Sunday, December 5, 2010

Looney Tunes and Us





If I had to equate my children, and also myself, to the cartoon character that best fits our personality, I would say that I am most assuredly Wiley Coyote. YES, it is true - - I am a genius. Nope, not making that up, or bragging about myself. It is a bonafide and verifiable fact that I, Jude Stringfellow, have an extremely high I.Q. For all that is worth, I still burn dinner from time to time, have had trouble paying bills, still can't figure out where the placenta comes from, but let me tell you - - when I get an idea in my head to make something, do something, or be something it will be done! I may get blown up, fall off a cliff, or be set back with instructions, but I will see my project through to the bitter end. Enough about me. Let's talk about my kids.

Reuben: Reuben is my man-child, my boy, my heart. He is a big, strong, energetic, bouncing-off-the-walls kind of guy, but he's also a guy whose always thinking. He's always got something on his mind, always got something going on, and he's not easily distracted. He's friendly, gregarious even, and above all he's fair. He thinks a bit too much at times, and that can be a problem; he doesn't always account for the little pleasures in life because of it. He's a romantic kind of guy, a traditional man, a man of high integrity, and he always enjoys a good gathering. The boy has to be the leader wherever he goes, but understands his place in the line-up on the field and in the military. Reuben, because of his size, voice, outrageous mind-set, and vivid imaginaton is best characterized as Bugs Bunny. I was going to pick Foghorn Leghorn, but to be honest wtih you, Foghorn is a bit lazy, and that's something Reuben never learned to be. He's the rabbit!

Laura: As much as Laura wishes she was Bugs, her demeanor is nothing like his. Bugs is up at the crack of dawn, Laura stays up til then. She is clever, sly, and creative, but she is also stubborn, moody, and likes to be alone. Laura could and would wrestle with a sumo but she'd run from a bee. She sees children and walks the othe way - - she sees kitties and puppies and chases them down. She loves animals of all kinds, shapes, sizes, and breeds, as long as they leave her alone in the morning and let her sleep late...and I mean late. She doesn't clean as well as she should, but gets mad at herself and then takes control of the chaos. Laura is a born sportswoman, a natural at riding, and she loves the outdoors. She is a talented singer, a gifted writer, genius perhaps, but keeps it under wraps. She carries a big gun (her weapon being her hands and feet) but keeps it under control until it is ultimately necessary - - she is alluring, and makes a good point when she argues. Laura is Marvin the Martian.

Caity: Please. Caity is the Chicken Hawk. There's no reason to lead up to it. There's no reason to explain it. She's just compact, quick, clever, determined, mean and nasty, and always going to get it her way. If someone argues with her, gets in her way, or otherwise tries to stop her - - she beats them over the head with a 2x4 plank of wood until they're unconscious, she drags them to the barn and then swings them by their feet, heaving them over into th pasture. It's really very clear cut. Caity has always been, and she will always be the Chicken Hawk. Now, that's not always a bad thing - OK it is, but that's the way it is, and I can't do much about it other than to stay out of the barn. I love this kid. I do try to appease her when I can, the consequences are just too severe....like an explosion you can't contain, you just watch and go "Ohhhhh, ahhhhhhh".

That's about it, yep. My family and the Looney Tunes. Makes me wonder which Disney characters we'd be. I'll think about it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Going Green

You can't go a day it seems without hearing term "going green" or without someone reminding us that we should be greener. I get that. I understand the concept of recycling, not using plastic bags, cutting down on the paper usage and of course I understand the reasoning behind unplugging cell chargers when they aren't in use. God only knows how much money and energy we all save when we work together and work smarter to save and conserve.

I have to tell you, I laughed just a little a couple of years ago when singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow suggested that we begin cutting down (severely) on the amount of toilet paper we use - - someone said she wanted the average butt to be cleaned using only 4 squares at a time. Not that I don't think some people's usage is extreme but I don't even want to think about cutting that that far. I may do it this next time just to see if I can - - but be sure I'm really close to the shower too. I don't know, maybe after a good trip to the toilet we could just take a few steps and hop into the shower for a second. Isn't that the whole idea behind bidets?

A time and place for everything. I say you know exactly what you need and you should only use that much. It's a strong position I'm taking. It's basically saying that we are instinctively capable of knowing when too much is too much. If I'm right, that would require us all to use more self control, something not all of us, including myself, is all that willing to do. What if, just say for example, that we didn't really need caffeine. No, seriously, what if that were true, and I had to face giving up coffee? To hell with that. Now, what I can do, is to be green as I can about it. I can use the type of coffee maker that doesn't use a paper filter. I can use a reusable cup to drink it from, I can even turn the used grounds back into the ground, and make for a happier planet....but I can' be caffeine free. I tried it, it sucked.

Looking around the house I found about 10 things I could do to save the planet faster, more effectively. I'm sharing my favorites with you. 1. Rather than using plastic bags for trash bags, we can use those new really expensive bags that are made of paper or biodegradable plastic/blends that go back into the earth. 2. I use a Brita filter now!! YEA. 3. I bathe at least one dog after I take my bath, to save water. I have 5 dogs so they rotate. 4. I don't buy take out from places that use plastic containers and yes, I bitch about them to their corporate offices! 5. I reuse my paper towels, which makes me a conservative person and a good Scottish woman! 6. I want to throw all my trash into recycle bins, but no one picks it up! At least my heart and my head are green, right?

Well there's more, there's so much more we could do. I think about it all the time when I'm driving and I see the trash on the side of the road, or the fences lined with debris - - WHO throws things out their windows now? I remember being a kid and seeing the Native Amercian Indian in the commercials with the tears running down his face as he stood in a polluted field or stream. BRING HIM BACK!! For a while we were doing all we could to help ducks and other birds by cutting through our 6-packs, but I'm not a soda or beer drinker, I don't have 6-rings to cut through. I would! I would tell the world to do the same, but for Pete's sake...don't litter.

I guess I've been a conservationist all my life. I don't remember ever being over the top wasteful with water, paper, energy, heat, gasoline. I walked everywhere I could if it was under a couple of miles, that is until I got older and the world became more dangerous, but when I was a kid I walked 5-10 miles a day without an issue. My parents knew I'd be home. Wow -- looking back, I know I wasn't rich growing up, but I had a good training program. Thanks Mom. (Oh, I'd say thanks Dad, but it was MOM who popped him in the head for throwing things out the window!) LOL He learned...right along with me.

Going green is essential to the survival of our planet, and it's not an option. Try to think of 5 or 6 ways you can stop polluting, wasting, or over-using. It must be done, and it just might be fun to try to make a good change in your life. Come to think of it, I keep my temperature inside the house at 69-70 all year round. If the AC doesn't need to come on it doesn't come on. If the heat doesn't need to be on, it doesn't come on. Wait a minute before changing the thermostat....can you put on a sweater or take one off? Just a thought...a happy, sharing, caring, giving, loving thought.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Moving Pegs Around

You know that simple table game you see at restaurants that has a triangle piece of wood with a bunch of holes in the wood? The one with the colored pegs in it, where you have to move the pegs around, jumping over another one, but not skipping a hole? The object of the game of course, is to end up with one peg left. You succeed when you finish the game without baggage or objects (pegs) standing in your way. Well, I realized today that I could learn a great deal from that game. I seem to be moving things around, jumping over other things, putting pegs in places they haven't been before, or at least in a while - - I seem to be realigning my life, and that's a great feeling! I can actually see the end of the game working out for me this time. Somehow, with a little prayer and luck, I'm actually beginning to get the hang of this thing called LIFE! (Did I mention the prayer part?) LOL

Recently my good friend Cindy Papale introduced me to another good friend, Derek Britt, who is involved in many movie ventures, television, publishing, you name it the man has some sort of connection. Like me, he enjoys meeting people, helping others, and making himself available for them and in return we receive joy, love, and admiration, but sometimes we also get hired for really cool jobs, or we have the opportunity to write something for someone who can be furthered by what we write. The upshot of this friendship is that I will always be needed; I will always be able to do what I know I am capable of doing, and someone will benefit from it. I will also benefit from it, as that's what I believe God had in mind when He formed me. He gave me a bunch of writing and connecting talents, but He didn't put the gene in me that required a lot of recognition or money. I mean yeah, I want to work, be paid, eat, get nice things, and be thanked, but I'm not a money-whore or attention hog. As long as I'm being cared for and able to help out, I prefer going that route.

So, I'm moving things around. First I moved my family from Oklahoma City to Gainesville, TX when we believed a movie was being made about our dog Faith. The movie concept was in tact but the funding wasn't, the idea failed and I moved us back to Oklahoma. This year I moved us to Indiana to get away from a bad economy, to find a place where my girls could literally start over educationally, financially, emotionally, as well as spiritually. Indiana, in case you didn't realize it, is a REALLY great spot for that. Some fabulous people live here, and again, supernatural sources came through to find me the best landlord, the best place for Laura to ride, own horses, and work, and the best place for Caity to find work and raise her new baby -- Copeland is due in early May. Indiana's schools are some of the very best, and I'm stoked about the girls going to college, working, and becoming more and more involved with their community. Me? Well, I'm moving pegs again. I'm moving myself to Los Angeles, taking Matrix, but leaving the others here. I'm working on a project or two with Derek, and I'm hoping to break into voice-over work, writing, film, television, and you guessed it - - everything! I'm just so at peace about it. It's time!

So the last few pegs are needing to be moved, I see the holes, I know the game. I could sit back and mentally position each bright colored peg until the game is ended, but that's not how it works...I have to pick it up, jump another, move it to where it needs to be, and most importantly, remove the peg standing in my way to success. It's always been this silly simple game and I wasn't aware of it. There are great things often standing in our way to our own success; we have the courage and the skill set to move ourselves or we don't. I do have the power, the courage, and the training - - it's time to jump...forward! Always forward.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Little Patch of Reuben

When he was little my son Reuben would play "Army" in an area of the yard that was too hard to reach with the lawn mower. Subsequently the piece of land grew wildly and a bit out of control with foliage. From time to time I would try to clear it but each time I did I faced the wrath of a little kid that refused to called into the house until all of his missions were complete. There was a neighbor that I met only when she found me in the supermarket because Reuben was with me. She said "Oh, you don't know the joy this boy brings me every morning." She continued to tell me how she takes her cup of coffee and a breakfast bar nearly every day to the window just to watch Reuben play because from her point of view she can see him clearly - - she explained to me how he was completely in control of the invisible soldiers that he commanded, how he barked out orders, then swung around to play the part of each soldier taking orders. She was sorry to see Reuben go to high school. (Little did she know that he played every waking moment of his life then as well, but it was in the front yard with imaginary spectators watching him tackle the invisible quarterback.)



My parents live on a patch of land in the country where they have at least a half acre of what is called "Reuben's Patch" because over the years he would go into the wooded, overgrown weeds and vines to "hunt", "stake out the bad guys" or just be "at war". It was a perfect place for a kid with his size of an imagination. I remember looking at a piece of property with Laura about a year ago when Reuben was still in the Army. The backyard had 8 acres of land and in the far corner was a spot that would have been Reuben-esque. There were trees reaching to the sky and it seemed that their fat bushy pine branches were hovering over one another guarding the entry way, blocking out the would be humans who may have desired to destroy them for the sake of being able to see to the other side of the property line. This was truly a haven for the boy-man who would be coming to visit and need a place to hide with his mind!



Well, where I live now has four patios and no yard. I live on a golf course with acres and acres of wooded lands, creek beds, and places I know my son could sneak in, hide in, pop out, and scare the be-jeebies out of the golfers if he wanted to. However, something tells me he would refrain a bit at his age; but probably JUST a bit. One of my patios is about 12x15. It is gated, and has a concrete floor if you will. I have not touched it since we moved in. I have allowed it to grow over with vines, limbs, flowers, weeds, and all the leaves and pine needles that can possible gather do indeed gather there. It is a place I find quite peaceful - - and probably a place that raccoons and skunks like as well, I don't know. I call it my little patch of Reuben. When I get the hankering to think about him I open up the curtain and look outside. Since it's gated and fenced off no one sees it from the outside. I've been asked by the association to trim it down, but again because it's behind the fence I don't actually have to. I told them no, and addressed the fact that it brings me joy. If a critter really did live in it I would probably chase it out - - but I don't think it's housing anyone. It's just a little tranquil spot that screams "Hey Mom, MOM, MOM, MOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM.....bring me the Oreos please!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Girl and Her Horse




There's just something about men and their trucks and girls with their horses. I don't know where to start with my personal story because it has deep deep roots, but only a few blooms. I'm tell you that when I was little and knew absolutely nothing about horses I wanted one. My parents lived in the city, there were no real barns that I knew about where you could board a horse, and believe me, they weren't the type of people to every pay anyone to keep an animal - - far more pragmatic than that. If we didn't have our own land then we weren't getting a horse. It was that simple. My friends had horses, and that's where I eventually ended up; with my friends who had horses. I can rattle off the names of 5 of my close friends that saw a lot of me throughout the years because they owned a few horses.

As a young adult I did the impossible; I bought myself a horse. I don't know that I told my mom and dad. I may have, I probably did, but I know I didn't tell them the heartbreak of losing it because I was lied to, the man I bought him from was a crook and took my money, then told the police he was leasing the horse to me. I know I didn't tell my parents about falling off from a dead run from a 16.3 hand tall (that's tall in case you're not into horses) sorrel Thoroughbred gelding. I know I never told them that I was planning on stealing the horse back and trying to figure out a way to borrow dad's truck to do it. That much I know I didn't share with my parents. Girls and their horses - - there's a bond that clamps tightly around the heart and it really never lets up. I remember everything about the horse and I wasn't even that much in love with him. I was more in awe I think. He was huge, he was fast, he was gorgeous, and he was gone.

All these years later, and after having a daughter that was born to ride, I have found myself in the position of owning another horse. I almost got one given to me by a very special friend I've only met on the internet. She and I went into business together, and she wanted to buy me a pretty Appaloosa but things just didn't work out for the seller and the buyer to get things together. Timing seems to be a big part of owning a horse these days. I knew I didn't have the extra money to pay for one, but I really really wanted one. This same friend was able to buy my daughter a lesser trained horse, and Laura had the time, patience, and energy to bring to the barn and train her new horse; a bay colored Arab/Quarterhorse named Stryker. He's only three, gelded, and from all looks and tests seems to be an awesome choice for the price. Watching Laura with Stryker, and occasionally riding a barn horse I've been itching to get my own again - - until now. Now I have one.

Laura and I are believers of the Law of Attraction. We begin by accepting the fact that if we believe it whatever we believe in will come true as long as we continue to think about it, live as if it is ours, and pray hard - - really hard. God is so funny sometimes. He really is; I talked to Him openly and reminded Him of the tall, stately sorrel red animal I had in 1983. I reminded Him (God) that I was not an experienced rider, and thought that a Thoroughbred would be a bit much - - you know, too much actually. Did I mention we were believers of the Law of Attraction? You see, according to the Law of Attraction that which you lend your attention to is what is brought to you. That which you bring your thoughts around to is what is received. I thought over and over about how I didn't want a Thoroughbred. I thought over and over about how I didn't want a red horse. I thought over and over again how I wanted a shorter, tamer, slower horse that would be best for me, but it couldn't be a red horse, and it couldn't be a Thoroughbred. (Notice how I said it COULDN'T BE)

Well, the Law of Attraction only hears and understands your emotion. It doesn't separate good and/or bad, yes or no. It just gives you exactly what it is that you are thinking about mostly - - the strongest, and I really really didn't want a red Thoroughbred. I got a RED THOROUGHBRED!! LOL

I got online and found a lot of free horse ads on advertisements that are really set up for horse lovers. You would have to be a horse person to know where these ads are and that's a good thing as the average person looking may or may not understand all the responsibilities that go along with actually owning a horse. I was green as a fresh pine cone when I started out in my 20's. Today I know a lot more, but one thing I know is that I don't know enough. I will tell you the truth, I was not experienced enough for the big horse, and it is probably a blessing that I was only thrown off once! Angels probably held me in the saddle after the first throw. After finding an ad for a horse that seemed absolutely perfect for me; I filled out the contact information form and the first thing I laughed about as I looked over the ad was the fact that this free, well mannered, great temperament horse, the one I would be able to get for free, delivered to me, and she would be an amazing horse for me - - was red. She was too short to race, which is why she was being given away and that meant she was a full blooded Thoroughbred. Law of Attraction!

Well, bring it on! The wonderful woman (Ashley) that brought the horse to me was another amazing person. I honestly feel that we'll be friends for the rest of our lives. The horse is able to be registered, but without being raced, without being qualified to be a race horse, she was never registered. I can do that. I can name her. I can be her first real owner and that means so much to me. At 15 hands tall, my red Thoroughbred mare is named Boomer's Crimson Heart. She is the daughter of a race horse on both sides; Lion's Heart is her Sire and Meadowlake's Star is her Dam. I'm told they were average and I'm told they were unremarkable. These are terms that horse trainers use - - to me they are priceless. They made my baby.

Thanking my Lord today, thinking of the new relationship that started with a quest to see if there would be something out there for me - - I now believe even more strongly in the power of positive thinking. The thing is, I know also to be careful what I ask for - - and what I think about. Because I'll get it. A girl and her horse. It's a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

RSC - Recruiting and Staffing Careers (Beware)

Let me start out by saying that the following story is MY SIDE of what took place between myself and a possible fraudulent company calling themselves Recruiting and Staffing Careers.

About a week ago I found Recruiting and Staff Careers (RSC) online and filled out the necessary forms to find myself a job in the Human Resource field of employment. Upon doing so I was contacted via e-mail by a woman calling herself Sandra Reese. She claimed to be the personal assistant to Paul Rosen; supposedly this Paul Rosen is out of Chicago, but his virtual office could be anywhere. He has a 310 area code phone number, but when you call it, you are quickly directed to his website. If you insist on leaving a message for him you are not allowed to do so, as his mailbox is full.


After agreeing to set up an interview online with RSC through a virtual site given to you when you apply, I upheld my end of the agreement and met with a group of others at 1:00 p.m. EST today. Of course you are given several options and times wherein you can say you are willing to do the virtual interview. THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO BE ON ALERT.

Throughout the day I was given e-mail and cell phone reminders to be on time, or even to log in early. I did this. I anxiously and eagerly awaited the online interview; even if I found it to be a bit odd that we were not asked to use webcams or have microphones to interact with the principals at RSC. It made sense to me after I saw that in my 1:00 p.m. session there were over 100 names of those also being screened for the 40 coveted positions that were being offered. Obviously if we were all given access to the RSC principals there could be confusion. At one point the interviewer even states that he will speak with you one on one at the end of the process.

At approximately 1:01 p.m. a little pop up screen on the right of the main screen shows a man dressed in a professional manner calling himself Stephen Morton. He is apparently one of the RSC recruiters, and his off-screen assistant "Jennifer" is given directions to put up a screen, take down a screen, to highlight something Morton wants to point out, or simply scroll through a page. They go to great lengths to make you feel as if the interview is real enough. Morton even makes a spelling error and corrects it online.

On the left side of the full screen you have correspondence from an individual known as "Cleo" who gives the interviewees instructions and direction as to what to expect next. At one point Stephen Morton asks you an "open" question and your two-way communication abilities are accessible. They are soon cut off and the answers of most of the candidates are shown to everyone - - I noticed that the two times we were allowed open access that MY answers did not pop up. I wondered about it, as my answers were typed faster than many that were available to be seen. This was the first red flag that alerted me that this was only VIRTUAL and not a real process or at least it was recorded and not live.

Morton calls out names and answers from the left to assure the audience that this is a live interview. For some this is a feeling of security, of being a real part of the process; but for me it meant testing the system. When the next open question popped up and again my answers did not appear, I knew something was up. There are three times in the interview where Morton asks you to click on the radio button to mark your understanding of the process. Interestingly the first time this happens he tells you that 43% of the audience is experienced in the HR business and 57% will be considered entry-level. As a professional I was upset that they would even allow those who were not experienced to interview with those of us who were, as obviously if there are limited positions available you don't give them to those who are not experienced.

The thought occurred to me also that if I was one of over 100 who attended the 1:00 session, and there were multiple sessions set for the day and tomorrow, how many applicants were actually being asked to participate and why would any professional group ask anyone without experience to continue past the first qualifying question of whether or not you had experience in the field of which you were applying for? Another RED FLAG.

As we moved through the session it became clear to me that the graphics on the screen were being set up or used to look as if they were being created on the spot, or at the time of the interview. However, with the knowledge I have of graphics, I knew this was also a program, a timed program, and one that was probably set and recorded to be played and replayed over and over again. This wasn't a live interview - - and to prove it I took it again! (Of course under another name)

Well, as you probably guessed - RSC is not a real company in terms of being what they say they are. They will SELL you the right to recruit for them for a fee of $297.00 which gives you access to vacant positions (or are they) and resumes of those who are applying for jobs (or are they?) so that you can match them up, call and set up interviews, sending out candidates (supposedly like you and I who are looking for real positions) and you are the essential public relations or human resource person of contact for these individuals. YOU are the company contact. YOU make the interview happen, the company places someone, and then RSC charges a 20% fee of the annual base salary and keeps 50% while giving YOU 50%. Essentially this is 10% of the person's 1st annual salary right? EXCEPT -- in the interview Morton assures you that jobs can start as low as $25,000 for an individual and go up over the $200K mark...and he also tells you or rather shows you, that you could make between $1700-8300 per placement. Now, I'm not math wizard, but 10% of $25,000 (minimum) is $2500 and 10% of $200,000 would be $20,000.00. It doesn't add up.

NEXT -- and hold on to your credit cards. The RSC representative wants YOU to pay them $297.00 for the right to use their information to make your appointments, set up the interviews, and he guarantees you that your initial fee will be paid back when the first candidate is hired. Of course. RED RED RED FLAG! BLOOD RED.


I terminated the virtual interview and began a calling campaign to find out exactly who these people are. Believe it or not, they won't answer you when you call - - but I did get one individual to write me back. They signed off as "Admin" and when I asked for their name they refused. They became flippant, arrogant even in their exchanges with me. I offered to have them visit on air with CNN about their practices and of course they agreed, but when it came time to really set it up, they wouldn't cooperate or give me names to contact for the producers to call. Of course they wouldn't.

Just be careful folks. I think they're a bunch of losers, but the sad thing is, they're working out of Chicago! I love that city with all my heart. Just be careful if you come across Recruiting and Staffing Careers.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Matrix is Missing - - Not Good



Mr. Matrix ran away from home, but I don't think he meant to. He must have been roaming around the woods and the golf course and just thought he would go visiting ONE more house before he came back. His partner in crime, our little Jack Russell Teagan, did come home. She's not the type to go into ANYONE else's house. No way, she is the type (the Jack Russell Terrier type) that would stand outside someone else's house and bark at them as if the house was her own. Matrix takes another approach. He would waddle himself into their house, past everyone except the kids and show off that wiggle-waggle body of his. He's a mooch! He knows that kids have food, and that kids love friendly little dogs. He's not stupid. He'd take his collar off if he could, suck in his gut and pretend to be homeless - - he's that good! I think Matrix is actually living it up in someones house thinking he'll be brought home soon enough; but why not get all the love and hugs he can for now?

Being a perfect dog as he is; half Beagle and half Dachshund, Matrix is about 27 pounds, and only 15" off the ground. He likes belly rubs of course, but loves to nuzzle, cuddle and snuggle even more. Infact, if you start cuddling and scratching the old guy you have an all-day job. He'll push and nudge your lazy hand if you stop, and look at you with those ... well, those dog-eyes and tell you that you're being derelict in your duties. He obviously needs to be loved, and you obviously have hands to scratch him with. He certainly won't pass up an opportunity to sit on your lap or clean out your nose with his tongue. He's one of THOSE dogs that has to sleep with you, on you, under the covers, and as he's pinning your legs down and you're thinking he should move, the thought hits you hard that he's a dog and he's sleeping and it would be a blasphemous sin to move the animal...that's the thought I get anyway - - maybe that's why he loves sleeping with me.

I WANT MY DOG BACK!!

I let him out to go pee-pee but didn't realize Teagan was planning to dig a hole and go roam about the place. We live on a golf course in Avon, Indiana, and there are woods, creeks, deer to catch, squirrels, all sorts of golfers to visit, and then there are the miles and miles of nothing but cornfields to run through - - come on, it's a dog paradise!! House after house after house to find, kids to love, dogs to chase up and down fences...but sooner or later you'd think the boy would miss me and come home. He's not allowed out, and he knows that, but we do walk the course a lot and he's marked every single tree along the 10, 11th, 12th, holes as well as the front of the country club...he should able to find his way back. I just think he's in someones arms right now being held and kissed. They can call the number on his tag and find out that he's loved...I hope they do. Come home Matrix....I miss you!!

No, seriously mutt, get yourself home right now, I know you follow me on Twitter too. You see your face on my Facebook profile, get yourself home boy! (I love you)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

IndyStyle and Pet Pals TV



Faith and I have been in Indianapolis, or the surrounding area since the end of August. I've been so very very busy trying to find work, and working on getting my book published that I haven't really kept up with the blog. Rather than calling it "Jude's Almost Daily Blog" I may have to change the title to "Jude's Whenever She Can Spare Time Blog". Honestly, this area of the country is not only gorgeous it has some of the nicest people I've ever met - - and that includes those Southerners from my own homestate of Oklahoma! Hoosiers are really very kind people. If you have an opportunity to meet a few I'd highly recommend it.

This past week Faith was interviewed by WNDY-TV host Patty Spitler who has been in the television industry for more than 25 years. For 23 of those years Patty was on WISH-TV, a CBS-TV affiliate, as an anchor and reporter. Today she's with Indianapolis' first real pets and animals show called Pet Pals TV. I was honored to be a guest on the show this morning (prerecorded) where I spoke a little about Faith coming to Indiana to do more in the Midwest. It just seems like she has been to all the corners of the nation, and hasn't really made that big of an impact in the very middle of it. I love the Heartland! It's so full of great things to do, to see, to be a part of, and just watch! Some of my favorite teams are from no more than 2.5 hours away - - all of the Chicago teams really, but I do have to admit that I'm not really a Bulls fan; never really got into basketball, but since OKC has the Thunder I'm sure I'll have to join that force soon. I am however very much into baseball, hockey, football and horse racing! I don't know all the names of the players, but I love the sport(s) for sure.

I was downtown the other day and saw Peyton Manning out and about with friends. You don't think about things like that in Oklahoma because we don't have a professional football team. He's tall - - really tall. You know that from his stats, but when you're standing right next to him and looking up to see his big smile you think - - yep, he's tall!

I love downtown Indinapolis -- I met cops, horses, Starbucks baristas, attorneys, groups of people from the Future Farmers of America, and I ran into a beautiful red-headed girl wearing a German Barmaid costume selling apple dumplings and beer at lunch time. It was fun. One of things I did this week besides being on Pet Pals TV was to interview LIVE on WISH-TV's IndyStyle show with Host Andi Hauser. It was October 22, and it happened to be Andi's birthday! There was a little party on the set, and she had her favorite meal cooked on stage, and with that came an amazing triple chocolate cake! OH HECK YEAH! Oh, and we met Actor Chris Burke on set too. He was in town to promote a great cause, a walk that he and his musician crew do to bring about the awareness for the cure of Downs Syndrome. He is the BEST. He is so very very sweet, and literally fell in love with Faith the second he saw her. I hope to work with Chris in the future too - - that would be a blast.

Well, so much for what's going on right now. Like I said, I'm still looking for a permanent job, and I'm writing, hoping to get the book written and published very soon. I have 2000 names ready to buy it the second it hits the shelves - - which means about 3500 books will be sold -- to join the list and get a $3.00 off coupon just go to: faithwalksbook@gmail.com and sign up! EASY!!

Lets hope every week and month in Indiana is as good as the last one. Fall is a wonderful time of year and I'm soaking in as much of it as I can. I hear the winters can be....well, grisly cold. I may have to find myself a good pair of thermals and light up the fire! (I'm thinking caramel apples, hot cocoa, a good book! Maybe I'll watch an old Gary Sinise movie to stay a bit warm in my heart....you never know!) LOL

Monday, September 6, 2010

Not Everyone in Indy Races Cars












Hey there! We moved to the Indianapolis area and believe it or not, we're not race fans. We're going to start telling people we are, and in fact, we're thinking of telling them we bought a race car and we're looking for a driver - - but we'll be sure and come clean about it after a while. No sense in being mean, right? We moved to an area just west of the city where the most prominent natural resource seems to be golf. I mean, we see a lot of corn and soy out this way, but 4 courses in a ten mile radius tells you that Hoosiers are rather serious about their game. Funny, we don't golf either! We live on a course now, we can see the golfers in the morning just after daybreak - - we've scared a couple of them when Faith walked out to greet them. We're nice, we wait until they hit the ball before we freak them out completely. LOL

There is so much to do here really - - Indy is close by of course, but all the little towns and cities around the main focus of Indy are busting with shopping and museums. They have so much to do that my kids are pulling me in every direction. We only have one car still. That has to change. Laura was just hired today so we'll be able to save up soon enough. She got hired when she walked into the barn where she wants to board a horse. First she has to buy the horse, but we can take care of that easier than a car. Horses are pretty cheap these days in this economy. I am going to be buying one myself, one that Laura can train.

Laura walked into the barn today to hug a horse and Lucas the main employee asked her if she was ready to start working. She had previously spoken to the barn manager about a part time job mucking and feeding on the weekends. She was so happy!! You could say she was dancing, but she was also trying to look composed. Last time I saw her Lucas had handed her a shovel and a wheel barrel and was directing her to the first few stalls she'll be working on. She was smiling and if you can skip while pushing a barrel she was skipping. Give a girl a horse and she's in Heaven - - poop and all. She's all over that job. I'll pick her up at 3 and she probably won't get into the car. She'll be shampooing or brushing someones horse.

Indy has a lot to offer; those who live here may not think so, but having come from Oklahoma where unemployment and crime is on the rise - - this is a haven of peace and quiet. They say boring, I say great. I don't need a race car. I don't need to see a Colts game (but I will you know, I will) just give me a Target, Old Navy, Kohls, and maybe a few artsy things to pass my time. I'm good.

Caity will be working at the bookstore soon, her boyfriend Brandon wants to get hired at a distribution center. I don't think it will be a problem. There are "Now Hiring" signs everywhere. Maybe I should keep that quiet so as not to cause a stampede - - lol.

I owe it all to my good friend Liz who kept bragging about Indy. It's all her fault. Thanks Liz!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Homemade Stuff - From Febreze to Fudge

I am a DIY person in some ways, but not when it comes to plumbing, doing electrical work or building a deck. I crochet, bake, cook a lot, make jewelry, candles, even clocks. I made a really cool clock once and gave it away to a friend who absolutely loves it - - or says she does. When I picked up a bottle of Febreze the other day and realized it was over $5.00 I said to myself "REALLY? FIVE dollars for water, maybe some alcohol and fragrance?" I looked up the chemicals in the noted ingredients on the back of the bottle and was right; there's not much there other than water, alcohol, maybe some fabric softener and a few things used to make the diffused stream of liquid dry faster and not feel all wet when it hits the sheets and pillowcases. The only problem is I couldn't get it to do what I wanted to do.

I looked up the "recipes" online where some call for SD alcohol while others (more green types) prefer using white vinegar. There are a number of fabric softeners on the market, so to be as green as I could be I chose one that was both biodegradable and essentially harmless to my skin, eyes, and possibly even if I ingested it. I don't like to think of all the toxins we're putting into our bodies through our clothes in terms of detergents, bleach, softeners, some have formaldehyde in their mix! I DON'T THINK SO...not on my body. You have to be really careful of what you're adding to your laundry...you wear it!

Well, after using the stuff I made I wasn't really all that impressed with it. It had a more pungent smell from the vinegar; the lavender oil I added was nice though. I think I'll study up on it a bit longer - - maybe make a batch of blond chocolate chip brownies while I'm gathering information. Girl's gotta eat right? Oh, and I can throw in the fact that the internet has recipes for DIY shampoo, soaps, conditioners for your skin, your hair, your dog...did you know that a mix of Listerine (any flavor), water, olive oil and oil of clove can keep fleas off your dog? True story! It won't kill the fleas, but it keeps them off the animal and helps with the dry itchy skin they have from chewing. Baking soda and water helps you burp if you just can't get the gas out.

See what you can learn from reading or just doing a bit of off the wall research?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Indiana Wants Me - - Well, OK.

I remember the song "Indiana Wants Me" from when I was a kid, and I'm not even sure I remember the gist of the lyrics...just the chorus. For some reason the guy couldn't go back "now". I'm a bit different I suppose,in that I'm not going BACK to Indiana, I'm just going there. I'm moving to the Indianapolis metropolis and hopefully finding work beforehand. If I don't find it beforehand I will probably substitute teach until I do find something I can do permanently and full time. Oh, and get this; as a substitute teacher in Indiana, a person has to have a four-year degree! THANK YOU! Coming from Oklahoma where the requirements are so lax and anyone can do it unless they've been convicted as a child molester, that's a big deal. I'm already proud of Indiana!!

I've probably already decided (if I had to be honest with myself) that I'll seek out teaching positions as well as sales positions. I'll try to get on board with a Jr. College as an adjunct while I'm working so that I can keep the blood flowing. Some vampires need blood to drink, I need to see bodies in front of me listening to me rave and rant about the misuse of certain words. I like it when I have a captive audience and they have to laugh at my jokes. Just kidding, I pass them if they don't. I also assign silly 2 page essays about Dachshunds, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dick Wolf's series "Law and Order" for anyone who doesn't turn in their assignments on time or look up the dictionary words I put up on the board. I do that because I know everything about these particular subjects and it's harder for a student to blind side me on it. Believe it or not a student once tried to say that Teddy Roosevelt was in Oklahoma territory during the run of the unassigned lands. I thought maybe the kid had hitched a ride on a Time Machine and had changed events....what did I know, right? LOL

Anyway, going to a new state to live will give my daughter Laura and I (and maybe Caity if we can drag her up there) a new start and a new perspective on life. We've been living in Oklahoma in a somewhat depressed state for a while - - hoping to see things change, hoping to have a better existence, but the state doesn't progress as quickly as you would hope. I love,love, love Oklahoma, but do need to leave it if I'm expecting to thrive and achieve goals other than raising a good family and working at a steady pace. For me it is a new chance at teaching, perhaps getting into the sales market again - - and of course the world of professional sports is a bit closer being only a couple of hours from Chicago! I've got the Colts, the Bears, the Blackhawks, the Bulls, the Hoosiers - - wait, that's college, I've got NASCAR - - which my son screams is not a sport, but I've got it now anyway!

Indianapolis is such a clean city, and on the list as being one of the safest areas to live as well...where we're going anyway. I have four really good and fantastic friends in the area that are helping me not only look for work (Thank you guys) they are mapping out where I should look for a place to live. They've volunteered to take me to dinner, to go shopping with me and to babysit Faith!! Who wouldn't want to babysit Faith! C'mon!! LOL. They're all just wonderful and I want to say another big THANK YOU for your continued prayer and support of my new journey...our new journey. I'm not alone in this one. I'm bringing the tall red-headed one.

We think we'll leave in just a couple of weeks. That means packing the house, but first we have to go through it, clean it, weed through what we don't want, and just start fresh. I called the Penske truck already, reserving it for a certain date. I'm doing this! YEA...and yes, yes, I realize Indiana has a city named GARY. No jokes please -- but I may go up and take a picture just because. LOL

Thursday, July 29, 2010

NEVER Again - No More SWF for ME.


The latest blogs about the Salt Water Flush have been fun, but I'm not going to be writing about them again because I'm not ever going to do one again! DAMN - I decided to do another one today on an empty stomach and I have to be honest, I'm sick.

I took the SWF about an 90 minutes ago. Immediately I felt that stupid headache again, the one that I wasn't sure was originating from the flush or not. It does! It did it the first time, and it did this time too. No more. In between laying down and closing my eyes as to ward off the light-headed dizziness, I'm finding that I feel like vomiting, but don't think it would help. I keep seeing visions of myself dry-heaving so I just stay on the bed hugging the Basset hound. Believe me, it takes a bigger dog to get through this.

I thought maybe I should eat something but the thought of swallowing anything made me sick to my stomach and I ended up sipping watered down grape juice. After you've had your first movement you do feel a lot better - - by the third one you think you'll survive and you start thinking to yourself that it may have been worth it. NOT FOR ME. I won't lie, drinking a tablespoon of sea salt in with a shot of water and then chasing it with a quart of water is hard to do it; it's effective in cleaning you out, and it may have other benefits too. The side effects however, are just too harsh for this girl. I don't mind the cleanse, but there comes a point that you say not this way. It's almost like having that third child; you say "why did I do that? She's pretty, she's nice, I like her, but damn - - she's kicking my ass!" At least that's what I say about it - - you may not. (Love you Baby Caity!)

I guess what I'm saying is that I do believe the SWF works. I just don't like the headache that goes with it; or the laying down to feel well enough to live through the process. I'm too busy, I'm up and at it all the time. When I'm forced to stop or lay down for 30 minutes I feel like I'm being held a prisoner in my own body. It's the worst thing for me - - except gall bladder and kidney stones, they were worse. So, as for me and my body - we will not be using the Sea Salt Water Flush method to cleanse again. Hopefully we'll get really smart and do things the ultra natural way and just juice more veggies, eat more fruit, and drink more water. I mean, I was doing that to begin with so maybe it'll work if I just keep doing it over and over again. Can't hurt.

As for that third kid? Well, she's MINE. I love her no matter what. There's NO WAY I'd do it again if I had the option, but I wouldn't trade her for the world. NOT FOR THE WORLD. MINE MINE MINE.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Things We Do for Fat Part Two

Hey, looky there - - it only took 14 hours for my belly to decide to cooperate and do what everyone's belly does in 1. YEA me.

I finally went to the bathroom and was able to "eliminate", I love that word. I was surprised that I didn't have an upset tummy or any wild gurgling notices beforehand. Just an urge to go and I answered the call. Not that I was able to withstand the urge because I wasn't. Had I been in a public place I would have been at the mercy of anyone who may have been in the stall beforehand. It was a good thing that I was home, and give me reason to encourage anyone doing the Salt Water Flush (SWF) to stay home until you have had at least one good movement - - they say it will continue and you will "eliminate" several times in a few hours. We'll see.

Wouldn't it be great if we could wake up, go to the toilet, alleviate all of our fat and unwanted food substances naturally? We could have a nice little party every day with the scale. We could feel healthy and happy without wondering if we're going to add an oz or two today. I always say to myself that I won't worry about it; but I do. My friend the great web designer up in NJ (Randall Goya) added a comment to my last blog about dieting claiming that his doctor told him to eat less but more times a day. I've done that, I do that. I'm one of those that don't eat processed foods very often at all. I eat next to no dairy products, I eat next to no meat products, maybe a little chicken. It's just that MY body refuses to cooperate with MY ideas that I have for it. I even show my body pictures of what it would look like if it would cooperate, but it won't listen. (and yes, I even tried holding the pictures closer to my ears so it would)

I'm not going to accept Randall's obviously correct statement that some of us were born to be rounder or more substantially built. To heck with that notion! LOL I say a person should be able to communicate with ones own body and come to an agreement....that's just my mind's opinion, but my heart agrees. I think it does, I like to pretend it does anyway.

Good luck with your SWF if you decide to do it. I'm told (by reading) that you can do it as often as you like, but to be aware as usual that any change to your routine could cause problems and you should consult a doctor first - - it's just smart to do that.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Things We Do For Fat

This is a good one. I still have a fatter belly than I want; for some reason, even though I diet correctly, exercise and do all the things I'm suppose to do I have this big fat round gut sticking out in front of my would-be-otherwise-toned body. So, I've declared war (again) on it and this time I'm bringing in the heavy hitters - - salt and water.

I read about the salt water flush over a year ago and never really understood what it could do for me because I couldn't get past the fact that people would put a tablespoon of sea salt (NOT iodized table salt) into a quart of water and drink it. Are you kidding me? No one would do that - - unless they do it the way I do it. It just makes more sense. I just put a tablespoon of sea salt into a glass of 3 oz of water, not a quart, and let it dissolve, THEN I drank that down, more like a shot. After I did that I was more than happy to follow it with a quart of fresh filtered water as a chaser! I couldn't get a quart of salty water down but I can shoot a tablespoon of it fast enough. It took 2 shots, but I got it.

So, now I'm sitting here waiting on the "results", which I'm told are nasty and I don't want to be in public when they do come. I'm told I'll be in the bathroom all evening, and that's OK - - I've got the shower prepared JUST in case things get really messy. Oh, you didn't want to hear that did you; my bad. I'm also timing it to see what sort of effects MY body has as opposed to the people on line. I'm feeling a bit full but not disgusting yet. I'm also wondering if the slight headache that is approaching has something to do with it, or if the stress of the day itself could be bringing it on. We'll have to test the theory again at a later date.

I don't know how often you're suppose to do the salt water flush (SWF) so I'll start with today and see what happens. If it's a daily thing - - I'm pretty sure I could do it, but I'd need to see dramatic results before I agreed to do it. I also need to remind you that I am NOT suggesting that you follow in my footsteps, and before you do anything like this or any other regimen please consult a doctor. You just never know.

The website I went to is: http://www.colonzone.org/salt-water-flush.php just in case you want to do this - - after you consult your doctor. It says the sea salt is NOT absorbed into your digestive system, as the weight of the salt pushes it through to the intestines and then it goes on to report that you'll release it through your anus, now there's a bit of news that no one expected...LOL of course it is, it's a flush! OK, it's been 15 minutes and the only change is my head still feels a bit light. So I'll hang on for a few more minutes before retreating to the bathroom just to wait. I'll let you know what happens. If I need to I'll put up a warning sign.

OK - - it's been one full hour and NOTHING. Not a belly rumble or anything. I'll come back tomorrow and update you on everything - - Part Two...on Number 2. Had to go there.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day Two - Mercy Has Been Shown


Every now and then I find myself needing a little mercy. Today I woke up, took my son to run a few errands and on our way back my car stopped working! It has been experiencing a great deal of problems since my son drove it through water a few weeks back (unavoidable really) and it's been just a little annoying to say the least. So today when the security light came on - - and the engine wouldn't turn over, I knew it was the same issue I had with it last week. It was fixed last week, and by a wonderful mechanic too. I called him to let him know there would be another moment for he and my car to spend a little time together. He's on his way up from Texas now. GREAT man.

Then, if you remember, I'm taking the weight loss thing very seriously now and am doing a master cleanse, something of a miracle some say. It's a variation on the lemonade/cayenne thing. The rumor is that actress/singer Beyonce has been doing the lemonade/cayenne diet from time to time and it works. Beyonce, and others may be stronger than I am. I can't do the diet or fast without eating. I do eat much less than I use to, I will say that. There are times I have to remind myself to eat. I get so busy and I'm full of energy from the cayenne or something - but it gets done. I have been eating so much better than I once did. If I had to do it all over, or if I ever get grand kids, there will be a new way of eating introduced. Absolutely. I won't say sugar is the enemy, but it's not a close friend.

So my car needs a new starter and there may be one in town just waiting on me to pick it up when I get my old one off the car and take it to the man at the salvage yard. If you haven't been to your local salvage yard you need to go. If going to the commercial auto stores are your thing I won't try to convert you, but I paid $30 for an Air Mass Flow for my car at the salvage yard where it was $217 at AutoZone! They both worked. Just because a car comes in broken doesn't mean the part YOU NEED is broken, right? I think I'll pay $35 for the starter and it was $159 at AutoZone. There you go. A break, mercy for me! Thank you God!

So while I wait on my neighbor to get home so I can borrow his car-jacks to get my starter off; Faith and I have been hanging out on the porch watching the world drive by. I treated her to a little lemon in her water and she treated me with a big fat smile and a kiss. I love dogs. Talk about showing you mercy - - DOGS are the best. They believe you're better than you are, and if I could someday be the person my dog thinks I am - - wow, I'd be flying wouldn't I?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cayenne!! That's Hot!


OK, you know me, I hear something can help me lose weight and I jump on it if it's natural and doesn't cost much. Well, enter Cayenne Pepper Oil. I've known for years that Cayenne can help your metabolism, it increases blood flow, works wonders on your circulation and does fantastic things for ones prostate. Since I don't actually have a prostate I imagine that the other benefits will be good enough - - and when you compare it to many other health food supplements cayenne beats the pants off them price wise. It's REALLY cheap, I think my 1 oz dropper bottle was $7.95 - - which makes it very popular with me; right up there with wild cherry juice!

Some of the natural benefits of cayenne pepper oil are outstanding, but believe me the bottle needs to come with its own warning pamphlet. When you think of cayenne sauce or Louisiana hot sauce, you think of the natural hot spicy taste associated with it. We put it in our stews, on our cornbread -- it's good right? Well, when you take cayenne straight from the bottle you need to be standing really close to a 44 oz cup of ice and if that's not enough, if your tongue and cheeks melt through that too quickly, you'll want to be close to a spray nozzle at the sink! OMG - - Paris Hilton would say it, you would say, I said it, THAT'S HOT! OMG THAT'S HOT. Hot enough to make you NEVER want to do it again, but you know you have to...if you want the millions of benefits it brings your body...and I do.

I've been reading up on it; Niki Bauer would be really proud of me. She's my English teacher friend that loves to try new foods that her husband Eric whips up Speaking of Big Eric (We call him that to differentiate between himself and his taller than he is son Little Eric), speaking of Big Eric, I'm having dinner with him tonight and I'll take my cayenne to the restaurant with me and tell him how stupid I was to take 30 drops of the magic liquid lava earlier today -- at least I took it with a good suspension liquid in 100% blue agave! I didn't just drop it in my mouth, but something tells me I wasn't too far off from just dropping it, damn, I think my lips look like they've been given a collagen treatment...puffy and tender to touch...seriously, it's DAMN HOT. Let me say it just one more time - HOT.

Now I'm reading that I can put it in tea. I knew I could put it in stew, so why not tea. Tea is hot, you drink it, it works wonders and maybe it will diffuse the scorching searing feeling I had in my mouth from the last time. I was funny though, I made Reuben try it first to see how he would do -- that's why I used the blue agave....poor kid. He's a great guinea pig. I did the same thing to him with oil of oregano; that's another herb (oil) you don't want to abuse. I had to blog about that too. His sinuses were cleared up immediately and stayed that way for days!

So, I have to run, but I wanted to post another blog first. May as well be this one, you may be thinking "what can I do to speed up my metabolism and make myself unbearably uncomfortable for 30 minutes?" Hey, I know the answer, take 30 drops of cayenne oil with a little honey or agave - - you'll feel pain in NO TIME!! Oh, but according to all the experts, your circulation, digestion, and if you're a man your prostate, will all thank you! Your tongue, your cheeks, your head - - no so much! LOL

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Kill People All the Time - - In My Mind

As a writer I'm constantly thinking. I play games with myself -- putting my mind and sometimes my body into a film, a book, a thought, a story. I'm pretending nearly every minute of my life when I'm not actively engaged in reality. I prefer pretending, it's prettier, bigger, better, I have more money - - I have absolutely NO fat whatsoever in my dreams and I kill people - LEGALLY.

Writing is just that - - writing. It's a process of putting what you think onto paper, into a database, you put it somewhere so you can say you did it, it was your idea, and no one else can muscle in on it and call it theirs. Of course, muscling into someone elses haven and stealing their hard-thought out ideas is part of the writers fantasy, but we don't do it. Good writers don't do it, we respect the others and we kick ourselves for not thinking of it first....or at least not registering it first.

I was riding home from a botched arrangement the other day; a day I was suppose to drive my own car home but ended up in the jump seat of a stranger's van and believe me that gave me ample time to plan a murder...even my own. Imagine this: You're in a van, a stranger's van, a van of a man you've never met and wouldn't have met if you hadn't met him. He was just there when HE needed to be. He's the murderer -- he has to be, it was meant to be. SO, is he going to kill me, is he going to kill Laura (she was with us) or are we going to stop off somewhere between here and there and kill someone completely ignorant of our plan? PERFECT - - we kill someone together, I never see Mr. Van again, he doesn't know who I am, and the only connection we have at all is the repair shop where we met -- may I add, a repair shop that could be where he hides HIS bodies. I hide mine in the woods - - different woods. I tend to bring them to a hidden place, chop them up with wood choppers, put them on ice, mail the pieces to myself at different post office locations and then feed them to pigs all around the county. ARE YOU STILL READING THIS? LOL - - my bad.

The drive home - some 38 miles - was epic for the mind. Laura helped; she was in the back of the van. Pitch black, thumping around with electrical cords, a boom box, a tool box or two, loose tools and this van guy's bloody work clothes - - I mean, greasy work clothes. I just said bloody because I slipped right back into the plot. I burn my clothes, I walk out of the woods naked, completely naked - - so you can see where being wonderfully built physically without additional body fat makes me the ideal killer. Besides, I'm a former English teacher; unless the victim is a student or an administrator no one suspects me. No one.

Laura and I got home and she opened the back door of the van -- because she could. In my mind she was trapped, her hands were taped together, and she was trying to get out of the situation - - She looked me squarely in the eyes and said "Oh my GOSH mom, I totally killed three people! I was awesome. I was the lost little school girl right, well, they didn't know it, but I only look 12, I'm 21, I lured them into the van, I strangled them with the cord in the dark and then pushed them out on the side of the road when he slowed down!" I was laughing - - I told her I know. I know because I was behind her in another van, I stopped, picked the bodies up, threw them in the back of my van and we had to dispose of the bodies now....we laughed. We went to Starbucks and decided to leave the bodies, the van, the man, everyone back in the world of imagination. For now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tow - - Two For One. Not Really.


They charged us for two tows, but that's OK. We have AAA Road Assistance. (Thank you Reuben) and for the record, the Broadway Towing Company of Ardmore did a really good job towing our two vehicles today to our favorite mechanic in Texas, Russell over at Rapid Repair of Gainesville, TX. RUSSELL is probably sorry he ever said yes to helping us about a year ago, but he agreed!! He's been our constant friend.

Getting to Gainesville wasn't the problem, and to be honest, there wasn't really a problem - - except Russell couldn't get to either of my cars today and I was stranded in Gainesville, about 38 miles away from home. Once the towing service truck pulled away and Russell informed me that he couldn't get to my car today I immediately called the trucker back - - to no avail. You never get HIM, nice as he was, you get his parents, who own the company. First his mom was befuddled by what I was asking - - simple enough; I wanted her son to turn around and come back to pick us up. He was going back anyway - - shouldn't be hard to get him to take us back. Well, that's what you would think. EXCEPT..it must have been a newly thought out concept too much for her brain, as she stumbled around the issue for a few minutes with me on the phone, all the while her son (and my potential ride) drove further and further from me. HELLO LADY -- call your son! Ask him to come back! How hard is that? Apparently so hard she had to put her husband on the line - - the owner of the tow service.

When I asked him to call his son back and tell him we needed to go back to town - - his answer was, and no, I can't make this up: "We don't do that." WHAT? WE DON'T DO THAT? We don't do what, turn around, help out folks, what part of it don't they do? He explained to me that his son was already on his way back - - I knew this, but he wasn't far and I offered to pay for the gas for returning. "No, we don't do that, we don't take folks back. We drop them off is all." Not lying, that's what he said - - do you think that's going on my report to AAA and to the newspapers in the area; because it is. The pen, and in this case, the keyboard, can be a very convincing tool for those of us who like to call ourselves CONSUMERS!

There I was -- stranded in Gainesville...it could be worse.

Russell is an adorable man, all gruffy and grumpy acting, but that's just an act. He quickly came up with a solution. After I called a few good friends and got no where - - he suggested that a local handyman "John" take us back. Of course I offered to pay for gas, and I did, but here's the fun part: John, of www.handyman-john.com drove a big white cargo van JUST like you'd think he would. Laura had to ride in the back with the boombox, the tool boxes, the electrical cords, and standing loose tools. I gave her the option of sitting on my lap up front with the big American flag stretched across the backdrop cage that separates the driver/passenger from all the dangerous flying metal should there be a sudden stop. She declined. She ..Laura became the flying not-so-metal that hit the backdrop cage when John had to come to a forceful stop...twice. OUCH.

All the way home John and I talked about his two daughters and their adventures. He's a young young man, but has a 12 and 11 year old daughters who are into everything. Now living near Chicago he rarely sees them, but never a more proud father could there be. It was indeed an adventure coming home in the pouring rain, in a van speeding down the highway at 80 mph apt to make sudden stops - - my heart and my prayers stayed in the back with Laura Cakes. Her occasional thuds quickened my heart constantly. When we approached our fair city I was brazen and bold enough to assume correctly, that our host wouldn't mind stopping first at Starbucks before taking me all the way home - - HEY, I paid him!! LOL

Thanks John -- told you I would blog. I hope the world calls you up and puts you to work now. Just incase you need a great handyman in the Southern part of Oklahoma and/or the Northern part of Texas, call John at 940-632-7489 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 940-632-7489 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (Yes, I got his permission to add his cell) Fun times for all - - except Laura.

OH -- and the minute, I mean the minute I got home Russell called to say the car didn't take as long as he first thought. It's ready now. OF COURSE it is. Hahahaha...I'll pick it up Saturday when I have a ride. No sense hiring John again, but you never know, he was fun and full of talk-talk. Get this: his daughter has a singing contract at age 11. You just can't hope for more. Thanks John, thanks Russell - - thanks GOD - - we learned alot on this two-for-one towing day. I'm happy, the sun is taking a nap and letting the skies weep for a minute. It's a great day to be alive and know that the sound of your kid hitting the backdrop cage can actually mean that she's happy to be alive too. (Sorry Laura, I did offer you to sit in my lap!) LOL

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oil of Oregano - - NOT to be Abused

Nope, this is ONE herb you just don't want to mess with. Reuben (I call him "Baby Boy") found that out the hard way today -- and JUST like the time he put his hand into his Grandma's pepper jar I couldn't stop him, Reuben dosed himself under the nose as was suggested! OUCHHHH - and what a noise, very loud noise came out of my darling 24 year old son. REALLY very reminiscent of the day he was about 2 and popped his first jalapeno! A boy has to learn, right? Sometimes moms do need to be listened to before taking action. He won't be doing that again. My ears are still ringing, but probably not as loudly or as painfully as his nostrils. (He now says he can smell it, taste it, feel it, and he's not really all that happy with himself for not reading the instructions on the bottle.)

Boys are boys until they become men, then there's really not much hope for them now is there? Not when it comes to listening to mom, and not when it comes to reading the labels or following diagrammed instructions. They just have to find out for themselves how to sink or swim - - and in this case how to do the dancing thing when you've burned out the inside of your nose with an extremely potent herb designed to kill off bacteria. Noses have bacteria in spades. The herb was JUST doing its job, son.

We went to the FedEx store to send off a media pack to the Zippy Production Co. in Japan. That's when the lady behind the counter, who was wearing her "I Support the Troops" shirt noticed that Baby Boy was sneezing a bit, and sniffling. He was born in Oklahoma but has never gotten use to or immune to the pollens from the cottonwoods, pecans, dandelions, you name it my son is allergic to it just enough to make his sinuses rage a bit in the spring and summer heat. Angelina, the woman, quickly told him to try a little oil of oregano and then she said to put it under his nose, just a drop. She swore it would work - - she may be right, but the bottle is clear about NOT putting the oil directly on the skin without mixing it very well with olive oil first. Infact, its so strong (oil of, or extract of oregano) that it takes a full teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil mixed with just one tiny drop of oregano oil to make the right mix. NO ONE wants to put that much oil under their nose, so I'm thinking under the tongue would make a lot more sense.

I was right -- and as much as I like to admit that I'm right, I don't like to admit that my son who can stand in Iraq for a year holding a gun to protect me and who can drive a tank on two wheels when called to do so, can't or won't listen when I tell him what I know to be true about herbs. HELLO, I'm Celtic! I think I'm more Celtic than he is because he is actually 1/16 Chinese -- but then again, the Chinese are masters with various herbs and remedies -- suffice it to say my son didn't really inherit the herb gene. He did however steal all of the bravado and macho genes from whatever pool his DNA was swimming in. He's brave to a fault at times and even when he afflicted himself with the oil of oregano he immediately (after initially screaming and rubbing his face into the couch) went on the defence and crammed dry tissue up his snout to get all that he could -- but membranes being membranes the damage was pretty much done. Poor baby. He did learn from it, but still. It hurts a mother to laugh that much at her son.

OK, so the effects of oil of oregano can be very very beneficial to anyone using it correctly. It works to eliminate inflammation, it helps acne, or actually kills the bacteria that causes it. It works to aid stomach aches, indigestion, gas and so much more...and sinus issues too. But please, before you try anything new - - especially if someone from a store just mentioned it on the fly, please consult a doctor or pharmacist -- herbalist, someone! And, if you're not to manly to do so, please try reading the bottle for instructions. If you are too manly to read it, ask your mom!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Puppy Faith (10 inch plush toy) is HERE



Welcome to the FAITH the Dog's Official Product Site!

Everyone needs a little "PUPPY FAITH"

Item Number: 3929394
Description: Reserve Your Inspirational and Hug-able "Puppy Faith" Plush Toy TODAY!

Custom made by the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company & Distributed by Cher Marketing for only 14.99ea. (a portion of proceeds will go to help the Michigan Animal Rescue League & Community Animal Rescue Effort in Strawn Texas)

Soft and Cuddly "Puppy Faith" is 10" tall, golden color with an inspiring removable heart shaped message tag attached to her ear.

Contact: www.chermarketing.com or call: (248) 674-9339 to orer yours.

Ordering instructions: Please indicate the color golden and size small to complete form.

International Shipping, will be invoiced at $12.75

A 10% profit of Jude Stringfellow's PORTION OF PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO HELP ANIMALS IN NEED!
Namely Animal Rescue groups.
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Quantity: 1
Price (each): $14.99




WE ALL NEED A LITTLE "FAITH"





--->>> NO CHARGES WILL BE APPLIED TO YOUR CREDIT CARD UNTIL THE MERCHANDISE IS READY FOR SHIPMENT<<<---






Information, data or designs from this website may not be copied, archived, mined, stored, captured, harvested or used in any way except in connection with use of the site in the ordinary course for its intended purpose.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

At Home on the Range!

My son Reuben took me to the shooting range close to where we live -- by close you have to remember we live in the sticks, so about 40 miles out. If I were already living in Texas I would have said "just up the road a bit" to describe how far we drove so I could kill paper targets. It was fun, but more importantly, it was a life lesson in why I gave birth in the first place. The #1 reason I gave birth to my son was so that on this day he would rule supreme over me and thoroughly school me on self defense, self preservation, self protection, and why I should never join an elite sniper team. (Hint: because I suck at shooting)

You have to understand that even though I was raised in a Southwestern state (Oklahoma) and have been out in the woods I have not been hunting. I have not been target practicing. I have only shot a gun once and I think I closed my eyes and pulled the trigger with both hands. I missed then too. It was determined LONG ago that I'm far better shooting a rifle than I am a hand gun. I've been known to shy from a pistol; even dropping it, and then screaming because I thought it was going to go off in my hands or when it hit the ground for sure. Yep, I'm far better and more comfortable holding a longer barreled weapon and when I do I have a bit more confidence -- at least I can fake my non-nervousness and I don't shake or sweat where the bad guy can see me.

Choosing the right weapon is so important. I told the guy at the front desk I wanted something without a recoil and he showed me the door. At first I thought he kept guns outside where we had just come in from, but soon realized he was directing me to go home -- I laughed, but apparently he's not much of a joker. See why I don't date? Men are mean. Reuben gave the guy the old "man" head nod without saying anything and was escorted to the back office where all the rifles and pistols were kept. The guy finally cottoned up to me after Reuben explained my ignorance - - thank you son -- and I was handed a something or other deer rifle with the number .243 at the end, which I think shoots 30x30 ammo - - but that makes no sense to me. It should shoot 243 sized bullets right? Anyway, I didn't argue, I just listened to my son explain how to load it, how to lock it, how to cock it, how to aim it, and how to shoot it - - and he did this in one long sentence and only 1/2 of a breath. DONE. I had to ask him to do it again, but this time to slow it down a bit -- the gun master left the room before he became angry enough to use one of his guns on me.

We were the only shooters on the deer range. I was given a deer rifle for two reasons: 1. It's easier to explain to law enforcement I'm told. You have a deer rifle you may never be questioned as to why you own one. It's used to shoot deer. the 2nd reason is, you guessed it, it doesn't have as much of a recoil. Well, it does, but it's suppose to be easier for women and/or men who aren't used to shooting. I don't like to lie to law enforcement - - but I will never ever in my life, as long as I live, shoot at a deer. It's not going to happen. Not in this life time and not in any other life times that I am a participant of. I'm getting the rifle to protect myself and Laura from bad men, not good deer. So, Mr. Law Enforcer - - I'm getting a MAN rifle, not a deer rifle. There, I said it.

OK, so you don't think I'm a total baffoon,I will address the issue of aiming first. I did a very good job at shooting the rifle once I understood the concept of closing one eye and aiming with the open one. It ONLY works when you use the open eye to gauge the shot, and no one, not even my son got a chuckle when I tried to aim the rifle with the closed eye -- it was a joke! No one is funny at a gun range.

I practiced a few times and then began shooting. We paid for 30 minutes and in that time I shot at and wounded over 40 paper deer. I nearly cried thinking about their little paper friends, families, baby deer back in the storage cabinet and thought long and hard about asking for paper man targets since I wouldn't be aiming low enough to shoot a deer in the head or a man in the ---- oooooh, yes I guess I might be aiming low enough to shoot a man there. At least he would stop his approach if I did, wouldn't he? OK...I shot 9 deer after that. DEAD. All the deer that came after me after that thought were named "Mr. Bad Guy" and I killed every last one of them. No mercy for their paper friends and relatives - - they had to die.

Well, the rifle was OK, it hurt a bit and I realized that I can actually shoot right and left eyed -- or right and left handed. I'm equally good on both shoulders, and because of that I'm equally sore tonight from the not-suppose-to-have-much-of-a-recoil recoil....the .243 has a good recoil folks, it does. YES, it does. I can handle it because I have "shooter's shoulders" I'm told. How funny, when the assistant told me that I told him I also had child-bearing hips. He said he had noticed my hips when I first came into the office. I blushed and said thank you, but my son wasn't the least bit impressed - - he got in the man's face and asked if the rifle was on sale or if he could pay some now and pick it up in a month or so. It was on sale, but we decided to wait - - I decided to wait. I want to be sure I'm moving to the country before plopping down $550 for a rifle I'm buying to protect me in the country - - for the city "Mr.Bad Guy" I have my dogs, my daughter, and my Kaybar knife to protect me. (I'm not really bragging, but I'm fairly feisty with a blade) Reuben gave me a crash course on grappling as well. See, giving birth to this kid was so beneficial.

There you go - - settled. Once I hear the words "You're hired" and I find myself moving to the no-where zone of middle Texas, where all roads lead somewhere cool, I'll buy the rifle. I'm told the 30x30 ammo is cheap and that if I hang a couple of the paper targets outside the house I could actually detour a would be intruder. He may see that I missed the deer's head - - worry that I may not miss his if I aim the same way I did to put a hole in the center of the animal. Viva La long barrel.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Poems. (New book in 2010)

I'm posting a few poems which will be showcased in my 2nd poetry book. The first "Periwinkle" is available online at Amazon and can be ordered through your local bookstore. I am hoping to find a better publisher this time. Enjoy the works of a woman who loves to love.

RULED BY HEART

I couldn't ever start to know
The cravings of my heart
Her drum in me beats on its own
She lays out her own desires
I am forced to do her bidding
By fear that she may stop
If left alone she'd harden
Her need for me is soft

We fit together - harmonized
True, she rules us both
If she decides to fall again
If she desires to love
I won't fall, but have to wait
Wait until she frees me
I won't fall, but have to hope
Hope that she releases

I have but one heart to serve
She has but me to rule
Strange, our timing always off
Her silent beat abuses
Clinching to the next dreamt scheme
Silent beats - such thunder
Serve I will, devoted warrior
Pray she does not wander

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sooner Fan - - EVEN in my Dreams

Sleeping is NO exception when you're a Sooner. You are a fan at all times.

I was sleeping, I was dreaming, I was singing "Boomer Sooner". I don't remember all of the dream, but for the most part I was in Los Angeles the 1st weekend in October, as it was just too expensive to fly back to Dallas to see the OU/TX Red River Rivalry game. I remember thinking "this is a dream, I could fly if I wanted to. I don't need a plane!"

In the dream I was at a party and of course, because I'm a dedicated Sooner, even though I couldn't be at the game I was listening to it on my iPhone. I had the ear plugs firmly in place, and could see myself sitting in the corner talking to myself. I wasn't REALLY talking to myself. I was talking to Head Coach Bob Stoops -- I do that. I stand up and scream at the man through the television set when he does things I don't agree with, and I nearly chest bump the flat screen when he does listen to me...but we won't go there, in the dream I was half way behaving myself because I was in public. I was at a party! NOT AN OU PARTY, it was some sort of a get together for the book or the movie...this had to be a dream, because in reality, I can't think of much of ANYTHING that will keep me from either sitting in the stands or staring at my TV on that hallowed autumn Saturday morning. NOT MUCH could stop me - - it never has.

WHAT should happen in my slumber, but in walks no other than TEXAS fan Matthew McConaughey! I couldn't believe my eyes. This guy is usually not only at the game, but making such a burnt orange nuisance of himself on the big tron....singing, dancing, getting crazy, saying things like "Hook 'em horns" please! LOL

I asked my new friend why he wasn't at the game and he saw my shirt - - my OU shirt. He rubbed his non-horns chest and said "I know! I KNOW! I had to be here today! I can't believe it!" Well, you know I did the right thing, I let the man share my ear buds....he may be a Texan, but he deserved to hear the game too. That's the Boomer Sooner spirit - - right? This way when we scored and beat their Longhorn butts he'd be there to see me celebrate! LOL (Some Texans would tell you that after the last game or two, that I really must be dreaming...this year doesn't hold much more promise, but WE ARE SOONERS! We will believe!"

At least I woke up with a smile on my face.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wicked Whirlpool - - But I am Still Standing

It's not like fighting authority, with the washing machine you have a chance.

There I was minding my own business because that is what I do, when I heard a noise coming from the laundry room in my little house. Currently I "stay" as my friend says, in Ardmore, Oklahoma, a town of about 30,000 so it's not a dot on the map, but it more like a smudge. I was listening to the noise this morning, trying to determine if it was animal, plant, mineral or some kid that had snuck in the side door. I thought long and hard about it because it was dark outside, it was just before dawn and I wasn't quite sure where I had put my Kabar. For those of you who don't know, a Kabar is a long sharp military blade. My son gave it to me for protection as he knows I don't do well with guns.

The noise was thrashing, it was thumping, it was terrifying, but the most I could do was to generate all sorts of images of some sort of killer stalker guy who had managed to get into the side door but didn't know where the light was and he must be falling over the Bissell steam cleaner trying to find the interior door. OH, that's right, the interior door...was it locked? I couldn't remember? Shoot, if it was open the guy could eventually find it and open it. He'd make his way through Reuben's nasty bathroom and then find me on the other side staring at him with a potted orchid in my hands. (Raised over my head of course for better leverage in times like these) Where the hell did I put my stinking knife?

The noise stopped. I rushed the interior door before the bad guy could find it and I locked it. I locked the damn door! Then, because I'm this way, I went outside in the dark, pushed open the gate, went around to the side door and pushed the heavy deck table in front of it. THERE -- now the guy was trapped in my laundry room. If he were really small he could crawl through the dryer's vent, and maybe escape, but I doubted it. Me and my overworked imagination had tricked this S.O.B. so now there was only one thing left to do, and that was to taunt the guy. I called out to him, but you know they never answer.

Laura was asleep of course, she slept through last week's tornadoes too - - it's like her to be unavailable in these stressful situations, but at least I had a clear vision of where I had put the damn knife. It was under the bed between the nightstand and the bed frame. Ha, of course it was because sleeping with it could be a problem even if it was in its leather sheaf. I'm a dangerous dreamer you understand and I have three dogs in my bed at night, no need for accidents.

Back to the bad guy - - he didn't say anything and I wondered if I should call the police. What would they ask me, what would they think about me pushing the table into the door rather than leaving the house with my cell so I could call them. I did think about that, but like I said I have my daughter sleeping and the dogs....wait a minute...the dogs. Not one of my dogs was barking while the guy was trying to invade the house. They don't pass up an opportunity to sound off every day when the mailman comes by, recently they let him have it three or four doors down! They hadn't made a peep....sleeping! They were still sleeping! They didn't even get up when I went outside. I think Matrix followed me out of loyalty, but he wasn't really thrilled that he had to.

After a few clear minutes of going over it in my mind and conversing with the dog as to what his thoughts were, I went back inside the house and opened (cautiously) the interior door leading from Reuben's bathroom to the laundry room only to find that there was no bad guy - - unless he was that small and had crawled through the dryer's vent. The washer however, had managed to find its way closer to the middle of the room and I think I heard it bitch about something being inside of it that wasn't fitting correctly. I can blame Laura this time...she's the only other person in the house right now and it was her fat comforter slumped over to one side of the Whirlpool...I felt pretty stupid.

At least I know one thing; Matrix loves me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Notorious Nick Posh

I went to sleep last night after waiting up past eleven for Bryan (my personal Starbucks Shift Manager) to bring me a grande java chip frappucino. He had asked me if Laura wanted something before she went to bed, and had offered to bring her old mother one as well -- nice kid. So I said yes, and then started the clock. I won't say yes next time. It was a great and wonderful (as well as generous) offer, but waiting up to drink a fatty caffeinated drink may have led to this extremely interesting dream and I'm not really sure I'm cut out to be a detective novelist.

The Notorious Nick Posh appeared prominently in my slumber. I'll consider this writing proof of my copyrights, and therefore if anyone comes along and steals my idea I'll sic Posh on them immediately. Posh, in his day, had been credited with killing upward of 10 people over the past 12-15 years. He was hard to pin down has he'd been laying low after the Maguire brothers beat him senseless for the attempted rape of their sister Kate. That had been over 30 months, and since no brutal mutilations had taken place in Chicago's east side that could be nailed to Posh, the detectives of the XX precinct were all but convinced the brothers had scared the polecat into hiding for good, or maybe he was still floating somewhere on the banks of the Michigan looking like fish bait.

Here's the deal; Posh had an MO. After reading about a bloke in Guthrie, Oklahoma back in the early part of the century (20th)who had been shot during a bumbled bank robbery and having been over processed with the undertakers formaldehyde, Posh cooked the idea to intentionally use the stuff to stiffen up the stiff so tight he couldn't break, but he could be cut up cleanly enough. Posh then took several of the pieces that could be recognized, the head, the hands, and even the belly and mailed them to himself outside of Chicago -- to post boxes in post offices all around the area like parcels. From there he'd chop the pieces up using difference wood choppers that he borrowed or rented from locals. He even went so far as to go to Gary, Indiana once to borrow a farmer's combine tools to destroy evidence. Who cared if the other parts were found right, in 1939 it wasn't like those forensic experts of the future were going to catch Posh. He had it made.

Without more than a few words Detective Tom "Buzz" Irwin found himself back at work. Retirement wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and California's Malibu beaches wasn't any place for a Chicago native cop to hide out anyway. The chill of a hard Chicago winter hadn't gripped Buzz in two years but with Posh making a possible return, this time in the uppity Gold Coast, there was no one else qualified to go on the hunt. Chicago had a way of always seducing him. Always bringing him home.

That's when it happened -- I woke up. DAMMIT, I woke up. Now I have to sit down and write out some cheesy old period 20th Century serial killer novel with bad plots and sleazy evil characters oozing from the pages. It's either the Sherlock Holmes shorts I've been reading or my love for a hot, middle aged, raspy voiced, square-jawed detective that gives me this push - - can't simply be the frappucino. Wait, I hadn't actually described Buzz to you - - had I? OOPS, my bad.

That's my dream. It had all sorts of other details, places, people, action -- shouldn't take me too long to write it. I love writing in overt simple terms that can be read out loud and made fun of. Think Dragnet meets Dick Tracy meets me at the airport after too many cups of coffee. Should be fun.

Friday, April 30, 2010

It's A No-Go Lt. Dan! No Stalking Now.


Sorry Gary, Ernie, Kimo, Carole, Danny & Beth, Gina, Julie, Mari Anne, Jeff, Ben and all the others -- Sorry Lt. Dan Band, I just won't be able to make it to the Chicago Hard Rock Cafe this coming week (May 7) as I have something more personal to attend. My big baby girl, as opposed to my baby girl, is turning 21. This will of course call for a celebration - - and though I would absolutely love nothing more than to stand at the edge of the stage grinning at you all, and taking in the lovely tunes that you play - - it will simply not be taking place.

Laura has actually invited me to be a part of her life - - and I will oblige. At first we planned on taking in Vegas, but she has invited far too many for that. We thought of Dallas and all the fun we could have there - - too far for some. So, we've compromised and we're going the BIGGEST casino this side of the Pecos! That's right, Winstar Casinos at mile marker 1 on the RIGHT side of that old Red River. All you Texans who have been invited will just have to Boomer Sooner it for the night, now won't ya!? Put on that Crimson and Cream and sing out loud! If you don't know the words they're rather easy to learn: "Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner...Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner, Boomer - Soon-er." You stretch that last one out a bit....and you go "YEAAAAAAAA" at the very end. It may take a few practice runs, but you can do it.

So, stalking will not be on the agenda - - not for me anyway. Gary, you're a cute man, really you are, but you don't have what it takes to pull me away from the joy of my heart...well, OK, maybe just a little. I'll try my hardest to make it up to you and put stalking on my summer calendar; somewhere between moving and speaking at a million venues...but I swear, I'll do it someday. Everyone expects me to stalk you, so I guess I shouldn't let them down. Maybe someday, but not this weekend.

I'm hoping the Birthday Girl gets lucky and wins at 21 at least a couple of times. I teased her about being at a club on her 21st, I met the man I let get away on my 21st. Hey, John Patrick Maloney - - if you're out there buddy - - come back!! Remember that song by Randy Travis about the Operator connecting him to 1982...I would so do that again; at least for that one night.

Happy Birthday Laura Cakes. You'll be the prettiest girl at the clubs and I know one with the biggest smile. Good luck at the tables and who knows, maybe somewhere up in Chicago a certain band will be kind enough to sing Happy Birthday in your honor. Wish we could be there LDB...but it wasn't in the cards. (A little casino humor, sorry, couldn't pass..oops, did it again.)

Love ya.