Thursday, July 22, 2010

Library, PCWNC Newsletters, Shawl, Game Daze, Red Hat Redneck Charity Event

Monday, July 19, 2010
Did two hours of volunteering at the library shelving videos and books. I enjoy doing this so much and the time just flies by.

Afterward, I took the PCWNC newsletters to the bulk mail center and this turned out to be quite an adventure. There were postal inspectors and auditors there looking very closely at everything that was presented for mailing. They told me I was using the wrong forms. I've been using the "wrong" forms for two years now and nobody ever said a word. Okay. I could understand that. Then, they told me I didn't have a proper amount of stickers (two are required) placed exactly one inch in from each side on the top to seal the newsletters. There were several other things to do with the money end of it, but the upshot was they sent me home with all my newsletters to be resealed and new forms to complete.

I have been working on a special shawl to wear during the women's shawl dance in the sacred circle at the pow wow at the Cherokee National Holiday over Labor Day Weekend. It's so exciting to know I will be able to participate in this ritual with my fellow Cherokees. The circle on the back is the official seal of The Cherokee Nation. The fabric bordering the bottom is a wolf print depicting the fact that I am a member of the Wolf Clan. I used Swarovski Crystals to highlight the wolf eyes on the fabric. (See Photo)

Tuesday, July 20, I took my correctly stickered newsletters and forms back to the bulk mail office and was astounded to see about 15 people in that small space. There were postal inspectors, auditors, trainees and trainers as well as, God forbid, customers. All I needed to do was turn in my completed mailing and leave. Alas, this was not to be. They went through the complete process again to train the new hires while I'm standing there needing to be somewhere else. It would appear that the more rigid measures of the post office becomes the higher level of incompetence to which they seem to aspire. There is not a shred of service attitude to be found at any level. I, of course, stood there smiling and nodding like the good girl I am!

Going to the library from there was such a welcome change of pace. I only stayed one hour after spending 40 minutes at the post office. The library is quite caught up this day so I left there and drove out to Gail's Ranch to help work on some projects for the upcoming Red Hat Redneck Charity event for Freedom House.

We took some photos of the swallows nest and it appears there are only two eggs in this setting. One can only assume that the six before must have worn out Mr. & Mrs. Swallow to the point they decided to cut back before starting their long journey back to Argentina.

Thursday, July 22, I went to the Solis Center for my annual mammogram. When the technician had me turn a certain way she said, "This one will hurt a little." When she was finished I told her, "I'm sure glad I'm not a puppy."

Friday, July 23, drove to Alta Fisher's home to take part in Game Daze and a covered dish luncheon. Had a lot of fun playing Phase 10 while others played "42" dominoes and another domino game called "95". Still others played Polish Rummy. We all had a great time and the food, as always, was delicious. I drove home to pick up Doug and we went to Couts Methodist Church in Weatherford to help set up the gym for the Red Hat Redneck event. This was a big job, but the gym looks great and I believe the people will know they've been to a redneck affair.

Saturday, July 24, the day has finally arrived for our event. Drove back to the church this morning and helped put the finishing touches on decorations. We also practiced the songs we are going to sing and met with Cousin Jelvis (our star attraction), Elvis' sixth cousin, once removed. He has a wonderful voice and I think he'll be a lot of fun tonight. I'm doing a rap number to "Boom Boom Ain't it Great to be Crazy." Our redneck band made all their own instruments and we are called the "Git-R-Dun Gals."

It is 5:00 p.m. and people started arriving at 4:30. Many of them really got into the redneck theme. We had a bride, a lady with clothes hung on her walker (underwear and such), short ragged jean shorts (they looked great!) with western shirts, boots and cowboy hats, duct taped shorts, and plenty of bib overalls with tee shirts. Snacks were cheese and crackers, Ding Dongs, olives in balogna baskets, salami slices, pig skins, and tiny cups of "moonshine" water. We didn't want anyone to overimbibe. Dinner was barbecue brisket and chicken with all the trimmings catered by Mesquite Pit Barbecue in Weatherford. There were several photo ops beginning with outside where an old truck with huge wheels on it was parked and we also had the Dukes of Hazzard car, "General Lee", on hand. Inside we had a laundry area with a wringer washing machine, wooden ironing board, a clothesline of clothes including red long johns and granny sitting in an oval galvanized tub. There was also a barbecue set up with labeled "Redneck Charcoal" to use and old lawn chairs and such. In another corner was a flower "pot" garden with pink flamingos and the whole thing lit up with Christmas lights.

Our entertainer, Cousin Jelvis, was excellent and we had a great time with him along with the Git-R-Dun Gals and plenty of Karaoke as well as line dancing. Everyone went home with a door prize of some kind and we had a good reaction to our silent auction benefiting Freedom House. We sold just about everything in our Red Hat redneck yard sale. Selma Johnson, representing Freedom House, made a brief speech about the organization, thanking us for benefiting them with our event. You should have seen us tearing everything down when it was over. I bet it didn't take us over 45 minutes and the place looked like we'd never even been there. That's Red Hat team work for you plus Queen Gabigail's wonderful Prince Gary who is the hardest working man I know. I must also give kudos to my honey, Doug, who photographed the whole event taking over 500 shots so it was hard to decide which photos to publish on the blog.

The first photo below (1) is of Selma Johnson from Freedom House. On the left below (2) is Carla doing her granny rap and on the right (3) is Doug singing Karaoke. (4) Group photo op in the laundry area; (5) Cousin Jelvis presenting a scarf; (6) a very creative costume; (7) Queen Gabigail cooling off Jelvis, and last, but not least (8) a redneck attendee (Carla's son). As you can see, there were just too many photos to choose from so hope you get the flavor of the event from these.

This is all I have to say for now.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Canasta, Library, Red Hat, PCWNC Bd. Meeting, Radio Interview

Sunday, July 18, 2010
Another week has flown by like a cyclone. Time is definitely the enemy these days. To catch up, on Monday July 12, I joined the girls to play Canasta and have lunch at Antonio's. Then, on Tuesday I served my regular volunteer time at the library shelving books and videos. Those two hours really fly by quickly also. Just as I was leaving to go to the library, I spotted this lovely Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly flitting about the Phlox in our front flower bed. I called Doug to take photos and above is the result.

Wednesday, July 14, I drove to Gail's ranch to help prepare goodie bags for our upcoming Redneck charity event for Freedom House. We also practiced our songs and our redneck band instruments. I made a recipe of Confetti Salad as my contribution to our luncheon. We had a great time and we are all looking forward to a grand event on July 24th.

Thursday, July 15, I went to our PCWNC Board Meeting at Alicia Pittman's home. She has such a lovely home and every time you go there you must sign her guest book. I don't know if this is a Mississippi (she's from there) tradition or just her own idea of logging history for future reference, but I think it's an excellent idea. We took care of business, visited and had some lovely refreshments including a wonderful coffee punch that Alicia prepared. Afterward, several of us decided to go to lunch at Agave's in Aledo. The food was quite good, the shopping even better and we continued the visiting we started at Alicia's home. I came home and began finishing up the PWCNC newsletter for August.

I received my on-line issue of The Cherokee Phoenix newspaper and was thrilled to see my nephew's photo on the front page. He is acting in a play, "Under the Cherokee Moon" playing the part of Lt. Timberlake (third from left). His name is Bryan Crittenden and he lives in Ft. Gibson and works for the Cherokee Nation. Oddly enough, my dearest friend in Dallas was born a Timberlake in Oklahoma and she always told me she was part Cherokee, God rest her soul. It is indeed a small world, isn't it?

Friday, July 16, Jan Barrow asked to borrow (does the name fit?) Doug to help her with photos on her computer and in return invited us to have lunch with her and Bill. It was a lovely Irish luncheon of meat and potatoes and wilted green salad with peach cobbler and ice cream for dessert that Jan made from home grown peaches. Absolutely scrumptious, it was! In the afternoon, Doug and I took the newsletter to Office Max for printing and bought a new electric pencil sharpener while we were waiting for the print job to finish. If you need printing done, I highly recommend Office Max in Weatherford, Texas. They do an excellent job for me.

Saturday July 17, had a radio interview with Linda Bagwell concerning my book "The Cherokee Advantage." Her program, "Books 'n Authors" airs on KYQZ-FM, 89.5 on your radio dial. It is a Weatherford station that goes out to all of Parker County. It was a lovely interview and I'm looking forward to talking with Linda again in September. When I left there, I went by The Copper Pumpkin and in talking with the owner about my interview, she asked me to place some of my books in her establishment to sell. These will be available there on August 1st.

I am happy to report that I have finally finished "Ride the Wind" by Lucia St. Clair Robson. If you enjoy reading, do consider this book. She is especially descriptive and creates great characters to interact with. I know I've told you before, but it is the story of the kidnapping of Cynthia Ann Parker and her brother and the last days of the Cheyenne Indian Nation in Texas. Just an absolutely stunning piece of writing.

I am now reading "Dewey" by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter. This is a true story about a tabby cat that changed a library, a town and even touched the world. He lived 19 years after being found by Vicki in the library return bin one very cold, snowy morning in Spencer, Iowa. He was a tiny kitten with frost bitten paws and immediately won the hearts of just about everyone who worked in the library. This book was brought to my attention by a PCWNC member, Charlene Ball and she tells me it is being made into a movie. I'm just on page 77 of this 277 page book, but it won't take me long to read it because it is quite well written.

This is all I have to say for now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Books, Interviews, Fountain

Tuesday, July 12, 2010
It has been a busy week since we last communicated. On Tuesday, July 6th, I drove to Frisco to consult with my publicist, Mary Sam Stoddard, about an upcoming radio interview and a video shoot. We went through a trial interview and she was able to give me good advice on how to present myself and how to answer questions that might be posed by the interviewer. Afterward, she treated me to lunch at TGI Friday's and we had a lovely visit. Mary loaned me a book very dear to her that she received years ago from her cousin, "The Indian How Book" by Arthur C. Parker. It was published in 1913 and I'm using it for research for my upcoming book.

Wednesday was another day of beauty and I had my hair cut and nails done, again in anticipation of this video shoot taking place at the same time as the radio interview.

Swallow update: They are definitely setting on the nest again so we will soon have more babies.

Thursday, the book club met at PJ Webb's lovely home. We discussed the book, "Grace & Gumption" edited by Katie Sherrod. I've already given my opinion of this book so won't belabor it here. I am excited that we are reading "Ride the Wind" by Lucia St. Clair Robson. I had already started it and only have 150 pages to finish. The gals meet at my house next time and I'm to lead the discussion on this book so hope I do well.

Friday was the PCWNC luncheon in Alkek Hall of Weatherford College. Dispite the rain, we had a large group and the all salad luncheon was quite delicious. Our entertainment for this meeting was Alice Ann Holiday who does a marvelous Patsy Cline. She brought a special treat for us in the person of "Willie Nelson" and he really did a great job.

Saturday is finally here and I'm off to Grand Prairie for a two hour interview by Kaye Fullylove on Radio Station KKDA-AM, Soul 73. My personal radar wasn't working well and even with the GPS, I managed to turn the wrong way and get horribly lost. I was about ten minutes late, but even with that she managed to cover it until I could get myself settled. Mary Stoddard was also in attendance along with the videographer, Frederick. Mary and I both think the interview went well and she heard from Kaye later that the listening audience gave good feedback.

While I'm off running around and doing my thing, Doug has been at home working on some longed for improvements. We've been here almost three years now and our lovely big bird fountain has laid scattered about the back yard this whole time. It is now flowing and I know the birds are going to love it when they decide it is safe. (See Photo)

He got so ambitious with his honeydew's that he decided to make a housing for the generator, which we have in the event of a "what if?" This is one more thing out of the garage. We may be able to actually park a car in it one of these days. Doug did a great engineering job on this housing that started out at Lowe's and it looks quite tidy setting in the backyard. (See Photo)

Monday, I played Canasta with the girls at Antonio's where we also ate lunch. We only had two tables of four, but just enough for it to be fun. Then on Tuesday, I did my volunteer two hours at the Weatherford Library. In my spare time I've been asking people for donations for the Silent Auction at the Wild West Women of Weatherford Red Hat Chapter's Redneck charity event for Freedom House. This takes place on July 24 at Couts Methodist Church Gym starting at 5:00 p.m. Chapter members have even created a redneck band and decorations are going to be hysterical.

This is all I have to say for now.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Nature, Fireworks 4th, Ailing

Saturday, July 3, 2010
Doug and I pack everything in the car and head for Russ and Kelley's about 4:30 p.m. As we are driving up Highway 730 towards Azle, Texas, just as we are crossing Lake Weatherford, we spot a huge turtle in the middle of the road. Doug stops the car and I get out and attempt to pick up this turtle. He probably weighs about 15 pounds and really becomes angry when I pick him up. When I feel his front flippers trying to claw my hands I put him down and try to coax him back across the road with my hand on top of his shell. He is determined to go to the other side and he turns himself around. I spy a small tree branch, pick it up and push him towards the road edge. He bites the branch several times and I note that he has a huge mouth. I finally get him far enough down the embankment that he slides all the way down to the lake water. When I get back in the car, I realize the enormity of my encounter. My heart is pounding and I am breathing rapidly. Doug had grabbed the camera and taken shots of the turtle wrangling. When we return home late in the evening, the first thing he does is pull up turtles on the Internet and looking at the photos he took, we are able to ascertain that this was indeed a snapping turtle known to be quite aggressive. I can certainly testify to this. There's an old saying that God protects babies and drunks. I believe we can add senior citizens to this.

The party at the kids was marvelous. They strung clear lights through all the huge trees and had tables and chairs all set up and decorated. Russ had two barbecue grills going with brisket, hot dogs, hamburgers, bratwurst and corn on the cob roasting in them. Dessert was peach cobbler and brownies. There was a nice breeze and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. We played horse shoes, ladder ball, bag toss, darts and some of the boys played touch football. The band arrived around 8:00 p.m. and they were quite good. The genre is somewhat new in that it is Blues/Rock. The lead singer/guitarist, Johnny, has a perfect voice for this and he always plays barefooted. They also have a drummer, an excellent saxaphonist and a bass guitarist. They are known as Duece Dub and they play at various venues. Thanks guys, for great entertainment.

There were fireworks between band sets and at the end of the evening. See photos. We actually stayed until after 1:00 a.m. It was well after our bedtime and we were happy to get home after a fantastic party experience. Thank you Russ, Kelley and Lynne for all your hard work to make this such a memorable event.

I awakened on the 4th with some kind of virus (I don't drink so it can't be blamed on bad ice) and wound up lying around all day. I didn't even have energy enough to read "Ride the Wind". Doug had to fend for himself in the kitchen. I wanted nothing to eat and finally had some saltines and a coke. I'm sure I'll be much better tomorrow.

This is all I have to say for now.