Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy birthday yaaaawwwwwnnnnnn

The phone rang this morning and it was the car dealer where we bought Brandon’s car. Of course I was on the other line so I wasn’t able to get the call and it went to voice mail. When I retrieved the message it started by wishing Brandon a happy birthday blah blah blah.

Well, that’s a nice sentiment but my attention span is about 3 seconds long and the birthday wish wasn’t for me. Even if it was, I’m not sure I would have listened to the whole thing.

It’s a new day Mr. Car Dealer.

If I were the car dealer, I’d get myself a twitter account and a facebook fan page. I’d blow up my customer’s birthdays on those two social media outlets which would make them feel really special because I would have tons of followers/fans and they would feel like a celebrity being called out in such a public way on their special day.

Then I would invest in some way cool birthday postcards that are relatively inexpensive to produce, address and mail so that if they didn’t know I was making them a celebrity on the internet, my customers would have a birthday card in their hot little hand to know just how important they are to me.

But that’s me. And since I don’t own a car dealership, this is how I treat my contestants on their birthdays. Because I love them and they are important to me. And I want them to know it.

Our marriage secret

Yesterday I visited one of my favorite Bartlesville destinations, the Bartlesville Public Library. There is a darling college girl who works there that I have become friendly with over the years. I think we bonded over Young Adult books. I haven’t seen her much lately because she’s now working in the reference section and I’m in and out of the library as fast as I am the grocery store even though I love it more.

Anyway, yesterday she she was at the front desk. She saw me and said, “Haven’t you been married for a long time?” I told her that yes, we have been married for almost 31 years now. She asked if we are happy. Again, I told her yes. And she asked why.

Whoa. Hmmm. On the spot. Why. Why?

I could see she really wanted the answer to this question and I didn’t want to just give her something just for the sake of saying something. I wanted it to be the answer that she wanted, the answer that would be helpful.

So I told her that David and I couldn’t be more different. Seriously, I couldn’t even come up with the words that would describe just how different that we are but I told her that we love each other and have common life goals. That we never disagreed on how to raise our kids because we share the same moral fabric, the same life plans, goals, dreams. I told her that in our difference we completely compliment each other.

I asked her if she was doing a school project and she said no, that she and her boyfriend are discussing a future. She said she has seen so many people who are miserable in their marriages and wanted to find someone who wasn’t and find out their secret. I felt honored that she would ask me such an important question.

As I was walking home, I thought a lot about our conversation and remembered a Thematic Reflection that I gave back in 2007 at Greater First Baptist Church. It contains the secret to our 28 year marriage. I have now dug that reflection out of my files and printed it for her. I’ll give it to her the next time I see her.

As I told her, it’s not always easy to be married but that anything worth having is worth fighting for. David and I have fought for what we have all these year later and we are blessed. I pray that my darling college friend is equally blessed in her life and her future marriage.

“I mean” is the new “um”

There’s a relatively new phenomenon that’s about to make me crazy. If you haven’t noticed it yourself already, just listen to anyone who is being interviewed. Radio, tv, print. It’s all the same. The interviewer asks the question and the interviewee reponds, “I mean…blah blah blah.”

What? The person hasn’t said one thing yet so why are they clarifying what they mean? Did they say something in their head? Do they think they said it out loud? This confuses me.

I think that “I mean” is the new “um” or “ah”. A delaying tactic that would be better taken care of by simply slowing down and taking a breath. A little regrouping before answering the question will allow the resultant answer to inform instead of confuse.

In my opinion, awareness of this habit is the first step in overcoming it. I’d be willing to bet that those who say this (and there are a lot of them) aren’t really even aware that they are doing it in the first place. Just becoming aware of the fact that they are using “I mean” for a crutch will be a huge step towards tossing the crutch away.

Be sure to be present when you are answering the question. If you are focused on what you are doing and saying right at that moment and not distracted with what you are going to do after the interview it will help you listen to yourself and help you to make your point more clearly.

Listen up. If you haven’t heard the “I mean” phenomenon, you will now and you will see just how prevalent it is. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and I would bet money that you will stop yourself before the next time “I mean” comes out of your mouth at the wrong time.

Cherry almond crockpot oatmeal

I made some pumpkin pie oatmeal the other night, overnight and I didn’t like it. Two reasons:

  1. I used extra old steel cut oats. I’m not sure I like the steel cut oats anyway but these were old and they had an odd taste and
  2. I made it directly in the crock pot so it got all brown and baked on around the edges.

So…last night I wanted to try cherry pie oatmeal. This is what I did differently:

  1. I used rolled oats that I have around here all the time and go through like water so they were fresh and…
  2. I put the whole thing into another bowl inside the crock pot essentially giving it a water bath all night and the result was creamy oats!

Cherry Almond Oatmeal

2 cups rolled oats
5 cups of water
1 bag Dole frozen cherries (shocked to find them at Walmart!)
2 tsp almond extract

Place all ingredients into a glass bowl that will fit inside of your crock pot. Add about 3 inches of water to the crock pot, set the bowl of oats inside, cover and heat on low all night.

This was amazing. I’m really trying to watch fat and sugar so I know this could be even better with the addition of real almonds and sugar but the way I just wrote it is wonderful!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Saw this recipe the other day and thought, why not? I then proceeded to change much about it. The resultant rolls are awesomely good. 🙂

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls


3 teaspoons yeast

1 cup warm fat-free milk (100° to 110°)

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided (about 11 1/4 ounces)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (about 7 ounces)


1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

¼ cup melted butter


3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 teaspoons fat-free milk

Place flours and sugar in mixing bowl add yeast and mix. Place butter in milk and warm until butter is almost melted. Mix into flour. Add eggs. Mix for 8 minutes until dough is incorporated into and is elastic.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; roll into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle on a floured surface.

To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter; sprinkle over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam to seal. Cut the dough into 6 rolls. Place the rolls, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375°. Bake for 15-20 mins.

Sprechen sie Deutche?

I don’t speak a foreign language, really. I took German in high school and still remember enough to get English menus for the family if in Germany but I’m certainly not fluent.

Brandon is pretty close to fluent in Spanish. We were discussing this over dinner last night and Geoff wanted to know if Erika speaks Spanish or English when she speaks to her mom. Brandon said she speaks Spanish but it was okay because he understands what they are saying. He was feeling kind of proud that he is so good at a foreign language while the rest of us aren’t. So we tried to change his mind.

Me: Hola!

Geoff: Como estas!

David: Taco Bueno!

I remembered the Aldi house Mexican food brand Casa Mamita which reminded me of a restaurant I saw in Tulsa called Casa Papacito’s. I then called Brandon “papacito” several times but somewhere along the line, papacito morphed into papito which I proceeded to call him several more times until he said, “and stop calling me potato!”.

Gales of laughter. In fact I was laughing so hard I was crying. I’m still laughing.

My google English to Spanish translator says that papito is the same as papacito (translated: daddy) but the hilarity factor of thinking it was potato was worth the deception. 🙂

No, I don’t speak Spanish but I know some words. 🙂