Saturday, September 25, 2010

Frog Tale, Game Daze PCWNC

Saturday, September 25, 2010
I picked up the large trash receptacle on the patio and here sat this amazing little frog. For obvious reasons, I name him "Camo Frog". I just love my nature run ins. Hope you enjoy my sharing them with you.

Right this moment we are waiting for the rain to let up so we can go to the Parker County Quilt Show. This is always so interesting and it is astounding the amount of talent that abounds in Parker County. Hope to come back to you later with some wonderful observations on this years show.

On Friday, September 24th I attended the Women's and Newcomers' Game Daze event hosted by Jan Barrow in her lovely home. We had a large turnout with several visitors. We played Farkle, Polish Rummy and Mexican Train. We always bring a covered dish to this event and the food was delicious. I took "Firecrackers" and several wanted the recipe. It is just so simple to make. We have a lovely gift shop here in Weatherford called The Copper Pumpkin and they carry these packets of spices called "Firecrackers". It takes one package with 1/2 cup Canola oil to coat 60 saltine crackers. It's best to leave them set overnight and serve them with whipped cream cheese as a spread.

Our new chair of Game Daze is Marcy Brooks and she is doing a fine job. Not only was she right there helping the hostess, but she also kicked off the event with a fun game to help everyone get better acquainted. Kudos to Marcy. You've started us off very well.

This is all I have to say for now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ailing, Decorated High Heel Cookies

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I know all of you probably think I've gone away forever, but not true. I have been laid low by a horrendous sinus infection and am just today finally feeling human again after taking antibiotics, prednisone and cough syrup followed by many hours of sleep. Living proof you can't keep a good woman down for long.

While shopping in San Diego at the International Red Hat Convention, I spotted a high heel cookie cutter about 7-1/2 inches tall with a recipe attached. Remembering that our womens club here in Weatherford started the year with a new theme "Stepping Out" which is all about shoes (our president is as big a shoe nut as I am) and putting our best foot forward, I had a brainstorm and bought the cookie cutter.

This brainstorm led to the creation of eight dozen decorated high heel sugar cookies, one for each attendee at our regular September luncheon. If I had realized the enormity of individually decorating this many cookies, I probably would never have started the project. In the beginning were the cookie crumbles, of which Doug happily scarfed down. Once I overcame this problem, after decorating the cookies and allowing them to set and dry, when I began placing them in the cellophane bags every third or fourth cookie would crack. After Doug ate several of these, I determined it was too late to start over and cracked or not, the cookies would be served at the meeting. I termed this Carla's Cracked Cookie Caper. It is, after all the thought that counts!!

Doug was kind enough to photograph the whole procedure which, by the way, took about ten days to complete.

This is all I have to say for now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Cherokee National Holiday

Tuesday, September 7, 2010
On Thursday, September 2, 2010, we packed our car and began our five hour trek to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, capital of The Cherokee Nation. So many people come from all over the country, indeed, the world, that we are forced to stay in Muskogee, Oklahoma, only about 20 miles from Tahlequah. We settle in at the La Quinta Inn & Suites, a lovely, comfortable hostelry where we enjoy substantial free breakfasts each morning with choices of waffles, biscuits and gravy, omelets, sausages, eggs and various muffins, cereals and sweet rolls, juice and coffee.

Friday morning we drive to Tahlequah to check out the areas where we need to be and in the afternoon, we visit some vendor booths making some purchases. Finally, it is time to register to dance in the sacred circle during the powwow. When I begin completing the form, the woman in charge says, "You are over 55, right?" I said, "Yes." She tells me to register with the Golden Age group. This is my first time ever to do this and my original idea is to wear the shawl I especially decorated for this event doing the Women's Shawl Dance (Butterfly). I assume I can still do this, just as a "Golden Ager". She also tells me that to qualify for any prize money, I must come back the next night and take part in the Grand Entry at the beginning of the powwow wearing the identical clothing that I dance in.

The first photo above is with a lady from Pryor, Oklahoma who is in town for a meeting with the Cherokee Council. As you will see by more photos, it is an exciting event with extremely elaborate dancing costumes. A coordinator sends us into the circle in our respective groups in the Grand Entry and I note that the women I enter with are mostly wearing beautiful buckskin ensembles and are daintily carrying their shawls folded neatly over one arm. After the opening ceremonies, we all leave the circle and the dancing competition begins. The Golden Agers are second on the agenda. We all enter the circle walking to the beat of the drums. I am the only one wearing my shawl. The ladies are very sedately walking to the drum beat while the emcee talks about how revered and respected the Cherokee women are and he asks everyone to stand to show respect while we dance around the circle. By this time, I'm well into doing my shawl dance to the drum beat, dancing like nobody's watching. When it is over, we all stand in a line while the judges make their decisions on a clip board. When I look down the line, I notice that most of the women are looking quite serious with their lips pursed. That is except for the one black woman in the group who is looking right at me and laughing. Obviously, I totally misunderstood the meaning of "Golden Age" and perhaps shook up the establishment a bit. I'm glad I did it and I had fun being the orange in the bucket of apples.

Saturday, we return to Tahlequah and watch the parade of 105 entries of which next to last is the equestrian group followed by the largest spiffy new street sweeper we've ever seen. We also listen to Chief Chadwick Corntassel Smith's State of the Nation address in the capital square. Afterwards we enter an interesting little book store, "Jacob Gallery" and I buy a couple of books by Cherokee Historian, Robert J. Conley, to help with my research for my current book. The owner of the book store is Murv Jacob and not only is he a writer, but a serious painter in acrylics.

We then drive to the Cherokee Heritage Center where all of the vendor artists are set up for the event. We find a beautiful acrylic of a wolf by Bill Rabbit, a winner of many painting awards. I was definitely in the market for a good wolf painting since I am a member of the Cherokee Wolf Clan and I was thrilled when Doug bought it for me.

Saturday evening I again take part in the Grand Entry as required by the contest rules and the crowd is phenomenal. I haven't heard a number, but there were several thousand people in attendance. Saturday night is given over to the men dancing and they are just incredible.

It was a marvelous experience and I'm looking forward to doing it again. This has inspired me to make a serious effort to learn the Cherokee language. They teach it to their young people in school and people all around us during the parade were speaking Cherokee. In fact, the running commentary during the parade was all in Cherokee.

This is all I have to say for now.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

90th Birthday Celebration

Sunday, August 29, 2010
We were privileged to share in the 90th birthday party for Fr. John Keene at St. Christopher Episcopal Church in Ft. Worth, Texas. A delicious barbecue luncheon with all the trimmings was provided and there was such a crowd it took three cakes to treat everyone to birthday cake.

We are especially fond of Fr. John because he was the first regular priest at The Episcopal Church in Parker County, a congregation that was formed in November, 2008 to carry on the operation, within The Episcopal Church, of the Episcopal parishes of St. Francis, Willow Park; All Saints', Weatherford; and Holy Apostles, Ft. Worth. Their former clergy had left The Episcopal Church to form congregations of the same names within another denomination, operating in the same buildings. Fr. John served in this capacity until a full-time priest was assigned to the church in December, 2009.

He has been married to the lovely Jeanneane for some years after having been widowed. (See Photo) He has six grown children and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, a number of which were in attendance at this special affair.

Fr. John was born in Hackensack, New Jersey and held many jobs from an early age including pumping gas, setting pins in a bowling alley, delivering ice and assistant manager in a movie theater. He piloted P-40's and C-47 transports in the Army Air Corps during the war. After the war, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Education from Rutgers University in New Jersey and a Master's degree in Hospital Administration from Columbia University in New York. In 1956, John felt the call to the ministry and enrolled in Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was ordained a priest in 1958.

We feel especially blessed to know this wonderful gentleman and to have participated in this milestone in his life, becoming a nonagenarian.

This is all I have to say for now.