision to take the Big Cabin exit when I noticed a construction zone looming ahead. I wound up taking U.S. 60 from Big Cabin to Nowata and then dropped south on 169 back to Tulsa, bagging photos of two more attractions in the process:

Giant Indian chief at Big Cabin.

Bowling ball madness in Nowata. A small, handmade sign that reads “BOWLING BALL YARD ART” directs travelers off U.S. 60 and onto a somewhat rugged backroad to find this bit of folk art.

Oh … and for the record, that brings my tally to 54 down and 66 to go on that list of attractions for Oklahoma.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend, too. 🙂


Attack of the killer procrastinators

I was supposed to be proofing the Trip Guide, studying, and working on my 101 Things list this evening … so what did I do as soon as I got home from church? Went out for ice cream and then spent an hour and a half watching Attack of the Killer Tomatoes on DVD, of course.

On a completely unrelated note, my bike, which has a grand total of maybe — maybe — 30 miles on it, is in the shop because the chain keeps slipping. I’m supposed to get it back Tuesday.

It’s a cheap bike, but I’d hoped it would at least pretend to work right for a few hundred miles.

I’m kind of sorry I didn’t go with my first instinct, which was to buy a single-gear cruiser with coaster brakes. They’re heavier and harder to ride, but they’re also virtually indestructible. I know somebody is still making them, because one of the local hospitals bought a whole bunch of them for people to use at River Parks. While my Schwinn is in the shop, I might seize the excuse to go down to the trail and try out the Tulsa Townie program. If I like the bikes, I’ll probably try to find out where they got them so I can order one of my own. You know they’re built to last if they’re loaning them out to everybody and their dog.

The good news is that I can now ride all the way up the steep side of the hill on the overpass behind Ollie’s without smacking into The Wall or having to get off and walk … and I don’t feel as exhausted and sore and shaky at the end of my morning commute now that I’ve done it a few times. I still feel too hot and a little wobbly when I get off the bike, but by the time I get into the office and drink a couple of mouthfuls of Gatorade, I’m OK.

It was kind of disheartening to feel so rotten at the end of such a short ride the first few times, but I keep reminding myself that when I started training for my first marathon, a slow half-mile jog around the indoor track at the Y jolly near killed me. Two marathons later, I more or less grasp the concept of building a base and staying focused on the end goal instead of fussing over the progress of my training, so I think a century is not entirely out of reach.


The joys of summer

The popsicle in this picture is actually the second popsicle Scout sampled today. She grabbed the first one and pulled it out of my hand before Songdog got a turn.

I made her share the second one. She wasn’t too happy about it.

Pay special attention to Scout’s face in this image, because it’s the most pitiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Meanwhile, Song is the picture of contentment….

It still cracks me up that Scout knows what the ice-cream truck is all about. And lest you think I was playing favorites: I let Jason have the last bite of my ice-cream sandwich later, because he doesn’t like popsicles.