Saturday, August 28, 2010

Interviews, Books, Pastafina

Saturday, August 28, 2010
I have been fortunate enough to have several radio interviews regarding my book. One was with a psychologist who has a teaching radio blog in New York. We talked for one hour and it was quite interesting. I'm not sure he could figure out where I belonged in his textbook cases, but we had some laughs as well as serious discussion about my book and me.

Another interview was with a gentleman in Halifax, Canada. Apparently, two native Indian girls were drugged and murdered at different times by the same man. These girls were teenagers and one mother found her daughter's body thrown out on the side of the road. The white man who committed these crimes is still free. It is such a tragedy and I think, "there but for the grace of God go I." We talked briefly about my book and he was quite definite about telling everyone listening where they could buy it.

I have now been vetted by Freedom House here in Weatherford and will soon be doing some volunteer work for them. They provide shelter for abused spouses and their children. I still must attend volunteer training, but I'm anxious to get started helping these families in whatever way I can. This is such a wonderful organization. Sadly, organizations like this were not available during the time of all my troubles. Life has changed for the better in the public sphere and I'm proud to be a part of the solution.

Doug and I went to our nearby middle school and did early voting. This is an important measure that we voted on and, if passed, will give schools more money (without increasing taxes) to work with in this coming year. Sure hope everyone gets out to vote.

Have read three new books recently. One is "Apparent Danger" about Rev. J. Frank Norris, a charismatic preacher in Ft. Worth in the early days of it's formation. It reads fast, but I hated the ending. They evidently went to press in a hurry because there are an unusual number of typos, which can be somewhat disconcerting to the reader.

I also read "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert of which there is also a movie out. It is a well written book. I got a little bogged down in the middle section where she really goes into religion in India. This is the "Pray" section of the book. Loved the "Eat" section because it's all about Italy, food and speaking the language. The last section is wonderful and ends just like I thought it would--in a positive manner.

Just finished reading "The Madonnas of Leningrad" by Debra Dean, which is a selection to be discussed in September at our book club meeting. I am so glad this book was recommended because I would never have paid any attention to it simply due to the title. It is a fine piece of writing and it definitely has its sad moments, but once you start reading you simply must finish it. In one way, I find it terrifying and, if you've read my book "The Cherokee Advantage", you'll understand why I feel this way. I don't want to tell you the "why" because it will give too much away and you need to be able to form your own opinion when you read it.

Doug and I went to our favorite Italian restaurant here in Weatherford today, Pastafina. They have the best sauces in the world and they serve such an amount of food that we are able to dine twice for the price because we bring half of it home for the next day. I had Chicken Picatta and Doug had Turkey Tetrazzini. They bring out this wonderful home made bread to munch on while you await your meal. Doug had Minestrone Soup and I had a salad with the house dressing. Mangia! Mangia! They are located at 807 South Main Street in Weatherford.

This is all I have to say for now.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Art Exhibit

August 20, 2010
Doug and I drove to Dallas on a recent Friday for our dear friend George C. Hetterich's reception for his one man art show at Artists Showplace in Richardson, Texas. Actually, the Artists Showplace is an artist co-op because many artists were exhibiting that evening. It is located in Spanish Village at the southwest corner of Coit & Arapaho.

George had over fifty works on exhibit and they were everything from acrylics to oils to watercolor and then some. He has amazing talent in many mediums and subjects. His lovely wife, Geri, was also there and we enjoyed visiting with her as well. We all belonged to the same dance club some years ago when Doug and I lived in Dallas, Texas. George is a retired Industrial Engineer formerly with Texas Instruments.

Also in attendance were their son and wife with their ten month old twin boys. In the photo of them below, just to her left, you can catch sight of the water color we purchased of Japanese Maples painted on Unryu paper made from mulberry, considered a type of rice paper. The frame is yellow and bright green. We have another one of George's pieces purchased some years ago (an oil) at another reception and showing.

Delicious hors d' oeuvres and wine were served and a great combo played jive and golden oldies as we walked through perusing all of the displayed art. I knew when we drove that far for this showing that we would come home with one of George's pieces and we are both very pleased with our selection. Congratulations on a successful exhibit, George!

This is all I have to say for now.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baby Shower for the Twins

Sunday, August 15, 2010
I attended a lovely baby shower for expected great grandsons Ashton Ryan Cromwell and Landon Reid Cromwell whom will be arriving November 5, 2010. The event was hosted by Mommie Jennifer's mother, Johnna Cabeen and her grandmother, Carol Limmer. This shower was for family members and close friends.

Johnna was so creative with the games we played (she is a teacher) and they were interesting, educational and fun. For those of us older folk, not having attended a baby shower in a decade of years, they were also difficult. We enjoyed stretching our brains and I even won a couple of times.

Jennifer's sister, Janet, also helped with the shower taking many photos and listing all the gift information as Jennifer opened each one. The refreshment table was beautifully arrayed with various snacks including pinwheels, fruits, cheeses and crackers.

The gifts were more and many from diapers to double car seats and a twin stroller. There were any number of little outfits and many oohs and aahs over the tiny shoes of every description. Since Jennifer is an A & M graduate, her alma mater was well represented in gift choices. Janet created some lovely decorated sleepers and sister-in-law Tiffany Cromwell gave her two hand tied blankets. The list could go on and on. In fact, I believe Janet had two full pages when she finished writing them all down.

It was a fun shower and one thing for sure, these babies aren't going to want for anything. (See photos) This is all I have to say for now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacation, Red Hat Convention, Wild Animal Park, Book Signing

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Hello to everyone. The rumor going around that I fell off the earth is totally false. Doug and I have been in lovely San Diego, California where the temperature stayed around 71 degrees the whole time we were there. We even missed the water outage in Weatherford along with the triple digit temperatures, an excellent miss to be sure.

We drove to Dallas Love Field on Tuesday, July 27 and boarded a plane where "bags fly free" and had a pleasant flight to San Diego. We stayed at the Manchester Hyatt Hotel right on the water. In fact, there was a yacht basin right outside our window. On Wednesday, I checked in for the convention and Doug and I spent a large part of the day just shopping around in a lovely little village next to the hotel. We wandered into an Indian jewelry store that was having a half-price sale. Oops! This was all I needed to see. Doug said, "Well your birthday is next week, so if you see something you really like".....enough said. After some serious perusing, I honed in on a beautiful Charoite pendant set in tooled silver. Charoite comes from Siberia and is not known to occur anywhere else in the world. The sales clerk told me I had good taste! Then, of course, we needed a chain and earrings to match. I just love going shopping with Doug.

Early evening the early attendee Red Hatters boarded buses and went on a dinner cruise. The pirate theme was well represented in attire and attitude and we had a great time line dancing and getting acquainted. The highlight for Thursday afternoon was a pool party with great entertainment by professional Hawaiian Hula dancers. Thursday evening brought opening ceremonies with our Exalted Queen Mother arriving on a surf board carried by some very handsome young men. Friday morning brought out all the fun people at the Sunrise Pajama Breakfast with Damon Wayans. Later, he autographed his book "Red Hats" and the line was long. He also donated the hat that is pictured on the front of his book for a fund raising raffle. Early afternoon was the designated time for a fashion show and it was fabulous with all the grandly feathered hats and jeweled dresses stirring the masses shopping genes into such a frenzy it was difficult to get into vendor booths, but we managed! I even managed to get my photo taken with Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen and Vice Queen Linda. Later that evening, we disco danced to our hearts content and I along with several others wore purple wigs we purchased in the shopping frenzy that instantly turned us into wannabe Tina Turners.

Saturday evening's formal banquet was lovely with everyone decked out in their Red Hat finery and being entertained by "Company B" and "Sensation Showband". Red Hatters do love to dance and we wore ourselves out. The theme was "Red, White and Blue" all American and I went as a native American showing off my shawl that I decorated for an upcoming powwow.

Sunday morning farewell breakfast gave us one last chance to say goodbye to old friends and new and we were entertained by lovely vocalist LaTonya Boston who also happens to work at Hatquarters. Next year our convention will be in New Orleans and, our being in Texas, this is a place we can drive to and not have to pay luggage fees to the airlines.

Doug and I stayed until Tuesday so we could explore the area more fully. We walked over to the aircraft carrier "Midway" and took a complete tour. It was very interesting and a bit claustrophobic climbing up and down those little ladders, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything. Here I am sitting in the "Air Boss" chair on the Midway. The statue of the sailor kissing the girl when the war was over was in a park just below the Midway.

We also drove to La Jolla and visited the Birch Aquarium and even though we've been there before, it was just as interesting to us. We left there and wound our way down to town where we found an lovely little sidewalk Mexican restaurant called Alfonso's. The food was phenomenal.

We spent all day Monday at the Wild Animal Park operated in conjunction with the San Diego Zoo. They concentrate on endangered species and from what I could see, their program is quite successful. In particular, they have five baby elephants and it was a joy to watch them play with each other. We took a tram all around the park to view rhinos, different types of deer, hippos, and giraffes. We also went up 400 feet in a tethered helium filled balloon . We ran into a park employee playing with a three banded armadillo named Armando. He was absolutely adorable. (See photos of all.)

It was a fabulous trip and it was good to get home even with all the laundry to catch up and 275 emails to answer or zap.

I will write more later about the rest of the unaccounted for time since we returned because there is just so much going on in this family you wouldn't believe it. However, I do want to announce that I am doing a book signing at the Barnes & Noble Book Store on Northwest Highway just across the street from North Park in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Be there or be square!

This is all I have to say for now.