Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Seen on Old Route 66

We drove past this scene when we returned from our anniversary weekend.
Somewhere between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
Near Stroud, if my memory is correct.
I assume these guys are here because it's OU football season.

Have you had any foreign visitors lately?

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Birthday in St. Louis

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that The Husband and I recently took a trip to St. Louis to celebrate my birthday.
We went to a baseball game. Beautiful weather, beautiful stadium, tasty hot dogs and cold beer!
We also spent some time wondering through shops in the Cherokee Antique Row & Specialty Shops district. I really enjoyed the China Finders shop.
They are an on-line matching service for china, crystal & collectibles, but you can also stroll through the rows and rows of china and crystal in the store.
It's a dish lovers paradise!

Located across the street from China Finders is Elder's Ltd Antiques. It is a seriously great store. We both saw a number of things we would have loved to bring home. It's a family owned business, with the third generation now working in the business. It's one of those shops that I would cruise through 2 or 3 times a month if I lived nearby. 

On the drive through Missouri, we stopped at a number of antique places. Antique Mercantile is a multi-dealer mall. They have some dealers that have large, amazing, specialized collections for sale. I was in awe in several of the booths. We both were in awe at Cooper's Antiques. They have very unique oak furniture pieces that are lovely restored. We saw several pieces we would have loved to have. 

I had a fun birthday weekend. We got to see a MLB game and to visit multiple antique shops. Something for both of us!

Note: I would have linked to websites for each shop, but unfortuantely not all had sites. So, I linked to a page that gives their location.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Palace Cafe - Tulsa, OK

The Husband and I joined friends at Palace Cafe this past Saturday night.

They have recently remodeled their space, updating their dining area and adding a bar. Kudos for the remodel. The spaces are elegant and sophisticated.

Because the newly remodeled/expanded restaurant had just re-opened, because the bartender was responsible for making all drinks (as opposed to the servers mixing drinks), because it was a busy Saturday night and because it was Restaurant Week, there was some confusion amongst the servers, bartenders and kitchen staff.

First, it's amazing to us how difficult it is for young bartenders to make the cocktail scotch & water. It's scotch, over ice, with water added. This was what was delivered to our table:
  • Scotch over ice, with a glass of water 
  • Scotch neat 
  • Scotch & water (they say), but the glass was only 3/4's full
If you are going to spend the money to create an elegant bar, it would behoove you to recruit an experienced bartender who knows how to make old fashioned drinks. I can only imagine what would have happened if we had ordered a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. To be fair though, we've recently experienced this problem in other restaurants in other states.

We all ordered three course meals from the special prix fixe Restaurant Week menu. Our server delivered our salad and we asked for another vodka & tonic.

Twenty minutes later, as a random person was clearing our salad plates, we asked for our server to be sent to the table or, more importantly, the drink be sent!

The server returned, apologized, said she was going to check on the drink and would be right back. She was. With more salads. We said, "No, no. We've had those already." (Shades of Groundhog Day.) Ultimately, we received our entrees and the vodka & tonic, followed by our desserts.

Palace Cafe is known for preparing outstanding food and they did not fail to deliver for us. We laughed and all agreed if we had to choose between shaky service or bad food, we'd take the shaky service every time.

Our server was nice, enthusiastic and ultimately apologetic. We know it was a confluence of events that contributed to the service issues and we will certainly return to the Palace Cafe. Next time, we plan to sit at the bar and suggest to the bartender how a scotch & water should be fixed.

If you drink old time cocktails, have you had this type of problem? 

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Tablescape & Dancing in the Dining Room

Recently, I've accumulated a large collection of vintage dishes, California Provincial by Metlox/Poppytrail.

I was extremely tired of the every day Fiesta plates we had used for several years, so I put them in my cupboard and started using the Poppytrail dishes for every day.

We recently had The Sister's family over for dinner. What? An opportunity to use my new (old) dishes? Fan-tas-tic!

I started by setting the table using one of my favorite vintage tablecloths. Look at the farmer chasing those chickens.
The farmer's wife seems to be more successful than him, she caught one!
I opted to use Riedel wine glasses and vintage Forest Green depression glasses. I love Forest Green depression glasses! I've been collecting them for years.
The pair of pewter candlesticks were owned by The Husband pre-marriage. He's always had good taste. They are placed on two of my many hammered aluminum trays. The aluminum reflects candlelight and also keeps any stray candle drippings off the vintage table cloth.

Our place settings:
California Provincial dinner plate, soup bowl and saucer, Forest Green depression water glass, Riedel wine glass and Queen Bess silverplate utensils.

The menu was salad:
Lamb chops. Oh! And hot dogs!:
Asparagus and home grown cucumbers, plus farmer's market tomatoes:
As well as roasted potatoes and locally baked bread:
Did you notice the California Provincial serving platters and bowl?

Prior to sitting down for dinner, there was a little dancing to the music of the evening in the dining room.

Behold! The Husband and Big Sister A.
The Brother-in-Law and Sweet Baby L.
As usual, a good time was had by all! So much fun, in fact, that Sweet Baby L had to put herself to bed on the couch with Boppie (her blankie).
What are your dinner parties like?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

I made some changes to my blog a couple of days ago. The format went "south" for some reason.

I posted my issue (step by step what I did) on the Blogger Help Forum. Within 15 minutes a total stranger gave me the solution to my Blogger format problem.

INTERNET FOR THE WIN!

Thanks to remoonline for the fix!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Memories of September 11, 2001


My Mom was on the phone with my brother
when Daddy passed.

My brother immediately made arrangements to fly home.

On September 11, 2001

My brother lives on the east coast of the USA.

Near Boston

That morning, The Sister phoned and Mom answered. They chatted for a minute and my sister asked to speak to me.

She asked, "Do you have the TV on?"

I replied, "No."

She said, "Turn it on now, but don't let Mom see."

I asked, "Why?"

She said, "A plane has hit the World Trade Center. They think it is a passenger plane from Boston. Tom (her fiance) and I are on our way there."

My response? "Oh My God!"

I tell The Husband, "Turn on the TV."

He turns on the bedroom TV and we watch in awe of the unfolding events.

Mom, bless her heart, was focused on getting Daddy's clothes together to take to the funeral home.

The Sister and Tom arrive and the TV in the living room was turned on.

Mom finally became aware of the situation.

She told us she was sure our brother was flying from a New Hampshire airport and not Boston. But she did not have his flight information.

As you can imagine, we were extremely worried.

The Sister and I both started phoning airlines,
but they could not give us any information.

The airline personnel were so nice and really wanted to help us. Unfortunately, their hands were tied by regulations, even though they knew of the unfolding tragedy.

We understood, but were distressed.

As I hung up from an airline call, and as The Husband and Tom watched television,
the phone rang.

It was our brother.

His first words to me,
"What's going on?"

His flight had been grounded in Atlanta. He knew nothing, other than the pilot saying they were being grounded because of an incident in NYC at the World Trade Center. The pilot mentioned his brother worked in the towers and he hoped everything was alright.

My first words to him,
"Oh my god, I'm so happy to hear your voice!"

In the background,
I hear The Husband and Tom yelling,

"It's falling! It's falling!"

I turned around, looked at the television and said to my brother:

"The World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon have been hit by passenger airplanes. One of the World Trade Center buildings has just collapsed. Other airplanes are missing. The United States is under attack. I am so glad to hear your voice!"

Long story short:

The Brother was able to get a rental car out of Atlanta and drive to Tulsa.

Daddy's funeral was delayed a day or two, I can't remember. Perhaps it was two days.

In the midst of the immediate, personal grief of our family, we also experienced the grief and fear of a nation.

I will never forget that day.

What happened to you on September 11, 2001?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Miss My Dad

My Dad died on September 10, 2001.

The Hospice nurse was there on her daily visit.
I was the only family member in the room.
I looked at the nurse and said, "You don't think?"
She said, "Yes."

I can't believe it's been 10 years.

Here he is with his granny at about 8 years of age.

He served in the Korean War


He came home and married Mom.

Here he is as a family man, 
with his wife, mom and granny, 
as well as his first two children.
(Yes, I've always been chubby.)

Baby sister wasn't born when the above picture was taken.
 Here they are together much later.

And here is his final resting place.

Miss you, Daddy.

Billy Wayne Carnahan
born 07/17/1928
died 09/10/2001

Friday, September 9, 2011

California Cousins & A Tablescape

I posted here about my August trip to BlogHer'11 in San Diego with niece Amy. Unless you follow me on Twitter, I'll bet you don't know that Amy and I stayed a couple of extra days in California to visit family.

Left to right: Amy, Cousin Cathy and Cousin Gary. Gary is The Husband's cousin and Cathy is his lovely wife.
I hate that I did not get a picture of their daughter, Sonia. She drove from LA to San Diego to see us for the afternoon/evening. A 2+ hour drive each way just to see us! How sweet is that? It was neat for Amy and Sonia to reconnect. The last time they saw each other they were teen-agers. Ah, youth...

The next day, Gary and Cathy took us on a tour of San Diego beginning in Old Town,
 Riding the trolley.
We had a great time at all the stops. My favorite place had to be the Hotel Coronado.
The Husband is so taking me there for a few days sometime in the future!

Amy left a day before me. The day Amy left, Gary and Cathy took me to a few local antique malls. I bought a couple of little things, but my greatest accomplishment was convincing Cathy to purchase a set of vintage china. If you know Cathy, you know that she likes all things new/modern and does not really care for old items. I was thrilled when we found this china and she loved it as much as I did. It has all the colors of her everyday dishes, which are Corelle Wildflower/Spring Bouquet.

These are her new (old) dishes:
Aren't they a wonderful, Art Deco pattern? Here is the maker mark on the back:
Cathy was able to purchase a service for 4 for a great price. We came home and she set the dinner table with her new dishes, using a bright tablecloth and bright napkins she already owned that coordinated with her existing dishes.
This pleased me to no end, since I love vintage dishes and love to tablescape. I was so happy to share this fun with Cousin Cathy!

What do you do for fun when you visit your relatives?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Heart = Melted

Last night my nieces and I decided to play a board game.

I won the first game and was very excited. I was waving my arms and saying "Yeah! I won! I never win at anything! Yeah!"

The 8 year old looked at me and said, "Aunt Cindy, you always win at being the greatest Aunt in the world!

I grabbed her and gave her a big hug.

P.S. I'll be changing my last will & testament here in the next day or two.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Livestock Marketing Center

Can't we just call it what it is?
It's a sale barn, people!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me and Her!

On August 25th, I forgot to post a birthday wish to my little sister. What kind of big sister am I? Evidently, a forgetful one.

I do have an excuse, since today is my 52nd birthday. How in the world did that happen?

Here are the two of us in times long ago.
We are still as cute as we ever were!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bradley Whitford Lives Under My Bed

Last weekend, I read a blurb in David Inman's column in the weekly Tulsa World TV Guide about Bradley Whitford playing the character of serial killer Red John on "The Mentalist." (Here's a link to another story.)

I've watched 3 or 4 episodes of "The Mentalist" and think it's a decent show, but I've never been a regular viewer. I did, however, know that a serial killer named Red John had killed Patrick's wife. 

When I read that Bradley Whitford had played the killer, I was surprised. I love his acting and watched all the episodes of "West Wing" (who didn't?) and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," among other things. I thought "Wow, that's against type for him."

I didn't think anything else about this nugget of knowledge and happily went to bed and to sleep that night.

And that's when the dream started. 

Yes, the dream that Red John (Bradley Whitford) was stalking me and getting in my house whenever he wanted. The police and I couldn't figure out how he was getting in. We set up all kinds of perimeter security and had cameras everywhere outside, but could never catch him.

We couldn't catch him because he was already in the house. Living under my bed. In a room. UNDER MY BED!

The next morning, The Husband says to me, "Did you have a bad dream last night?" 

I reply, "Why, yes I did. Why do you ask?"

The Husband shakes his head and says, "You kept thrashing around and yelling 'What do you want? What do you want?', so I just turned my back to you and hoped you wouldn't knock me out of the bed with all your thrashing."

Um, gee thanks honey!

So, who (or what) lives under your bed?

{I've told you about my weird dreams before. You can read them again by clicking on the label "dreams" on the right side of the page.}