Monthly Archives: August 2011

And don’t call me Laura

I’ve been Lauri for as long as I can remember. Well, except for when mom was mad at me. Then I became LAURA SUZANNE SHEATS!

She even called me that on my wedding day. After I had a new last name. 😉

I went to the eye doctor yesterday. I filled out the form with my given name because that’s how my insurance company has me listed. But over to the right it asked: Preferred Name.

I wrote Lauri.

When they called me? They called me Laura. Not just the first girl but the one who helped me pick out my new glasses, too, who’s name coincidentally was Laura.

Well, I am Lauri. Please don’t call me Laura unless you’re mad at me. That’s how I know. 😉

I am Lauri Rottmayer (excerpted from an interview with Alan Weinkrantz.) 🙂

Hot wheels

I’m not really a car person. I mean, I love my Jeep but when we went to get it, I didn’t have an idea of what kind of car I wanted at all. I just knew I needed a big car.

Not since I was eight and saw the Stingray Corvette have I fiended for a particular car.

I wanted that car for a long time.

Now, I think I may have found just the car to occupy that “oh I MUST have it” spot in the car part of my heart.

The 2012 Chevy Camaro.

Yummy! THAT is a hot car!

I have no need for a car right now. In fact, I’ll be selling my beloved Jeep to my brother before we take off for Saudi. But I want that Camaro.

I told David the other day, in the course of conversation, that when I come back to Oklahoma to visit, I will rent that hot Camaro to drive during the course of my stay. His eyebrow raised – high – but he didn’t say no.

Yesterday, when I was walking Rabi, I saw a red Camaro. Oooohh la la! Love it!

It just confirmed to me that I will, some day, be driving those hot wheels! 🙂

Knowing me, knowing you

For the five years I directed the Mrs. Oklahoma International Pageant, I drove five Mrs. Oklahomas to the Mrs. International Pageant in Chicago.

Given how much “stuff” you need to compete for a week and the fact that Chicago is a pretty easy drive, it seemed to make a lot of sense. I always joked with the girls that the twelve (give or take) hour road trip with me was the prize they were looking forward to the most.

What I found was that this uninterrupted time with each other helped us to form a bond that would carry us through the year of her reign and beyond.

So I’m not sure why it is that I’m always so blown away when I receive a gift from one of these amazing gals that is just so right on the money.

We had a dinner last week to introduce the girls to Kristin, who is the new director for the pageant.

I wasn’t expecting any presents other than another opportunity to spend time with “my girls”, but Autumn, Mrs. Oklahoma International 2011, came bearing gifts.

First, there was a canvas wine bag with the saying, “So much wine, so little time!”

If you’ve been following me around twitter, facebook or in real life, you’ll know that I’m trying all kinds of new wines to try and get my fill since there is no alcohol allowed in Saudi.

Inside the wine bag, is a bottle of Middle Sister Rebel Red wine.

I am totally that sister down to the platform shoes! 🙂

Then came the hand painted Queen wine glass.

Of course we all know that I am the Queen. 😉

And last, but certainly not least, came the beautiful Willow Tree sculpture called “Grandmother”.

This just made me cry. Joyfully, of course.

The girls know me and Autumn is no exception. I love it and I love them.

Thank you, Autumn, for your beautiful, heart felt gifts.

xoxo Lauri 🙂

Goodbye, Dolly

As I was going through the Big House, packing up and throwing out, I realized there was some pretty heavy stuff in there and that a dolly would sure be handy to have. We didn’t have one so I asked on facebook if any of my friends did.

As she has in so many instances, my friend Janice bailed me out and told me I could borrow her dolly.

She is a swell dolly. A SUPER dolly, in fact, and I was able to do incredible feats of strength using her.

Well, everything is moved out, packed up, thrown away and I took Dolly back to J today. Along with Dolly, I also returned my garbage picker upper stick.

That made me sad.

For around 3 years, J and I would walk the neighborhood and pick up garbage while we did it. J gave me a garbage stick and we called ourselves the Old Bat Patrol. We even had t-shirts!

I used to joke that we served the neighborhood by picking up garbage and protected ourselves with the pointy garbage picker uppers. 🙂

I loved the time I got to spend with J every morning. She’s so grounded and you know I’m kinda “out there”. I’ve never had a friend like her and she is so special to me.

J, I will miss you so much. Thank you for bailing me out when I was locked inside of my house, when we had to cut that enormous branch off of my tree, when I need a dolly and every other time.

I love you my friend!

xoxo Lauri 🙂

The Moos and Booze Road Trip

So, we’re still here. The question that Nikki and I are asked at least three times a day is, “So when do you leave?” We don’t know. It’s Ramadan in the Muslim world and that particular detail hasn’t been nailed down yet.

Now that all the hard throwing out and packing up work is done, we decided we needed some diversions. So we planned a road trip to Alva, Oklahoma. Why Alva of all places? I have an amazing friend there, Becky McCray.

Becky has cows and a liquor store which seemed like more than a good enough reason to head to Alva, a place where neither of us had been before.

We arrived about lunch time and Becky took us to lunch at The Sandwich Shop in downtown Alva. The sandwiches, all named after people, were amazing! I had the Ralph. Roast beef and swiss cheese on a hogie roll.

Becky pointed out some details of the downtown that indicated how old it was including the horse tie ups that still remain on some of the sidewalks.

Then we went to the booze portion of our trip, Allen’s Retail Liquor Store. Nikki and I each picked out some wine to take home.

Becky thought these would be a perfect choice for me.

And then this one, which I knew would match the shirt I photographed it with. 🙂

And then, Becky took a photo of Nikki and I. Our first! And what a perfect backdrop. 😉

We’d taken enough of Becky’s busy day so she gave us a big circle to drive with things to see along the way.

We first went to the Alabaster Caverns State Park.

I’ve never been on vacation with Nikki before so we had to do the silly head thing.

Then we went down a bunch of steps to start touring the caverns. Spelunking, if you will. 😉

Yeah, Nikki had great caving shoes on but I was the one who slipped. LOL! It is slick in there!

It’s also very cool, around 58 degrees. So after weeks of extra hot weather in Oklahoma, it was great to be in the cave. Even if there were bats in there.

We also saw a spotted salamander. And he just sat there, prettily, while I took his photo.

It was a cool tour in more ways than one. Alabaster Caverns is the largest gypsum cave in the world that is open to the public. All of the other caves are limestone according to our guide, Gail.

At the end of the tour, Gail loaded us into the tram and took us back to the top.

Then we went off in search of the Gloss Mountains. These are kind of like mountains, Oklahoma-style.

Nikki was thinking “Colorado” and wouldn’t believe we had truly found the Gloss Mountains until she saw a sign. 😉

We finished our big loop and ended up back in Alva for dinner at a restaurant that will remain nameless because it was just that bad. Who ever heard of a Mexican restaurant running out of chips? They were out of a lot.

After the disastrous dinner, I decided to check with Becky before making a breakfast decision. She assured me that Cookie’s Bowl and Cafe was good. I poked that into Tam Tam and we couldn’t find it. We drove up and down the street looking for it and still couldn’t find it.

I turned down a side street and decided to come back from a different direction. Nikki said, “What is that building with all the cars?” And then, “No, that’s the bowling alley.”


Cookie’s Bowl (as in BOWLING) and Cafe’. LOL!

So, yes, we ate breakfast at the bowling alley.

We probably should have had dinner there as well. They had the most amazing pancakes that were as big as the tabletop.

After fortifying ourselves with the fabu food, we headed for the “moos” part of our trip and to see the star, Bubby.

Becky took us to her farm and the cows were EXTREMELY interested in us when we pulled up. She said it was because they knew she was going to feed them.

We met Bubby!

And fed him.

And fed him.

And fed him some more. 🙂

That other little guy is Jethro. So cute they are!

Then we got our cowgirl bath.

And we headed for home.

Many, many thanks to Becky McCray for showing us a fabu time on the Moos and Booze Roadtrip.  We had so much fun in the wild, wild west. 🙂

Stop! In the name of health

**Note: I do not intend to appear judgmental about anyone by writing this post. It’s strictly about me and what’s right for me.**

Yesterday, I was visiting with a friend who had just come from watching over a diabetic friend who had been having an insulin reaction. She told me that her friend was diagnosed as a diabetic at the age of eight and now, over 40 years later, this is just one of the challenges she has been confronted with in living with this disease. The concern in her eyes and voice was obvious.

While walking Rabi downtown this morning, as we always do, we saw an employee of Conoco-Phillips making her way in to work. This extraordinarily heavy woman was on one of those walker devices that also contains a seat.  She was sitting in the seat and moving her way up the sidewalk using her legs. She had to stop and rest after going a little way.

How are these two incidents related? They made me stop and pay attention.

David and I stopped eating flour and sugar regularly back in November of 2009. I had started to notice that including these items in my diet, made my joints hurt. First my knees, then my hips, then my hands. David noticed that his nose would get big and red.

When we stopped eating flour and sugar, I immediately felt better and David’s nose started looking normal. We both lost weight.

I’ve been working really hard these past few weeks trying to get everything thrown out and packed up. My diet has slid. When it’s 106 degrees and you’re loading a dumpster with garbage, a cold beer sure does taste good. There were times when I just wasn’t that hungry or didn’t want to fix something myself and I’d grab a sandwich out.

So on top of all of the over use stress on my body from the pure physicality of what I was doing, I also wasn’t fueling myself for optimal performance.

I started thinking about this last night hearing about my friend’s friend and again this a.m. when I saw the heavy woman on the walker. Now, I don’t know for sure why the woman this a.m. was so heavy she had to use that walker. But what I do know is that if I put myself in her shoes, I’m that heavy because I’ve eaten wrong and hurt my joints to a point where I’m severally overweight and unable to walk on my own. I don’t want to be that woman.

My friend’s friend has no options. She’s had to live with a lifelong diagnosis of diabetes and as much as she lives right, exercises, eats right, she still isn’t completely in control.

I AM in control. I only have to keep the sugar and flour out of my diet and I feel great, my weight decreases, and I sleep better. So why don’t I do this? Well, I am definitely more convinced than ever that I will be on top of it from now on.

I am going to be a grandma in March. I want to be able to get down on the floor and play with my grandkids.  I don’t want achy joints to be what stops me. 🙂

And the sign says…

Last year, we bought my Jeep before we headed to the Mrs. International Pageant in Chicago. Because we don’t believe in credit cards, it’s been difficult to rent a big vehicle each year with a debit card. David didn’t want to see a melt down at the airport again so he bought me the Commander.

The first thing I noticed was the BIG back window. “Marketing space,” it said to me. So I contacted my twitter friend Jason, to get a sign put on the back window.

When we got to Chicago, my car made it onto the Pageant Cast’s facebook page before a photo of Mrs. Oklahoma did.

Well, as of July 31st, I am no longer the director of the Mrs. Oklahoma International Pageant. So it was time to remove the sign.

It was pretty easy to use a razor blade to remove the sign.

Then some nail polish remover to remove the sticky stuff and some Windex and…


Turn the page.

I filled it up!

A little less than two weeks ago, I called to have a dumpster delivered. I asked David how big it should be and he thought a 20 yard dumpster would be good. When I called, she didn’t have a 20 yard dumpster available for two weeks but could deliver a 40 yard dumpster the next day.

I said, “Wow, that’s gotta be pretty big.”

“It’s huge,” she said.

Still, she could get it to me the next day and it was actually cheaper than the 20 yard dumpster I had priced at another place so I told her to go ahead and bring it.

Well, guess what? I filled it up!

There’s something vaguely embarrassing about being able to fill a 40 yard dumpster (which is indeed HUGE) but I will tell you, it was all garbage.

As I went through the contents of the Big House, it became apparent that David and I had cornered the market on cardboard. So much of what I threw away was just cardboard boxes.

I like the plain brown type. Hey, you never know when you will need to mail something.

He likes the multicolored variety that you get when you buy something. “I was afraid we would have to return them so I kept the boxes,” he said.

I was supposed to have the dumpster until next Tuesday but after a run-in with some dumpster divers on the second day I had it, I decided I didn’t want to leave it unattended the whole weekend while I was in Oklahoma City so I arranged for them to pick it up this morning.

After I placed the “Danger of death” signs on it, I had no more visitors. 😉

It was full. There’s not much else to throw away.  I got lots of bruises.

Next week, it’s on to re-boxing the rest of the stuff we are keeping from the Big House and loading the PODS container and having it taken away.

Turn the page.