Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Say Goodnight Faith

Faith the Dog - Sgt. Faith

It was a great three years I have to give you that. We began touring sometime in 2005 with Faith going to schools, churches, counseling sessions, and military bases to see if she could bring the same joy to others as she did locally...and she did. We began our journey thinking it was just going to be fun, I needed to make enough money to support my family, and I needed to be able to get Faith's message out to the people who I believe needed it most. I can say without hesitation that we met our goals...well, not financially, but in every other way.

Finances should not have been the problem that they were. I couldn't and still don't quite understand why a person or a company would make a claim or a promise to me and then not fulfill it. At first I believed it was just an oversight, a mistake or mistatement. Time proved differently to me, it proved I was just a bit too nice or maybe naive to be in the entertainment business without a full time manager or agent who can not only find the work and performances, but can demand the money to be paid upfront. Mike Maguire is a manager/advisor and he's darn good too - but even he couldn't force some of the people who promised us to pay when they were suppose to. Many of these performances we ended up working for free - and you just can't pay the car payments, rent, electric bills, or buy food for the kids on an empty promise. Mike was as astounded as I was this summer to have 2 very different and very separate endorsements promise to pay by August 1 - and then declined to do so. Should I have seen it coming? A friend of mine in L.A. says I should have - he's a movie producer who did a motivational film with Faith. He and his staff paid us well, and paid us every single time they booked us...they were rare. I love them for being honest good people, but it hurt when he told me that I should have realized that people lie. I don't lie.

Because I have NEVER EVER not even ONCE been misled by the United States Army, the Marines, the Navy, the Coast Guard or any municipality - I will continue to take Faith to bases, hospitals on bases, V.A. hospitals, and humane societies if they are sponsored by municipalities. Schools and churches unfortunately are among the top places who just never seem to have what they pledged - but at least they didn't MEAN to let us down. It's just a fact of life - schools and churches don't have the means to bring out motivational speakers most of the time...and that's after all what I am, I'm a paid motivational speaker who happens to bring my dog Faith along for the celebration! Somewhere along the time people began wanting Faith to endorse their products and we said OK...until they stopped paying us, refused to uphold verbal agreements, refused to uphold written agreements, and refused to follow through with their promises. You just can't explain their lack of integrity to YOUR creditors - not easily or with result.

So, it is with heavy heart, tearful eyes, and a spotted wagging tongue that we say Faith is now entering into retirement. Sure, we'll allow someone to do a movie about her. Sure, we'll uphold contractual agreements that are already in place, and yes, we're open for more bookings - if they pay upfront! I know that sounds terrible, but maybe all of this has taught me to be a little meaner - a little more business, and less nicey-nice - - which is sad - - but it is a business. (Please don't tell Faith it's a business, she's simply in this for the smiles. I wish I could be too!)

It's been a fantastic, and phenomenal ride - I've been so privileged to have met some of the best people in the entire world....and I will no doubt see them again throughout eternity. God certainly blessed me..He blessed Faith...He blessed the world with Faith. She won't say Good Bye yet - we'll be around if you need us, but for now, until such time that we can do this - Good Night.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Those Born on October 27

A Comparison!

These two - great and wonderful people have more in common than the woman pictured believes. She has a way of being a bit negative, not allowing herself to break out of the protective shell she has built for herself - but other than that, she and this man, this God-Sent man, have a lot in common other than just the fact that they were both born on October 27. (Theodore Roosevelt, pictured here as a very young and handsome man) was born 150 years ago today! Niki is slightly younger.

TR was indeed a dynamic man. He saw things in a way that others felt was over the top, or a bit aggressive. Niki sees things and wants to change them as well. She has great ideas and tends to maul them over in her mind a bit - I think if she were born in Teddy's time he would have been attracted to her not only because she is such a dark and mysterious beauty, but she is athletic, thinks out loud, and she comes up with really cool ideas. TR, unlike Niki, takes those ideas and blows them way out of proportion! He wanted world peace - he therefore kidnapped the leaders of Russia and Japan who had been arguing internationally, and he put them on his Long Island docked yacht. He took them for a little boat ride, refusing to return to shore until they could work things out. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for it, today our own president would be arrested for it.

When TR was young he had asthma - Niki has asthma. They both decided to do something about it. TR boxed and walked briskly for miles and miles every day. He rode horses and he forced himself to breathe. Niki runs and has finished in the top rankings of women in our city several times. She doesn't let her lungs stand in the way of her dedication to the sport - something else too; both TR and Niki are writers. They have ideas that they can't keep inside their heads. They believe, they dream, they think! If TR were alive today he'd scold Niki into putting her book to paper and getting it out there for the world to see. He'd tell her that it didn't matter if anyone else liked it, it was her work and it deserved to be seen. I tell Niki all the time that I envy her for being born on my very favorite man's birthday - Scorpios rule!

Both Niki and Teddy are animal lovers. Niki wants to open up a puppy palace and let the dogs run free for acres and acres. She'd sleep with every one of them if she could. She's pictured with her Jack, a Schnauzer, and my daughter's puppy Yuki, a mixed Chihuahua. Teddy had animals in the White House and on the lawn for years. He even had a badger living in the White House named Josiah! Imagine Bush or our next president even suggesting that! Gone are the days of real glory in that place.

So she's another year older and he's still 60 - up in Heaven no doubt smiling that big smile and chasing something from the saddle of a grand white horse. I doubt Niki will jump on a horse today, but she sure better think about chasing something - that DREAM of hers.....it can't escape, she's a ROOSEVELT! hahaha...

Happy Birthday you two! I love you both - oh, and they both have bad eye sight too! Hahaha...I told your secret!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Acai - Thanks to Students

The Acai berry and of course, a beautiful bronze butt.

I have some of the best students - seriously. I go away, I don't teach them and what do they do, they follow my career, they call me and give me advice. Some of them even ask me for my autograph -which is funny because the guy I'm talking about has my autograph when I signed him out from jail in the 9th grade. He got a copy of the paper! OK, so now one of my "babies" as I call them all, has an idea on how to get his old fat teacher skinny and pretty. He said he's going to make me look like his sister's friend's mom. I think I followed that line correctly, maybe it was his mother's sister's friend - I don't know...she's suppose to be skinny and pretty - but if she has a perfectly shaped bronze butt you can count me out. I don't tan that well.

I looked up from sitting in my car and there he was - my ex student Victor. I won't give out last names - he may want to remain anonymous for helping me. He was standing at my door with a box in his hand. The box had Acai Berry pills in it and he had 6 bottles. He looked like he was going door to door selling the bottles and I asked him if they were sealed. He told me they were, and then as if he had read my mind he stated he hadn't stolen anything - his sister's friend works for the drug store and they overstocked so he got them at 1/2 price. He gave me the name of the store and manager too. So, after calling and verifying his story I bought a couple of bottles from the kid and paid 25% off retail so he could have a little profit. He just wanted to see if they worked and I was the first fat person he could think of. I love these kids - their honesty.

To be perfectly honest, and I love this, he was a bit disappointed that I had already lost 45 pounds since I last taught English in the "hood" and he was saying he's going to take the credit for it when he comes back and takes my "after" pictures for his sales port folio - we had our picture taken 3 years ago and yes, he'll have a GREAT before picture let me tell you. I used to cringe at the sight of myself being just at 200 pounds, but now I don't. I see it as a long and hard journey that I went on, found it to be unpleasant at times, difficult at times, certainly informative but I didn't like myself or my body much - and I wanted a new me. If the ads are correct about this pill, this fruit, this Brazilian wonder - then I should be dancing in the sands around New Years, but don't count on the bright thong being wrapped around my bare cheeks - my son would kill me ESPECIALLY if I could pull it off - imagine what he'd do to me if I couldn't! NOPE, once a mom always a mom, and once an English teacher - - well, I go to church with MY 8th grade English teacher and I still call her Mrs. Williams. I just can't bring myself to say "Helen" in her presence! I think I've given up the notion that she lives at the school now...she lives at the church.

I hope this stuff does something cool - even if it just turns my colon purple, I don't care - something has to make these last 20 go away - forever!! I'm pretty sure the back of the bottles say to take 2 a day but I bet they mean pills and not bottles of pills....we'll see. I know I'm counting down the days but I don't want to be pushing daisies either for overdosing on SUPER FOODS.....I should make the bottles tiny little capes for Halloween - but I'd be the only one laughing. Nevermind.

Victor - I'll call you. (and.....read something!)

Soup! SOUP!

FANTASTIC pea soup! (not my picture)

I admit it - I stole my kids' peas when I was feeding them when they were babies. No way they could tell on me, no way they could fight back. I just took them! I took the pea mush out of the jar too, I just did it because I could - and I don't remember a single time any of my kids fighting me for the stuff either. Nope, they just let Mom have their peas. Gave it up! They still do. (Laura fights a little now, but I can make a boat-load of frozen peas and give Caity one scoop and she's happy. I'm happy. It's a wonderful world.)

To the untrained mouth the soup in that picture could appear to be baby vomit, but it's not, it's succulent, dreamland-style, way-out-this-world good Pea Soup. The ONLY thing that could possibly make that bowl look better to me would be to add a few olives and tomatoes, a sprinkle of cheese, and there you have it - perfection. I could eat pea soup, butter squash soup, pumpkin or black bean soup - every last day that I'm alive from here on out - and I'd be smiling. Soup is really that great. I don't adhere to the old rules about soup any more than I adhere to the old rules about anything else really - soup is just too individualized. You make soup - you create it - it is you!

This afternoon I sat here wondering WHICH soup I would be making not IF I would be making it. Weather changing, make soup. Birds outside chirping - make soup. Dogs acting crazy and want to go outside and chase the chirping birds - they'll have to wait. I'm making soup.

I add about 2 tablespoons of golden flax seed meal to my soup too - (oh wait, that's the family secret. SHHHH) and that adds bulk as well as fiber. So, you get your antioxidants - you get your fiber for digestive purposes. You get health in a bowl is what you get - and that's no ordinary bowl either friend. I serve my soup in original and authentic Frankoma pottery. You just can't beat that bowl, and you know someone really loves you (in this case I love me) when they serve you in Frankoma pottery! Boomer Sooner!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Atlanta - Denver - Chicago - Seattle?

Atlanta Fountains - I assume downtown, I haven't seen them yet.

My resume (my newly revised and "Hyper-revised" resume has been sent all over the country to appropriate employers everywhere including: Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, and Seattle - I will say this; Atlanta seems to be edging out the others if not only because of personal connections, it also has a few great colleges which could hire me as an adjunct so I could also get my teaching fix. I've been missing that actually - I need a few brains to pick. My dogs just aren't paying attention to me, and forget my own kids - no way! I can't get them to think in full sentences let alone write out essays by hand which would include multiple sentences, phrases, paragraphs and more - more - much more. I ran into one of my old students last night, he wanted to gift me with several books which were written by his uncle. He told me he always knew he had the Writer's Gene inside of him - meeting me made him realize he needed to find it. He's working on his first collection of stories now! Wow! I love that feeling - it's so intoxicating!! Better than choc...well, no, it's not better than chocolate, but better than something good!

So, Atlanta it may be! Where to live? What to do? Where to hang out? What to take in? Do I become a Braves fan? Can't give up the Cubbies that fast - no way, and my son would murder me in my sleep if I gave up my Packers for the Falcons - - in fact, he may want me to do a little freelance spying to help out his Pack in the future! I'll get the call, he'll explain the Op and I'm sure I'll agree to it no matter how stupid it sounds - it plays well with our Eternal Denial game that we keep running. That boy can out strategize anyone - good thing he's on our side.

The last time I spent time in Atlanta I was a kid. I went to Stone Mountain, we camped near by, swam, hiked, played in the woods, pulled ticks out of our hair, and danced around a fire like we were real Indians. I remember loving every second of the air, every green and ivy-twisted branch. I remember the people and their funny accents asking me and my brother if we wanted an Orr-ang Cu-rush sodie pop! You can't forget the people - they're too sweet.

Stone Mountain (1972) was also where I met the very tall, very good looking, very blond and beautiful John R. Schneider! You may know him as Superman's father on the WB's Smallville, or the original Bo Duke, but I remember him more for playing Camp Counselor in real life. I was almost 11 - I was in love. That was just about the time I took down my Snoopy posters and put up a David Cassidy poster - a few years later I put up a Bo Duke poster - even if I was a little too old to do it!

John and I met several more times in Hollywood during his Duke days. I was on the set as an extra, a writer, a hair-assistant, and an all-around Girl-Friday to the 2nd Unit Director - I reminded the Hubba Bubba chewing Schneider about our first encounter - he thought he was a fat kid, I told him I thought he was sent from Heaven itself. We both laughed about that - but that is my Atlanta memory....good looking men, great sodie-pop, and bald mountains with men carved into them - riding horses. It would be years later that I would come to appreciate the faces, the lives, the legends left by those men whose images still etch the sky and loam over the passersby and rock climbers of Stone Mountain. Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson - my son actually told me about them when he was around 10. Ever the Civil War buff even at that age, he was able to bring alive their every deed - their every devotion to the wonderful people of the South. He told me he wanted to see J.E.B. Stuart included - I suppose there's still room for one more General perhaps if someone was so inclined.

Atlanta - looks like it's leading the pack today.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weights to Lose Fat

Dumbbells - or so they say! (Well, Dwight's no dumbbell - no way)

Whose the real dumbbell? I can't lift every one of these and I can't use them properly in order to lose the extra belly fat either - I'm trying, it's not working fast enough, but I am trying. According to my guru weight trainer (via phone, I don't hire him, we're good friends) I can do a million sit ups and not lose the belly - in fact, if I were able to do a million (even 1000) sit ups I would be rewarded with a hard knot of muscle mass in the belly region and still stick out. I don't stick out - I want HELD IN. I want flat, I want my teenage body back. Someone took it! I don't care, charge a ransom - just give it back!

This morning I was looking around the place trying to put all of my exercise equipment in one central location. I have my big silver ball in the bedroom with the Pilate's mat, the dancing stick and the stationary bike. My living room is host to these guys, the hand weights, my tension belts, a really cool disc that I can't possibly balance on for more than 1 second, and I have a couple of jump ropes hiding in the corner. One is longer for my son, he's a good 5 or 6 inches taller than me. Caity has to use my jump rope and roll up the handles - last year she solved the problem by cutting off the ends! Thanks Caity - buy your own damn equipment.

After finding the blue dumbbells, 8 pounds each, I decided to put into practice what I saw on television - always a great source of inspiration - and I began training with the dumbbells to do my push ups. Holding onto the weights rather than placing my hands flat on the floor actually helps me because I'm not putting so much pressure directly on my wrists - cool - I love Denise Austin! She's the best advisor a girl can have. I have her photo on the frig too - "Dear Jesus, you made this mold once just please, for me, do it again - using my body of course! Thanks. Amen." I wonder if writing it out means more to Him than just whispering it in the prayer closet? Hey, I would sent up Native American smoke signals and do the dance if I thought He would pay more attention to that one! PLEEEEAAAASSEEEEE - and thank you.

According to the man, the trainer man, I will still only lose the 2 pounds a week, but I may actually lose more body fat and after all, when you have this much to lose, losing anything just makes good sense. I was doing jumping jacks and got tired faster than when I walked in place - it's the fat! MY GOSH - I had a clue, but I had no real idea about the mass of it - I see whales, I see fluffy pandas, I see cute little fat angels flying around with bows and arrows....I don't hate myself, but I would like there to be much less of me to love. That would be nice. Weights. I must live by this rule now. Weights. I must carry them around. I find it hard to type with them in my hands so I got the 2 pound wrist weights. I wear the leg/ankle weights throughout the day and I stop every hour and do 8 minutes of actual working out with the blue 8 pounders. I'm sure I'm doing something good - it may take until Christmas to find out what that is - lucky for me some people don't unwrap their presents until Christmas morning. That gives me a little time to squeeze into something cute....God, I don't mean cute like a fat little fuzzy bunny, c'mon!

LOL - oops, time to dance! Dwight Yoakam! Phil Collins is awesome for walking and lifting by the way. No body beats Dwight for moving around the place....I should hang out a sign apologizing to the neighbors. Oh, I know...Jesus, are you there? Forget Denise, I want Dwight's thighs!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In Case You Haven't Heard, Iraq is a Boring Vacation Spot

My son, Spc. Reuben Stringfellow - vacationing in the deserts of Iraq for another year.

You'd think he would have picked a better place to lie about where he's going to relax and lay about, but no, my son says he's been in Iraq for the past 4 weeks and he's thinking of extending his vacation for about another 48 weeks. As if I couldn't check and find out - he's in Alaska!

He says the weather is great, the people are friendly, he gets along with the local livestock (I didn't ask too many questions about that statement) and he's thinking that the war is just about over. I purposely said "What war? Is there a WAR going on in Iraq son when you're there?"

He and I have been playing this game of "Eternal Denial" for quite a while, and he's one of the best players I've ever met - - he claims that he actually took his body and had it flown to Iraq to play this game with me. He claims also that he's living inside a real tank just to prove his point, now that has to be the epitome of characterization! He believes he's in a war! He believes he's enlisted in the United States Army, and from time to time he even gives himself a new rank just to pull another one over me - I guess you can only pretend to be a Private, or Private First Class just so long. Now he's calling himself a Specialist! Imagine that. My son, special! OK, I CAN imagine that.

So, here's this Specialist, he's hanging out with real Army personnel, he's eating with them, drinking with them, sleeping and training with them, guarding posts and he's even reporting back to me that on this particular vacation package they (the U.S. Army Forward Operating Base that he's somehow paying to stay on) is letting him shoot guns with live ammunition. I have to assume he's talking about a controlled indoor environment, again, I didn't ask too many questions - Reuben's been known to sneak into the movies to see that 2nd show when he's only paid for one. He tells me that he uses phone cards to call home since his cell doesn't work. (C'mon even I know they have Sprint and Verizon cell towers in the desert, I saw them when I drove to California.) He only calls in the middle of the night so we can keep the game up - Alaska is 3 hours behind Oklahoma so if he's calling me at 2:45 a.m. my time it's only 11:45 p.m. in Fairbanks where I'm sure he's actually - - wait - - my son called me from a phone card, the return number wasn't an American number at all - it registered as a - - foreign country.

OK...now I'm concerned. When he left my house and told me he was going on vacation for a year he was lying! NO! He's not pretending to be in Iraq - he's ACTUALLY IN the country of Iraq. Those photos of the palms aren't really from the West Coast? Those camels weren't rented or borrowed and you know what - my son is - - Oh, he almost had me...I almost believed it, hahahaa...good one boy, good one. If I hadn't heard his X-box in the background with the Packers beating the crap out of the Cardinals I may have thought he was in or near Baghdad....wow. OK, I'm fine now. Everyone knows there's no electricity in Iraq! He couldn't be playing Madden 08, he couldn't be, right?

I should pay attention to what he said - It was something like "Glad you're not here Mom, wish I was home." Well, the good news is that the vacation and the traveling should be over in less than a year for Baby Boy and if he ever does make it to the war he'll be the best damn tanker this world has ever seen. Let's just hope that doesn't actually happen.

KWTV-CBS Channel 9 Oklahoma City, OK

I was interviewed today by a beautiful new reporter Audrey Eagle of Channel 9, and photographed or filmed by the veteran Channel 9 cameraman Darren Brown. Turns out Brown knows my bestest best friend's husband - worked together at 9, and he calls him "Puddin'" so I'll have to be sure and do that next time I see Darren Clarke! How fun will that be? I need to do it AFTER he gives me my OU tickets for next week's game for sure. (What am I saying, Jeanie can get those tickets out of Darren even if I call him "Puddin'"...c'mon!)

The interview went very well if you asked me - but of course I haven't seen the edited version - Darren Brown will probably want to beef-up the segment where I'm playing with Faith on the floor - showing off her snarling giant teeth in slow-motion to get the best effect for Halloween! We were outside walking and running around. She sat up pretty for everyone and barked at passersby - we were inside playing on the ground and of course sitting (on Robin Jone's couch) talking to Audrey about the facts surrounding the story of my family and I finding, raising, training, and speaking with Faith. Most of the questions Audrey asked were standard and they were boundary questions that you and I would call frequently asked questions. Other questions were welcomed by me because it gave me the opportunity to talk about how Freeman Collision in OKC helped me out when I needed it. I was able to say that Todd Freeman felt that our work was important and he wanted to be there to help our cause - he's currently working on my little Ford Focus Steve. Steve was in a big-bad-bang a few weeks back.

I really enjoyed this particular interview because it gave me the chance to talk a bit about my kids, their career paths, their lives, and what we're planning to do in the future - the Faith the Dog Foundation was talked about, and we talked about our movie hopes with asking Sherwood Baptist to do a feature length film about Faith and her story. I just hope that the airing of the segment is powerful and positive, that it brings local awareness of Faith being here and doing things, and I want local work! I really do want to do shows and gigs for the Oklahomans in my life too. We hardly get that chance now, and this would certainly help us do that.

Thanks to KWTV-Channel 9, thanks to Audrey for having the insight to call me after her mother sent her the viral e-mail about Faith. Thanks also to Darren "Downtown Brown" for your great filming - now do what I say man, show off those fierce K-9 fangs for the Halloween specials coming up! I should have faked Faith biting my arm off or something - she loves to play and makes a lot of great scary noises...but we always end our sessions with a lot of hugs and kisses. She is my dog you know, and she loves me as much as I love her! Big Big heart that girl has!

Thanks CBS too! We love you guys.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It May be Considered Very Rude, But...

I am absolutely phenomenal in the kitchen! Yes, I really am, and I think that every once in a great while a person has to say they're really good at something. I make the best looking kids in the world, and I do cook well. I say this after playing around in the gourmet books long enough to decide what it was that I wanted to make for myself. I'm single, I don't date, so here I am eating alone in my place thinking what should it be: Sage Chicken Oro won out - not on the menu!

Basically I broiled chicken, added orange and lemon juices with soy oil, and topped it with sage and onion. There you go - to accompany my new creation I decided on crisp asparagus with a garnish of black olives, tomatoes, and basil - very good choice. I know, I could have had another veggie, I could have found a bread - but I'm trying so hard to keep it under a certain calorie and carb count while making it too delicious to talk myself out of it. I refuse to go to dinner at a restaurant alone. I must have at least one brat with me at all times when dining, and I am brat-less for a while. Having one in Iraq, another in enemy territory (Oklahoma inside joke) and one who simply can't find her way home from time to time to be with her ever-loving mommy - I find myself in the kitchen more and more. It's OK I store the wine there as well.

Oh, but I was so very upset this afternoon to find that the only light wine I had was a Merlot - not light at all, in fact dry and rather deep colored. Because it had not been chilled and the Cab was - we went with Big Ass Red Table Wine - if the shoe fits. LOL Actually, for a cheap little wine it does go well with the beaten sage and roasted onion - seriously, I could be onto something, and soon every Italian restaurante will be calling me asking me for the specifics to this particular bird - should I hold out? Depends on whose asking I guess.

So there you have it - the tiny kitchen reeks of succulent oils and heavy spice, it throbs with the aroma of asparagus, tongues leaping over the medley spread upon the mass of green...and the palate lives and breathes for me one more day.

I need a bigger kitchen actually - to do this right.

Lindsay / Laura What's the Difference?

It doesn't happen as much as it used to, but when we go to NYC and Laura picks up a pair of shades for the fun of it, twisting her hair up inside of a hat, she gets stopped on the streets and asked for her autograph. She's always there to give it, but she's quick to say "Now, do you want MY autograph, because I think Lindsay would prefer that." Sometimes the person is apologetic and walks off, but more than not they ask Laura what she does - and she tells them she sings. She also tells them the other differences between she and the gorgeous Ms. Lohan - Laura says "I'm much taller than Lindsay, but I don't have boobs." Once that's been confirmed they all have a great laugh and usually Laura has a few new friends on MySpace for life.

There is now apparently another big difference between Lindsay and Laura - Laura won't shop at gas stations. She likes grocery stores. She's into that whole "I have 20 aisles to choose from" thing whereas it is quite apparent that Lohan knows what she wants, gets right in and out of the store, and carries out her stuff without killing another tree for a sack. I've been trying so hard not to kill trees! I have about a dozen of the bags you take in to carry your food home - but I constantly forget them. I end up killing polyurethanes instead - and I remedy it by using them as poop picker uppers and claim to be that much better than I really am. But it's not about me, it's about Lindsay and Laura now, isn't it?

Today my daughter called me from her new hometown of Stillwater, OK to tell me that she was "caught" buying food in a grocery store - a man took her picture doing it, and he almost ran away - he went to the other aisle over. Her curiosity got to her and she followed him. He was changing out his lens - she approached him and tapped him on the back. She asked him if she needed to sign a release form or if he was just randomly snapping pictures of women buying Doritos. She was a full 3" taller than this guy so he said "Oh, you know what, you're not who I thought you were, and I was thinking it was rather strange for Lind...well, never mind." Laura laughed and said "Go ahead, say it, I get it all the time when I'm in L.A. or NYC, but hey, this is a first for me..OKLAHOMA." He smiled that strange and awkward smile they all do and said "Well, you're nice and she would have never has asked me for a release form." Laura said "Well, if people left her alone she'd be more apt to be nice to them."

Laura told the guy to keep the picture though. She told him she was a singer, and she was about to record her first CD for real. If he was smart he'd use the photo in the future and say he was there in the grocery store BEFORE she was famous to prove she had a habit of eating Doritos and drinking Red Bull! I guess all beautiful women in the entertainment business can't sustain on celery - at least Lindsay and my little Laura Cakes have that too in common. Caity would have been caught buying the celery.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Plan: 2 pounds weekly for 15 weeks (Good Plan)

No, it won't be easy - but I have my head and my heart set on it. I've been dieting, exercising, drinking the water, doing all the right things and somewhere along the way the dreaded plateau has decided to take up residency around my mid section. The picture you see is my gut after it was invaded last January 28, in about 15 weeks or so it will be 1 year - this is very important to me. They say the surgery sets you back, and it did believe me, but I want to also show that it can be a stepping stone, a launch pad for the belief in one's self. I can do this, and my body is going to help.

Before my emergency surgery to remove a terribly rude gallbladder (one stone, can you believe it? It was the size of Houston, but it was just one.) I had a 30 pounds in 90 day diet plan. It was working too - working so much and so well, that my gallbladder couldn't keep up with the changes and BAM - it attacked me. I'd say it won, but it died. It was eliminated - I was the victorious one, but to look at the 7" scar on my belly one might think differently. I could have it surgically enhanced and have part of it's thickness removed since it wasn't suppose to be THAT big of a deal - but decided not to - it's a badge of honor to me now. God helped me through this - He was with me, and He'll see me through to the end of the plan I'm sure.

I use binaural beats to clear my head and my body of any active stress now. I just hook up the headphones here and listen to them right off of YouTube - it's great. Some of the frequencies are for stress, some for confidence. I don't know about you, but I don't need any more confidence - not unless I'm planning on taking on a small country - my belly's big yes, but not that big. I've decided to YouTube the beats for weight loss and exercise, repeat them over and over and think carefully about what I eat, when I eat it, how I eat, and what I could do that would cause my body to burn more fat - 2 pounds a week is very very healthy, not out of the question and in 15 weeks I will be where I want to be. Of course that may lead to another surgery, but this one would be voluntary - to remove skin...make me pretty. I think I'll take a picture of Laura into the surgeon for consult and see what he/she can do....if I take one of Caity in he/she will laugh at me....YOU WANT WHAT? Hahahahaha (Laura's 5'8" 130, Caity's 5'5" 110) At least with Laura's size 7 I could come closer to the truth - closer.

My goals are simple - work hard, play hard. My dreams are far more complex - but I can do this. I'm a Scorpio Red-headed Celtic woman....I can do anything!

Effects of Dark Wine

Cause and Effects 101: The effect can't happen without a cause, a purpose, things that move in the mind or the night right? First you have a situation; lets say for sake of the argument that the situation is a Big 12 loss to Texas in Division 1 Football - that's a good situation to bring up the the cause, which would be drinking wine - dark wine. Well, if you do this correctly, drinking dark wine that is, you can have an effect which can affect you - these effects vary from you to me perhaps. For me the effect was a good thing. It helped me to realize that not everyone wearing black and white stripes is the enemy. It helped me to also realize that driving would be a mistake and therefore I simply stayed put at the Hi-Lo club rather than driving around the city seeking out other wounded hearts wearing sad and mournful crimson and creme - - not hard to find. It also taught me, or affected me in a good way - which was a good effect to have affecting me - it taught me to appreciate purchasing wine at the liquor store for $8.99 rather than buying it by the glass!

Interestingly following the night hours of sorrow, crying on the shoulders of other OU Sooner fans, and celebrating with the Oklahoma State fans over their win (Missouri) I realized that coffee is another good drink to infuse into my veins even if the hour hand on the clock disagrees with my intake. Why is it that the 5:00 hour seems to be OK for wine but 2:46 a.m. seems to be a bit too late or even a bit too early for java? I couldn't disagree more with this particular tradition. I say let the Starbucks stay open, let the water heat, let the beans grind. There isn't a moment in time, an area in space that can't allow the consumption of coffee where I am concerned - it is not, and will never be a replacement for wine, nevertheless it is a reminder of spirit and of vigor! Viva la Restoration! Long live the bean! Long live the desire to open more and more cells at any and every hour possible - unless of course it is your goal to sleep...but who can sleep when one's heart is wracked and torn so openly, so raw...well, probably those wearing any shade of ORANGE!

Wine is good, wine is crimson, wine is for life...this is the truth. There are no real orange wines and there should never be.

You Gotta Go to a Gay Bar to See Straight!

The Hi-Lo Club in Oklahoma City on the Classen Circle.

OK, so no, I never really knew the Hi-Lo was considered a Gay bar. OK, it's a Gay bar, but I've gone there, my straight (married) friends go there, and my best friend who I've been hanging out with for more than 30 years (God, we're old) goes there. I think the crowd last night was just either pissed that OU lost, or excited that OSU won - and hey, the Cowboys beat Missouri, that's big. They should have been excited, but no, I didn't think it was any TYPE of a bar.

When I went in 1982 I remember thinking "You know, there's a lot of men in this bar and not one of them is really interested in me, but damn, he has great hair!" Yes, I thought that in the 80's, but not now. Now I think the Hi-Lo enjoys bragging on their better drinks (they still put a lot of alcohol in them) and they brag on their multi-faceted jukebox that has a lot of cool buttons and great big touch screen - and they brag about their long-standing Asteroids game that still stands in the same corner it stood in back in 1982! I would NOT be surprised to find Manuel's name and game having the top rank in scoring still - a record that I don't think CAN be beaten by human hands.

Last night was a weird one for sure, yes, it was just ODD. First I'm dealing with the loss of the OU/Texas shootout, then my kid Laura Cakes has to be driven home, which is in Stillwater - enemy territory from the north. I do that - wearing my Boomer Sooner Crimson! YES I did! Then I drove with Jeanie to take her kid "Little Kristen" to a haunted house downtown, which never happens, but we did it anyway and nearly ran over a couple too busy kissing to pay attention to little things like red-lights and crosswalks...10 points a piece I say! We're going home and get a text from her other kid Julie, the married one(Tony), wanting us to come to a Gay bar....yeah well, why not!

OK so it had been more than 25 years but it was exactly the same. You could have changed our hair and given us stretch pants, but we would have been in the same place at the same time, and if you want a really good quantum leap experience, go to Hi Lo and hug Sparky! Yes, his name is Sparky, his parents were THAT way! I bought a couple of drinks, but this time I had a couple of them bought for me - by TEXANS! It all started when we began shouting over the jukebox to discuss the officials and their mistakes - don't get me wrong, these Texans accepted the burden of their win! They were just appreciative of my understanding I guess - we all celebrated and agreed to another match up. This Red River Rivalry goes long, hard, and deep, it's on both sides and it's wonderful - the best thing is, there's ALWAYS next year! The year comes that they don't match up OU/Texas on the schedule there's going be be a bunch of heads rolling - we want this match up, we need this venting, and we're going to have it! Dallas is fair game in October! Half the city wears Crimson and half of it wears Burnt Orange. Beer seems to be a common denominator.

One of the best things about the Hi-Lo is you can't fit too many in it - but it's always hopping, always diving, always singing, and always playing - so go - if you can figure out how to get there from the Classen Circle - and (this is very important) when you're drunk and you're trying to leave and not be caught by the cops who sit outside - smile and remember to never never turn left at the first opportunity - it's a one-way!

Bradford & McCoy! October 11, 2008

You really couldn't find two better Quarterbacks if you searched High and Low for them. Brent Musberger was right, we have the best QBs in the nation!

Sam Bradford looked and performed witout a flaw - except that one interception, but if you ask me, and no one ever does; that one interception shouldn't count if the officials are going to take away OUR interception in the end-zone. OK, enough bitching, we got beat. OH, but if we're going to be beaten by anyone it should always be TEXAS. They bring their game every single time. I love that about this game. I love that about the Red River Rivalry - they always play well, they always bring their best, and it's usually a lot closer than the end score shows, no matter who or which team comes out a winner.

Mack Brown (Head Coach for Texas) got his start under legendary Barry Switzer at Oklahoma - so yeah, he's going to be taking some of that Oklahoma football training over the line. Oklahoma's roster reads like a Texas phone book - so we have their boys up in our corner and they have our playbook down in theirs. It's always a masterful game, always a great show, and I'm just saying (and biting my tongue) that the damn refs should have been spotted wearing Orange before they covered up their loyalties with stripes. You can't call off-sides a dozen times on OU and not see the Longhorns steppin' up? I'm all for a good call - set us back 10 that's fine, but do it to both teams when it's necessary that's all I'm asking. I'm asking also to stop thinking a love tap is a tackle, and stop thinking a fair catch in the other guy's endzone is a mishap! That's all.

Texas beat us - damn. I hate to say it, I hate to admit it, but Bill McFarlin's Longhorns stuck it to the Sooners....I think I'll have a rematch! What do you say Sam Bradford? You want another go at it next year? How about you Mr. Stoops? You up for that because I think Mack would be. I think Mack is all about the re-game. He's a great man, he's a fair man. Those orange, Bevo-loving, rude, loud-mouthed Texans wouldn't mind hosting another shoot out - I know they wouldn't - - they'd welcome it. We'd bring our own loud-mouthed, rude, Crimson, Boomer-Sooner down there and do it again and again. Hey BCS I have a plan? Why can't we just keep playing Texas over and over again and see how many games out of 12 we win - then you can match us up for the play offs! Texas wouldn't care! (Can you imagine the money flowing back and forth over that Red River?) LOL

Hey Sooners! You played better than they did, and you know it. Longhorns, Damn, you won and you brought it full force - thank you! Officials - go to hell. Let's get the calls right and let's let the boys play a fair game next time. They ALL deserve that. I'm not saying we wouldn't still be on the losing end, we may be, but we'd know it was TEXAS that beat us and not the zebras. Boomer Sooner!

OK OK OK...I owe an apology to Matthew McConaughey! Go Horns! There, I said it. Actually, I do hope the Horns beat the OSU Pokes when they play because I couldn't stand to hear those bragging rights coming out of Stillwater! (I'm so mean) LOL

Friday, October 10, 2008

R.I.P. CSI Warrick Brown

Actor Gary Dourdan (Not my photo)

Yes, it's true - they killed him. They shot the man at point blank last May and we had all summer to get over the pain of it all - - with little hope they managed to pull his nearly lifeless body out of the car in time for Gil to hold him one last time and cry over his death. It was senseless - well, not from the point of view of that evil McKeen of course, but it was a senseless killing and for all of us in the living room staring at the televisions we say collectively "Why did you have to off the good-looking one? DAMN!"

I'm not saying that Stokes should have been it, or Greg. No, they could have brought in a guy for a couple of weeks - he could have joined the team, found out too much too soon - and OK..fine...Gary probably had other offers and/or we need a cold slap in the face sometimes. I cried like a baby when NCIS killed Kate. I was pretty sure they picked Ziva because all the hate mail from all the men came in demanding another gorgeous brunette or their ratings would plummet - Abby's cute, but only a select few men would be strong enough or brave enough to attempt fantasizing about her. Fantasies about Warrick - oh please, they'll continue - dead or alive that man will live on in the minds and dreams of millions of women (and probably as many men who would be brave enough or strong enough to stare long and hard at Abby!)

So it is with sweet bitterness that we say farewell to the Gary Dourdan character we loved soooooo very much. The one we rooted for, the one we wanted to help out, the one we hoped would take over Grissom's positon after he retired and ran off to find Sara - we will truly miss you, and not only that - we VERY MUCH expect to see your beautiful face, eyes, and smile on something else - very soon please.

Good bye Emerald Rays!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

H.H. Backer Christmas Trade Show 2008! SUCCESS

H.H. Backer in Chicago 2008!

WOW...this was a fun show. I messed up my performance big time on Friday, but it wasn't completely my fault - Faith and her new friend Anthony were cutting up behind me, and she wouldn't stop barking. I lost concentration and therefore had to try to gather the thoughts that were floating through my brain at a million miles a minute. You can't take in all the stuff that goes on at one of these shows easily! With 4000 trade booths, nearly 10,000 people working the booths, and then another 10,000 or so visitors every day of the show - you get a bit overwhelmed, but it's wonderful. This being the Christmas show there were hundreds of booths dedicated to the spirit of the season and everyone was thrilled to see the new toys, clothing lines, jewelry, and so much more. A few that deserve a little mention would be Pamela Meltzer's Puppy Paws as well as Andrea Levine's booth which is actually called Andrea Levine. These ladies became friends at last year's show, and they are in friendly rivalry now. They're both terrific.

I wanted to give a few shout outs to a couple (three) groups that we worked with, worked next to, and will be working with in the future....all deserved their own blog really, but this way I don't have to go on and on about Hyperflite and make the boys blush because I think they're so cool. You know you have a great job when you can run around in shorts all day and play with dogs! (Besides, I think Peter's cute, and I didn't want to let on you know, this way I can say what I want to say and he'll never know right? LOL.) The trainers in the picture with Peter (wearing black) are Jeff Stanaway and Frank (I don't know his last name yet) and I wanted Greg Perry in the picture, but he wasn't available.

They were so great with the 5 dogs, all agility dogs, that they brought. I'm not sure about their outstanding recorded stats in the world of disc dogging, but every last trainer and dog deserved multiple rounds of applause...they were great! Every twist, every turn, every spin, CAUGHT....OK, most of them were, and the show was really high-flying and great fun for the audiences. They performed just before Faith and I, and Peter handed the mic to me with great finesse!

You can YouTube Hyperflite and check out their sites: www.skyhoundz.com and www.hyperflite.com to see more dogs and more videos and get all the books written not only about training such dogs, but understanding the unstoppable, fun for the family shows! (How was that? Good?) LOL

LIZ!!!! I love Liz!!! She's with her husband Bill in this picture and they love my dog Faith! Liz is a sales rep for Eagle Pack foods and we're hoping to do a great future endorsement with either Eagle Pack, or the parent company that owns Eagle Pack and Wellness Foods. They're both fantastic people-oriented, dog-oriented groups with a lot of heart and a lot of love for their products.

Liz was next to me last year at the H.H. Backer in Chicago, and she was upset when the Gibson's Steakhouse across the street kicked Faith and I out because Faith was causing a distraction...she does that. Liz called their manager and told her off, and I appreciated that. (Bill says she's a spitfire.) LOOK at her...she looks like a teenager!!! She got to babysit Faith for me and she was thrilled to do it. People asked her questions, she was answering them like a pro, and I thought about taking a little nap and just letting her do the whole show thing! She's awesome. THANKS LIZ!!! (Happy 10th Anniversary!!)

Thom, Cindy, Parker and Cheerio!!! (They have another kid too, but the cute-factor would have been off the charts if he had joined them this weekend.) Thom started www.pettech.net by himself I believe, and Cindy and Parker are his two best employees. He has several Pet First Aid Instructors now, and they all go around the country teaching the basics and the intricate knowledge behind caring for your pet if they should need medical attention. He has books and videos about his work, and he is passionate about reaching everyone he can.

Dogs are often taken for granted when it comes to their immediate needs. We're not always on top of things such as how to give a dog emergency CPR and heart massage...Thom's Pet Tech, Inc. is there to show us, and I learned so much more this year than I did last year - we'll definitely try to get placed next to them again. Parker helped me with my shows - showing people how to pee like a two-legged dog, how to get up from a lying position if you're a two-legged dog, and he let me babysit Cheerio!! I got a million kisses all for me.

Well listen, these were the best three days and I loved it. With all the Greatest American Dogs to hang out with, and my great new friend Anthony Tortoriello the photographer, Barrington Dog Bakery feeding me (I mean Faith) snacks, and all the free treats from Merrick products and others - we were STUFFED...but loving it. Thanks again to those that loved us through the whole event. Can't wait to see you next time...I did miss Ryan and Brian from Annie's Pooch Pops. I hope they can make it next time.

Hanging Out With Anthony Tortoriello!

Faith LOVES this guy!

Most of the time Faith is polite to men, but sometimes she barks at them. Not with Anthony Tortoriello! Oh, she was melting all over him like butter and she wasn't even embarrassed about it. He couldn't get out of her site, it was amazing. She treats her agent Mike Maguire the same way, but this was love at first sight. She and "Tort" (I call him Tort because I'm really cool like that) made eye-contact and it was over. He took about 2000 pictures of her, some of which he's shared with us, and let me tell you - he's awesome. Now, of course he's a professional, and has the big huge lenses to prove it, but c'mon there are good photographers and then there are GREAT photographers - those with a special feel, or the "eye" for the art! He's really really good. I'll show you later after he sends me a few and gives me permission to plaster his work all over the internet.

We first met at the Crowne Plaza where we had agreed to meet. He emailed me a few weeks ago asking if he could hang out with us - I said yes because I could see on his website that he was awesome. (atortphotography.com) I have several of his photos on my iPod now, and can't wait to add more that he gives me permission to take! You'll fall in love, I know you will. We went downtown because you have to go downtown when you're in Chicago. We took Faith to the canal, to the Tribune, to her 519th Starbucks on Michigan Ave. We took her to Millennium Park, to the Bean, to the open air concert hall, we met cops, we met people, we ate. We took her to several cross-walks and Tort took some of the best action shots of people being shocked and amazed at Faith walking. I wish we could have had more time, and I wish we could have had a few more dog treats with us...she got a little tired after a while doing the same things. You just can't explain modeling and run-way walking to a dog. They don't get it. Treats help.

We hung out for days with thousands of people at the H.H. Backer Pet Trade Show in Chicago's Stephens Center (Rosemont). In the Center were 4000 trade booths, 8000 workers, 12,000 visitors, and 5 of the exhibitors were from the Greatest American Dog Show (CBS-TV). We hung out with Bill McFarlin and his Star! J.D. and Galaxy were there, Beth Joy and Bella Starlet too. We also hung out with Teresa and Leroy, who by the way has brown on his face - something Anthony was able to pick up on, and Laura was there with Preston! Oh, they were so nice. You met them on the show, but they were just perfect in person. Every one of them sweet and not the least bit touched by celebrity. I have to be honest - Anthony was such a gentlemen to them. He took pictures for free, he gave them shots, he even arranged for Bill's dog Star to get a birthday cake from Shaun and Laura at the Barrington Dog Bakery! It was so sweet of him. That's the type of guy you want working with you.

Anyway, Anthony was soooooo good to Faith, and sooooo fantastic! I want you to take a little time and go to his website and just stare and gawk at his work. Then, after you stare and gawk, I want you to hire him!! He's so easy to work with. He listens so intently, he has a really good vibration around him and I know you're going to be flat out stunned by the results. He's in the Chicago area, all of his contact information is on the website. PLEASE PLEASE, get to know Tort. Again, that website is: atortphotography.com and you will certainly fall in love. (Oh, and he's single ladies, so go ahead and really fall in love!) LOL

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What If The Rapture Came Today

OK, so this isn't a real picture of the REAL Jesus, but you get what I'm getting at.

What if. What if the Rapture (what some call the 2nd Coming, but those of us who were brought up believing in two separate events refer to this as the Rapture, and the other as the return of Christ to the Earth) did happen today? It's the Jewish holiday today - the one Christ hasn't completely fulfilled according to the beliefs of those I studied - Protestant that I am; sword-drilling, Bible-thumping Baptists from yesteryear. Today I'm far less harmful, and more open-minded about YOUR beliefs and I stick to my own without thrusting them down your throat. WHAT? You say I'm thrusting them now? Please, this is my blog - get your own.

Anyway - what if God decided to send Jesus back right now! Well, if it were right now this blog wouldn't even be posted. It's going to happen in the blink of an eye, and I'm good, but not that good. I would be caught up though. I would be in Heaven, and I would be joined by any and all born-again Christians, and Christians of the old days, and those who were dead before the Rapture who were Christian. If you're reading this and you said to yourself "Wow, so only the Christians go to Heaven in her religion? What kind of God is that?" There's an answer - He's an all-inclusive God that chose to send His Son to be anyone's Savior - anyone - anyone at all - the fact is, after you decide to accept Him you are a Christian because He is Christ. I suppose if he was called something other than Christ we would be called something other than Christians....makes more sense when you put it that way doesn't it?

So, what about the OTHERS? I can't get into it without thrusting my religion on you - suffice it to say my creditors may or may not be caught up. They may keep calling me - I wouldn't answer, but they may or may not figure it out if they had friends or relatives who said "You know, all the babies are gone - there are no more little children in the entire world - what do you make of that? Strange, yes?" I wouldn't be doing any more speaking engagements with Faith, but I'm not bold enough to say that the animals will be caught up - I think they'll have to stay here - that's the sad part - well, that and the fact that all those who aren't Christians will be staying here too - - my heart leans a bit toward the animals sorrow though because they don't have the abilities to make decisions about Heaven and Hell and we do. I don't know about the animals, wouldn't it REALLY be a strange world without the animals and without the children too?

Not one single kid would be left on this Earth...not even the kids that were just born or maybe even those in their mothers...I don't know enough to answer that, and I don't know enough to have an opinion...I just flat out don't know. I do know I am not pregnant and don't have to worry about it. Millions of millions would be gone around the world in every country. Planes would fall from the sky because some of the pilots would be gone - trains would wreck, certainly cars would wreck. Hospitals would be crammed, but some doctors, some nurses, some staff would be gone - the nursery would be empty and the children's wards too - wow.

I'd miss out on the possibility of winning a $200,000,000 lottery tonight - but something tells me I wouldn't care. I wouldn't get to go to Chicago tomorrow, but I'd be in a really jazzy place instead. I wouldn't get to go to Hollywood later, but I'd see a lot of lights and the one LIGHT - wow. Didn't I already say "Wow?" WOW...well, Jesus did decide to come back today I'd be really really super major happy....and finally, finally I could hug my Grandpa Edwards again, and get a little fishing in before we had to go see everyone else. He's a pretty popular guy in our family, but he told me where he'd be so I could find him first! LOL

It would be nice. Oh, the Feast of the Trumpets thing - well, you know the Rapture will be foretold by the Angels blowing trumpets. I think it's suppose to be in Heaven because the event literally takes less than the blink of an eye down here. There are other feasts, 6 I think, in the Bible, the Torah, and maybe even other Sacred Texts, I'm not sure - but Christ did something, performed a miracle at each - the only one He hasn't done yet - is the Trumpets....and well, that's today! How does that saying go in Revelations? "Even so Lord, come quickly!" WOW.