Monday, December 31, 2007

Oklahoma Flag, The Covered Wagon and the school bus

I just had to show you what the OK kid's got me for Christmas. As I was hanging them on the tree I felt they deserved a picture. The school bus in the back is one of Rusty's favorite too!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas at the Tappel's

I rolled out of bed about 8 after staying up late last night visiting with Sarah and Rusty. They didn't make it in from Oklahoma until about 5:30. I was making coffee when Sarah came down to let her dog Josie out. Josie had slept in the basement in Bentley's old portable dog kennel. We both went outside to tend to our dogs and Sarah introduced the dogs through Bentley's fence.

After I went and picked up the paper, the guys joined us in the kitchen for coffee and Banana bread. Sarah and I then went to work on preparing lunch. I toasted the bread for the dressing, and got the chickens ready to be baked. Our menu for the day was:

3 Golden baked chickens
Fluffy Mashed potatoes
Creamy Gravy
Candied Sweet potatoes w/marshmallows
Sarah's secret recipe of Cranberry Salad
Green beans with County Ham
7 layer salad
Fruit Salad
Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Pie
Lori's Oreo Ice cream pie

Jeremy and Lori and the boys arrived at 11:00 and the boys were so excited to open more presents. Sarah and Rusty got Brady an ATM machine, the biggest hit for him yet. He said it ranked right up there with his new bicycle. Sarah and Rusty wanted me to remember that they live in Oklahoma and gave me 2 ornaments, one was of the state flag of Oklahoma, the other was a big covered wagon. The kids gave BT his official Blacksmith Shop sign. I gave Jeremy and Lori and Black and White quilt I had worked on for the better part of a half year.

After lunch Diane came over and became our official photographer for family photos. We rewarded her with a plate of pies and Lori's homemade candies. It was then time to relax, visit and play with all our new items. It seems we ate and drank our way through the afternoon. BT and Rusty let the dogs meet in the yard and they both had fun chasing each other.

I baked 24 chicken cups for another snack (like we really needed more food) Sarah ate a few of them and then it was time for them to hit the road. It was 5:30 before they left and they had a good 6 hour drive ahead of them. With tears I bid them good-bye. It was so great having them home for Christmas.

Later in the evening Lori and I fixed the boys a plate of food and ate again ourselves. They packed up and went home about 8:30. BT and I went through all the pictures Lori downloaded to my computer and it was soon bed time for us.

40 degrees 10:15

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas

Christmas came and went so fast yesterday. Thank goodness we still have more gift giving to go, as Sarah and Rusty hopefully will make it home this weekend.
Our Christmas day started early in the kitchen making dressing to go along with the turkey I had baked. The cranberries and fruit salad were done the night before. We made it to Mom's by 10:30 and filled her oven with all our baking dishes. Lona and family arrived just a few minutes later. Jeremy and family came at the stroke of noon. Since almost all of us were starving, we decided to eat before we opened presents. Lori had brought the chocolate tray with all the homemade candies she crafted. WOW are they fantastic! (sorry I forgot a picture of them).

It was hard to get everyone in the living room as we kept picking at the food. You know we were all stuffed but we kept on eating. Lona handed out presents. She gave the grandsons blow up boats to use when they come to her pool. Alex wanted his blown up right then and there. We continued to set around and visit for another hour or so. BT, Jeremy and Brady went to the barn and out back to let Brady shoot his new BB Gun. We left about 2:20 for home, but not until BT went next door to the neighbor to see an antique band saw sitting in the yard (aka rusty metal). It might be in BT's future.

Jeremy and Lori followed us up the drive. A nap was first for Alex. About 5 I started making dinner for us which included little smokies, chicken taco won tons cups, fruit salad, 7 layer salad and plenty of Lori's great chocolates for dessert. Alex was only half awake for dinner as we woke him up before we started.

Then came gift giving. Here is Lori opening
her new colander that fits over the sink.

Next is Alex seeing what is in his stocking.Wow a penguin that poops!
Brady checking out his money gift.

And then we have Grandpa and Brady shooting Brady's new BB gun.

The evening ended with the boys reading the new book I got from Cathy, my quilter friend that lives in Australia. They loved the book.

Brady and I typed to Sarah on the computer for almost an hour on Instant Messenger. He is really good at spelling.

We crashed about 11 PM. As Santa would say Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good night!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Items up for auction!

Today was time to get in gear and get the shopping finished. Christmas shopping that is. I think I am finished. Not all items are wrapped and there is little baking done, but I still have time. I don't make all the cookies and candies I did when my kids were at home. today I made chex party mix, tomorrow I hope to make pecan balls. After that it might just come to a close with Grandma Monat's sugar cookies.

Look at these two wonderful items my dear hubby made for me in the Blacksmith shop tonight. It's a Banana Holder and a Wizard Door Knocker. You see at work, we have an auction among the employees for our in house Christmas party. The items we bring in are auctioned off and the proceeds go to area agencies to help the needy. He's a pretty cool guy. Thanks Dear!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dec 15, 2007

I couldn't think of a title for today's posting, you see it was a sad day. Today my grandson's other grandmother was laid to rest. She suffered a stoke a week ago Friday and never pulled out of it. She was Noreen Lage, age 74 and a wonderful woman. My daughter-in-law Lori is the youngest of the 14 children Noreen had, 12 still survive. Noreen herself was one of 12 children. The strength this woman had was unbelievable, and as I heard her granddaughters tell stories of her during church, I came to know her even better. A christian woman who instilled those values in her children. All 12 children are married and doing well. May she rest in peace.

It is currently snowing and we probably have about 6 inches on the ground. BT has spent most of the evening setting up my new computer. It is totally awesome, a big screen and some really cool new features.

27 degrees and snowing ******************

Thursday, December 13, 2007

December 11, 2007 in and out of darkness

We woke about 7 AM and still the electricity was off. It was only down to 62 degrees in the house. I called Larraine to see if they had electricity so BT could shower for work. Yes they did, but they had 6 extra adults over who didn't have electricity, so I told her I'd check around. I called Janie and BT went there.

The boys and I quickly dressed and headed down stairs for some cold cereal. Trying to entertain two little boys without TV was going to be a challenge. Luckily at 8:20 power came on. I reset all the clocks first thing. Lona called, they had been without electricity since early Monday, so her and Stephane and Mom came over to shower.

I made Blueberry muffins and the little boys ate their second breakfast. We spent the day enjoying the furnace, the computer, the TV, the blower dryer, the electric oven, etc. That is until we were eating dinner at 5:30, with a blink or two, the power went off again.

BT got all the kerosene lamps going, his propane camping lantern and several candles. The boys thought we were camping. They even got to watch a DVD with the battery on the laptop. Several times the lights would come on and then go back off. Each time Brady was disappointed, as he thought this was a great thing.

A little over an hour later the lights came on and stayed on. Once again I reset all the clocks.

I got a call to report for work at 4:30 AM in Linn in the morning. Our coop was hit hard.

Lori picked the boys up by 8 and I was in bed shortly after that. BT was in the basement when I went to bed, working on the water softener.

3 AM will come quickly enough.

Here are some pictures I took outside today.

Dec 10, 2007 On the road, the icy road

We never heard Rusty leave for work sometime during the 2 AM hour. BT got up when he heard Sarah in the living room a little after 6 AM. He asked if he took her to work, could she find a way home. She jumped at the chance. He went out to de-ice his jeep, which was a cold long process. The doors and windows were frozen shut with a layer between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch thick. A few minutes after 7:00 I watch them drive out the drive way on a layer of ice which covered everything in site.

Josie and I hung out together for about and hour and a half. Sarah kept in touch via the phone. I had just started to make us some breakfast when BT came in, shortly before 9. His drive to Sarah's station was a lot long then the trip home. The fact that the roads were more clear and he took a different route back made it quicker.

We were on our way home by 10:00, we pulled into a Shell station to see if they sold windshield wipers, but no such luck. The wiper on my side was shredded by the ice. We started with almost a full tank of gas as we were hearing on the radio that the toll-pike was without electricity and all gas stations were closed. Travel was slow, 50 mph was our average. We never saw any wrecks or cars in the ditch. Several looked to be out of gas or broke down. At the gas stations/McDonald's there were always several big trucks and cars sitting, all the buildings were dark.

Tulsa looked like a bomb had dropped, we saw down power lines, streets completely blocked with trees and branches, utility works, policemen, firemen all working to clear paths. At one point we even saw highway workers clearing trees off the interstate. There were almost no businesses with electricity. By this time my mirror had a 3/4 inch layer of ice on it.

We made it to the state line and turned into the first gas station. it wasn't as crowed as I thought it would be. Our stop was a quick one even though the pump was a slow one. After we got back on the highway, I pulled the sandwiches out of the cooler I had packed and we had a picnic on the road. The ice in Joplin was still extremely heavy, however the closer we got to Springfield, the less we saw. It came in patches. We began see red PAR utility trucks heading west on I-44. If our count was correct there were 40 of them. Later there were white truck from Barton Electric.

At highway 17 and 54, near Eugene Missouri, the ice was once again as thick or thicker then Tulsa. Eagle Stop Gas station and Subway were without electricity. It was scary driving Route E between Brazito and Osage Bluff because the trees were so heavy and hanging over the highway. I said we needed to drive down the center to feel safe.

At 5:15 we pulled into the drive way or I should say wormed into the drive way. We had to dodge around bent over frozen trees. I don't know who was more happy, us to get home or Bentley to see us. the normal 6 hour drive took us over 7 hours.

Lori came in just a few minutes after we got home. BT was down the road trimming trees so car could travel our road. Lori held the flash light for him to see. The boys would be staying all night with us as Lori was needed to say with her Mother who was in ICU.

About 8 I decided it would be in my best interest to wash a load of clothes as the ice was only getting worse and the electricity would probably be going off. I got the boys in bed be 9, I sat down to unwind and at 10:00 just when the news came on the electricity went off.

Armed with flash lights and cell phone we went to bed. And the electricity stayed be continued.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dec 9, 2007 The storm is here.

We woke several times during the night to hear the sleet pelting on the windows. Rusty was called to be at work at 11 AM tomorrow morning.

By 8:30 we were all up and getting our daily dose of caffeine. It was great to finally see Rusty in person and visit.

As soon as Rusty left for the station, BT Sarah and I piled into BT's Jeep, thank goodness for 4 wheel drive. The streets were ice covered as well as the entire city. It was just a short distance to their Walmart Grocery store, not like the super centers we have in Missouri. Between the 3 of us and a short list we managed to get quite a few groceries.

Back home we had ham and cheese sandwiches. BT had Orange juice to perk him up and for my perk Sarah got out her cappuccino machine! WOW what a treat. The poor dog didn't know what to think of the ice covered patio. She didn't spend too much time out there, except to free her toy from the inch thick later of ice. I wish I would have captured that on film. Sarah tried, but we never got my camera to do a video.
When Rusty came home early afternoon, him and BT got into a little competition with the Wii. Those are so much fun. We teased Sarah that she was getting us ready for the old folks home.

I made dinner of meatloaf, Aunt Janie's river potatoes as Sarah calls them, broccoli and rice casserole and Sarah did the blackberry cobbler, Cabin style.

The weather continued to deteriorate as the evening went on. Rusty headed to bed early because he had to get up 2 AM and report for work.

Dec 8, 2207 Making the most of a short Day

Rusty still wasn't due home till late Saturday night. So we were going to do a little Christmas shopping while he was gone. Sarah made us a pot of coffee and offered bagels, while I printed off a coupon for Bernie to attend the R & K Gun show in Oklahoma City.

We left the house mid-morning and Sarah drove those freeways like it was nothing. Glad I was riding in the back seat, otherwise I could have made a hole in her floorboard. We dropped BT off at the gun show, being held at the Oklahoma's State Fair grounds. We back tracked and got to a gigantic mall, it took us a long time to find a parking space, it was best to see someone walk out and follow them to their spot. The first part of the mission was to find her a new winter coat. We had just made the third floor of the mall when BT called. He wasn't feeling well and wanted us to come and pick him up.

Sarah made a quick pit stop for gas. We found BT waiting outside, he thinks some of the medicine he took made him feel light headed. Food would be a good thing for him, in case his blood sugar was low. We had planned on going to Pop's for lunch and we were soon travelling down Route 66 to their location in Arcadia OK.

We could spot the 66 foot tall neon soda bottle a long distance away. It's the newest, coolest landmark on Historic Route 66. From the 66 foot LED bottle outside to the nearly 500 soda and beverages inside, Pops is your answer to unquenchable thirst for adventure. This is actually a gas station and restaurant. It's a retro glass building with glass shelves. All the shelves are filled with full soda bottles, all color coordinated. (Of course they are glued down too). We ordered a tasty lunch, burgers for BT and I, a chicken wrap for Sarah. She then had some postcard shopping to do for some one!

We traveled just a quarter mile down the road to The Round Barn. Built in 1898, it was restored in 1988. The first floor is a museum/gift shop. The second floor is available to rent for parties, weddings, etc. BT found rusty iron to look at in the parking lot, including a tire shrinker almost like his.

We took BT home where he could rest and surf while keeping Josie, the Siberian Husky company.

We found another mall to shop at. Of course this town, is by no means short on shopping places. After about 4 stores, we found a winter coat for Sarah. While shuffling through the heavy crowd my cell phone rang. It was Forrest Monat wanting to return some books to us. I explained I was in OK City. He would hold off coming to see us. LOL.
Our last stop was at Super Target for a few groceries. Sarah had to be at work at 5:00 her station was broadcasting the Oklahoma State 2A High school Champion football game. After she left I made us a little dinner and we waited for her game to come on.

Sarah made it home about 11:10, her and I tried to wait up for Rusty. It was a little after 11:20 when his plane landed, by midnight he wasn't in and our eye lids just wouldn't stay open.

Bad weather is coming so they say...........

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dec 7, 2007 Heading to Oklahoma

The day started cloudy, BT headed to work as I packed up and put a batch of Pumpkin muffins in the oven. He would come home about noon, we'd grab a bite of lunch and head towards Sarah's.

At 12:30 he hit highway 54 at Brazito. There it was fog, mist, more gloomy weather and it was down hill from there. At times we were driving in rain. Sarah called us 2 hours later to see where we were. I told her in Springfield. She said, they say there is an incoming storm later in the weekend, she might have to work. I think she was saying, "Are you sure you don't want to turn around and go back home?"

For the 6 and 1/2 hour trip, the rain stuck with us, hitting Tulsa at 5:30 and rush hour traffic with fog was no fun driving. We kept in touch with Sarah via cell phones, arriving at her house just 3 minutes before she did. With a key hidden we were able to make our way in with the luggage just before she arrived. Rusty was in Las Vegas but had been called to come home early for the incoming storm. He would arrive late Saturday night.

Sarah let Josie out for a potty break, we freshen up and then got in her car and went out for food. Our choice for the evening was BJ's Restaurant and Brewery. We were given a pager and told it would be about a 45 minute wait. BT had a stout and Sarah's choice was a berry beer of some sorts. Rusty called as we were reviewing our menu choices. I finished Sarah's beer when BT went and got her and himself a refill.

I had the Halibut Fish Tacos: Panko-crusted, lightly fried halibut, with chipotle mayonnaise, Santa Fe dressing, Napa cabbage, carrots, cilantro and red onions. Wrapped in a special corn/flour tortilla and served with tri-color tortilla chips, avocado cream sauce and fire-roasted salsa. Sarah had trouble choosing between the Jambalaya or the fish filets. The fish won. BT had a medium rare beef steak. His salad came after his meat so the manager came and apologized and refunded his salad cost. We wobbled out, the food and the beers were absolutely wonderful.

It was late when we got home, BT went and laid down in the bedroom saying he was going to take a nap, which would later turn out to be a mistake. Never lay down on a full stomach.

Sarah and I talked another hour or two and made a plan for Saturday. It was lights out.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS

It started snowing today about 12:30. Then it switched to sleet. Not enought to accumlate much. They are calling for snow the next 3-4 days. That's okay with me as long as it doesn't interfer with our driving to Oklahoma City. Here is what it looked like after a few hours out my front door.

We are leaving Friday afternoon to see Sarah, will spend Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday with her. We will leave there Monday morning and head to Texas to see BT's Mom.
This has been a busy week. Tuesday I worked and had to take a refresher CPR course. Why I don't know, I would just panic if I had to use it. LOL Wednesday I did some shopping and returning. Today I finished decorating the tree, that took me 2 hours to get the lights just right yesterday. Then Alex came, he had some much fun looking at all the different ornaments.
After Alex and I ate lunch I put him down for a nap and went to my sewing machine, as I opened the blinds I saw it snowing, so I went and told Alex to look out before he went to sleep. He wanted to know what it would be when he got up.
For dinner it was beef fajitas and the last 2 pieces of lemon cake for dessert.
Now I'm going to watch Barbara Walter's and her 10 most fascinating people.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Happy 24th Birthday Daughter

Wish you were here................

Here's looking at you through the year and what a find young woman you have grown into. WE love you and hope you have a Great Birthday!

From Very warm to really cold!

Saturday morning we were up early. BT had to be at work by 8:00 for some computer work and I had to be over to Jeremy and Lori's before 7:30. She had a picture appointment and I was to take the boys home and watch them.

Back at the house by 7:45, we had breakfast and I got ready to take the boys to town. We went to The Miller Performing Arts Center to see "The Christmas Story".
Hhumorist Jean Shepherd's memoir of growing up in the midwest of the 1940s follows 9 year old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself, at Goldblatt's Department Store. The consistent response: "You'll shoot your eye out." All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family's temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the boy's experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie's father winning a lamp shaped like a woman's leg in a net stocking; Ralphie's fantasy scenarios and more. A Christmas Story has become a theatrical holiday favorite.

As we walked into the theater, the boys carrying their booster seats, Brady was excited to ride the escalator again as he had done last year. Finding our seats was no problem for Brady, an old pro since this was his second visit there. As we sat in Row G, he asked what instruments were they going to play. I got out the playbill and saw no musicians names. It seems they were using canned music, which Brady wasn't as excited about. It was a long production, with a 15 intermission, I texted Lori and told her it shouldn't be too much longer. The Christmas Parade was to start at 2:00 and we were hoping for a quick lunch and then the parade.

It was over just 20 minutes before the parade was scheduled to start when we walked out. 65 degrees would have made watch the parade really nice, but potty breaks and lunch called us first and then it was just too late. We met Lori at El Jimado and after that decided to head home. I stopped by Hobby Lobby for some fabric to no avail.

But I have to tell you about the conversation in the car going to the restaurant. I asked Brady what did Ralphie want for Christmas?" Brady said a BB gun and so do I. Alex piped up in the back seat, NO Brady you'll shoot your eye out! I thought we would die laughing.

I played phone tag with BT at this office and Eric and Kathy, as they had invited us out for dinner. At 6:30 they picked me up and we headed to town. BT pulled into the parking lot at San Cruz, just as we were walking into the building. After a great dinner and Margaritas, BT was ready for his easy chair. It had been a very stressful day at the office.

Sunday morning it was 66 degrees when I went for the newspaper, but the showed a fast moving storm coming our way. About 10, I let Bentley out as I knew otherwise he would be stuck in his pen in the rain. He had no sooner come into the garage when the rain came intensely. Within an hour the temperature had fallen 19 degrees. By days end it was in the low 30's.

I worked on Christmas cards and quilt patterns most of the afternoon. BT forged me a door knocker for the Three Rivers Christmas Auction.

I don't know where this weekend went but it flew by.

9:30 29 degrees.