Sniffling into the third (or sixth) tissue, I had the urge to toss a sarcastic response when my friend said with such earnest love. “Tammy, listen to me.” She took a huge pause. “You are going to be okay.”
My mind rejected the words immediately. “Hmm.” I sniffled.
“One day you will look up and find that you made it. You are okay.” My friend reiterated.
That was four years ago, and I can finally say with 100 percent certainty, I am indeed okay. The road to okay was difficult and at times literally overwhelming. My friend lovingly handed me a rope that I didn’t know I would need! I am forever grateful to her for speaking wisdom and love during a time when my personal storm was so loud I couldn’t hear her. Wherever you are in your difficult situation, beginning-middle-end, I am virtually taking your face in my hands and putting my forehead on yours to tell you, “Beloved friend, you are going to be okay.”
Step Two: It’s okay to withdraw for a season.
Long before the day I walked out the door of my marriage devastated, I had distanced myself from most everything and everyone. My heart was bleeding, my emotions were all over the place, and I couldn’t make myself focus on anything except work and my son’s needs. Conversations about anything were exhausting and plastering on the “fake it till I make it smile” became way too comfortable. Over the course of the next 48 months, I leaned way into Jesus. I had proclaimed throughout my life that Jesus was all I needed, but the words of Psalm 16:5 “You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands” became my reality.
This past year has been, for me, like a spring flower slowly opening its petals. I’m able to do simple things like keeping track of birthdays and attending baby showers again. Friend, it’s okay that you withdraw to heal for a season, but when God begins a new season, step into it with confidence and gratefulness to Him. Going from darkness to light hurts for just a few minutes until your eyes adjust. The same thing happens in our hearts. Feeling again hurts but we must move forward, not retreat.
Everybody has them! Many people are culprits! Ugh, the universal issue of pet peeves. I really do work on my reactions to these violations of daily living and most of the time I keep it to a tepid simmer….but some days….. oof.
#10. Sympathy fishing on Social Media. If a person is truly having a difficult time, just spell it out or don’t post.
#9. Standing in the middle of the aisle! (or parking the shopping cart in the middle of the aisle). Most of us were annoyed in junior high and high school with aisle hogging but as an adult it causes serious Yosemite Sam moments.
#8. Failing to use a turn signal.
#7. The misuse of “me” and “I” when tagging photos. Fast tip…if you remove the other persons name and use me or I at the end, does it make sense? Example: “Archer and I at the park.” Would I say, “I, at the park.” Or “Me, at the park.”
#6. Not taking the door for the next person when it is held for you. Fifty people behind me, I hold the door for you – you take the door and hold it for the next person – that person takes it and holds it for the next and so on and so forth. People don’t ever intend to just stand there for 20 minutes letting everyone in! Think about it, friends!
#5. Slow ATM Users. Haven’t we all been using them now since the 70’s?
#4. Standing too close in lines – (Ohmygoodness! This is the ONE, and the only one, benefit of COVID restrictions!)
#3. Not putting shopping carts away.
#2. Missing the trash can with the paper towel and leaving it! Those that know…know.
#1. Sprinkling on the toilet seat. We get that you ladies have a phobia… but please!
Years and years ago, my now ex-husband and I were planning a vacation to Dallas then a drive down to Corpus Christi. Neither of us wanted to look like we had never seen a ray of sunshine, so we each purchased a tanning package at a local tanning salon to hopefully give us a kiss of a tan by the time we were to leave. About the same time, he came down with a sinus infection. The doctor prescribed him medication that advised to stay out of the sun. We thought surely a tanning bed was a different type of exposure than the sun, so he used two visits of his package and proceeded to break out into hideous hives!
Instead of losing the money, the tanning salon allowed us to transfer the remainder to me. I ended up using all my package and pretty much all of us! By the time we were packed and ready to go, I bet you would think that I was a nice golden color and ready to model for a summer mag shoot! Yeah, no. Not even close. At the end of all those days of lying in that buzzing bed with the oscillating fan, wearing those funky little eye covers, I was still the most European shade of white you can see on me today.
Apparently tanning beds, laying out on beach towels with baby oil slathered on, or hanging out at the pool for days on end was not going to miraculously change the color of my skin now matter what I decided to do.
What does the Word say?
According to God’s Word, Psalm 139 starting in verse 13, David says, “You (God) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
The hard-honest truth is that I was literally created to be white. I didn’t choose, I didn’t ask, I didn’t get to vote on my favorite shade in God’s crayon box. I just…. am. The same is true for three precious families that are close to me who have such beautiful brown skinned children. Each of these children have the most amazing shades of brown skin! They look stunning in so many of the colors of clothing that I could never wear with my skin tone. They can lay out in the sun for hours and become an even more glorious shade of brown. Our creator created their unique skin tones and I see them with amazement and appreciation.
I have another friend that has an exquisite color of olive skin. No matter what time of day or night I see her, she looks like she is glowing with health and vitality. She looks so good in colors that just don’t pop the same on me or even on some of my friends with brown skin. I’ve also noticed that this skin tone seems to not require any makeup (or very minimal) to look crisp and alive unlike mine. Seriously, when I don’t wear makeup, I am asked all day long if I am sick. Ugh.
We are precious in His sight.
White, brown, olive, black, pink, we are all beautiful colors in God’s crayon box of life. To say that God doesn’t see in colors is just depressing. God loves color! (remember the children’s song, red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight). He created so many shades of skin because He loves His beautiful creation. The rainbows, the birds, the flowers, the fall leaves, the ocean creatures, the mountains and valleys, and certainly the people, all display the vast color palette of the Holy and Living God.
I can’t change my skin tone. Furthermore, I don’t really want to anymore. Yes, I finally gave up on that tan idea. 😊 You can’t change your skin tone either. Nor can anyone else. Only God has the ability to pull that other crayon out of His crayon box. What if we focused on changing something that could actually be changed? What if we looked at each other as beautiful, unique, perfectly formed in God’s design…in the secret place? What if we looked at one another and believed with our entire soul that what David said is true, God’s workmanship is marvelous! I believe we could make a significant change in the culture around us which in turn could change the culture of our state and then of our nation. That’s not too lofty of a goal! In the words of an OG camp song, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going…”
One more important thing…
This morning my pastor, Dr. Alex Himaya, spoke about this topic and I invite you to listen to the service/message by clicking the link here. He gave a challenging message with truth and light in an era of division and darkness.
When my son first mentioned that he really wanted to have a Rottweiler, I was not a fan. I had heard all the usual dangerous descriptions that are also associated with Pitt Bulls. I had heard that Rottweilers were unpredictable, vicious, and aloof. We have children and babies within our family and friends so a mean type of dog was not one that I wanted to bring into our home.
However, I wanted to be educated on facts before I gave a final answer one way or the other. I researched the breed, I watched an unbelievable amount of videos, and I snooped around on several breed specific websites. Want to know what I learned? Rottweilers are big derps. lol
To be completely honest, the first Rottie we met ended up not being the right one for us. Ruger had been treated poorly by men and didn’t react well around my son. Surprisingly, he was not overly friendly to me either. Feeling very sad about the abuse that poor dog had received but knowing that we would not be the best place to rehabilitate him was difficult. It was several weeks later when we were contacted about Archer.
Pet Angels Rescue
Archer had been pulled out of a animal shelter by Pet Angels Rescue in Oklahoma City. He had contracted kennel cough while he was at the animal shelter and was finally healed enough to find his new furever home. The staff at Pet Angels knew that we were looking for a Rottie and called us to come and meet him. Truthfully, we were a smidge hopeful with a dash of pessimism. That changed within one minute of meeting Archer. He was adorable, loving, obedient, and amazing! He was supposed to be my son’s dog and it was so sweet how quickly Archer took to him. Yes, even though Archer loves me too, he adores my son much more.
Total buds from the start.
He is ours and we are his.
The last eight months has been a time of getting to know each other. We learned that Archer had been trained on everything by his previous owners. He has a vocabulary of approximately 20ish words and he greets men and women strangers with positive expectation instead of fear. He is ready to get all the love from his new friends. I’ve had almost 7 foot men to barely 5 foot women as well as a squealing toddler here with him and he is gentle and fascinated with everyone. Sadly, we discovered after a week of having him that he has mild hip displasia. But, this means that we are the perfect furever home for him because we are a pretty chill household. (no, not lazy…. just chill) haha
He gets along great with other dogs also which is a tremendous relief to me! If he wanted to be the big dog at daycare, I would be mortified. ; ) Bouse Fur House assures me that he is a big goofball who demands laps to sit in while he is there. I’m a proud mommy.
Since Archer become part of our family, I joined two Facebook communities. It’s fun learning even more about this breed which goes against ALL the steriotypes I had mistakenly listened to over the years. This breed is large which means they need training immediately. This breed is smart which means their people need to stay two steps ahead of them to keep them out of harm. What I mean by that is… they can counter surf, they can problem solve, they can calculate risks and rewards – hence the title Rottenweiler. Finally, this breed is loyal, loving, and so much fun. I went from being overly nervous of having this breed of dog in our home to being head over heels in love and missing him when I’m at work.
If you have questions about Archer or want to know more about the groups I subscribe to on Facebook, please comment below and I will share what I’ve learned. I would also love to hear about YOUR furbaby(s) whether they are Rottenweiler’s like Archer, another breed of dog or other pets!
Have you ever been inspired to do something that was scary and outside your box of comfort? Perhaps you’ve said yes to that inspiration and then as the days went along, in the nitty gritty of finding your footing, a slight shift in the original idea took place?
This happened to me recently. I was inspired to start a blog that would be a place of encouragement and community. A place where others could visit to find a helpful tip, discover a place to travel, or put a smile on their face. Then I got into the weeds of the thing! The details of the how and the what, the figuring out of the technicalities, and then rubbing my temples at the mistakes and redo’s that inevitably happen the first month or so of a new venture.
The drive of my heart has always been to create and restore peace. Totally tall order for this big ole world, but one that is knit into the very fabric of my being. (I’m an Enneagram 9 if you are into that stuff!) So, quickly, I found myself stressed and over my head with the minutia. Has this happened to you?
But then, this morning I was reading Romans 11 and Paul’s words jumped out at me as if they had become 3-D! “For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.” I felt a strong nudge in my heart that I had derailed a bit from the original inspiration. At first, I tried to counter with “but….” however, I shut that down quick and agreed that I had become more consumed with getting content on the site that readers would like than getting content that would be impactful.
All day I pondered on this revelation and asked what would be HIS best for this blog going forward. Consequently, once a week – Lord willing and the creek don’t rise – we will share practical application devotions that come out of the scripture. We will be able to share what God is doing to use it in our lives and for His intended glory. I am confident that His Word will go out to you and it will not return to Him void. He promised it would be so! 😊
With all my heart I encourage you to seek God and ask Him what areas of your life were meant to give Him glory. The areas you have been tempted to make about anything except Him. Is it your career, your family, your education, your friends? All these areas are meant to provide an avenue to share Christ and bring your own special kind of life.
Maybe you’re asking what’s wrong with fun/simple blog posts about everyday things? Not one thing! My gentle nudge was about the lack of a spot for Him. Much like setting a place at the table for a loved one that you are expecting to show up! My desire is that there is a place set each week for Him to show up and speak to us – you and me!
Please leave a comment in the section below sharing ways that you have been encouraged to modify something in your life that He intended for His glory. Until next time….
Blogging = Coffee. At least that is what I notice first when I visit blogging sites. There it is, soft morning light, open laptop, possibly a pen and paper, and then yep…. right there, coffee.
You might be a coffee drinker. You might even be a coffee aficionado, but I can’t stand the stuff! I might be one of the very few people on the face of the earth that feels that way but I’m sorry, not sorry. 😊
I’ve long wondered why someone would choose to drink something so incredibly bitter, however I can understand that some palates prefer bitter. That said, I am amazed at the number of people that load “stuff” into their coffee to make it less bitter, essentially making it more like a dessert. Why not just get a dessert?? To each their own and I support all my unique friends who like all the frou-frou coffee drinks. I promise, I don’t love you any less.
What is my go-to drink?
If you don’t know me, you may be asking. If you do know me, you are yelling at the computer right now. lol
Dr Pepper is my jam. It’s my elixir of life every morning! (sad FYI fact: Disney World and Disney Land do not carry Dr Pepper. They believe that Mr Pibb (Coca-Cola) is an acceptable trade off. It is not, Disney. Smh)
Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?
I was introduced to Dr Pepper by my grandmother way back when I was about seven. She kept ordering me Root Beer to drink when we would go out, but one time she caved to my begging to try HER drink.
The clouds parted. Heavenly music began playing.
Rainbows appeared all around me.
Actually, no, I just completely fell in love with the flavor of Dr Pepper. It hit me in the feels, and I’ve been feelin’ it ever since. Also, no, it does NOT contain prune juice. It never has. 😊
The Dr Pepper Snapple Group has the following information: a young pharmacist, named Charles Alderton, in Waco, Texas invented the drink in 1885, making it the oldest major soft drink in the United States! It originated at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store where the first Dr Pepper fans asked for a “Waco”; it was later named Dr Pepper.
Follow this link for a fun look at the historical timeline and advertising logo changes over the centuries!
I like my Dr Pepper from a can or fountain with lots of ice. I’ve met fellow Dr Pepper lovers that prefer it out of a bottle. I don’t really care how my beloved tribe likes to drink theirs if they are enjoying it as much as I enjoy mine.
In honor of this first blog post dedicated to the oldest amazing delicious soft drink in the USofA, I will have fun taking new photos for my blog and social media pages that show not one drop of coffee anywhere near. (unless I’m having a guest who likes to drink coffee then I may show a tiny corner of their mug out of love for them. Lol)
Tell me, what is your favorite waking up, writing, relaxing, cooling off beverage? Let me know in the comments below!
I’ve been to Stillwater only once and it was when my sister graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in the mid 1990’s. That day was all about watching her achieve her goal and celebrating with her so we didn’t visit anywhere else besides the small business building that the ceremony took place. I have said “Let’s go to Stillwater and visit Eskimo Joe’s!” about once a year since then. Well, 2020 is the year we finally took that drive!
Yes, we saw Transformers!
Several years ago I started seeing Facebook pictures on my friends pages of two very large Transformers, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Turns out these statues are located in Stillwater at either end of 6th Avenue in front of the G & M Body Shops. The FAQ posted near the first statue we saw gave some interesting statistics:
The statue Optimus Prime is 22 feet tall;
Weight is approximately 5700 pounds;
It is made from recycled auto & motorcycle parts, metal shelving, and various household appliance pieces;
It took four months to create, three months in transit, one year for the G & M owner to rebuild it;
Next, we drove straight to “Stillwater’s Jumpin’ Little Juke Joint.” We were told the wait would be 45 minutes so we grabbed our buzzer and headed over to the store for some pre-shopping. It was busy for a Friday but everyone was wearing their masks and staying distant as much as possible. True to their estimate, 45 minutes later our buzzer went off. After being seated, we ordered Joe’s Cheese Fries (which were seasoned just right and loaded with delicious melted cheese), a Sweet Peppered Bacon and Cheddar Burger, a Sweet Peppered BLT, and Joe’s Pasta Salad. I had read lots of mixed reviews about the food before we left the house. The good news is that we liked everything we ordered and the waitress was friendly and attentive even though they were very busy. We learned that they were having a week of fun celebration events in honor of Eskimo Joe’s 45th anniversary and my son won an anniversary t-shirt by spinning the prize wheel.
Can’t NOT have dessert
Lastly, we took a leisurely drive around the Oklahoma State University campus which is truly beautiful! But there was one more place we were looking forward to visiting before heading back home. Down the final little side road near the OSU courtyard, we spotted it… Insomnia Cookies. Ohmylanta, the smell as you walk in the door is just heavenly. We ordered one M&M Classic, one Triple Chocolate Chunk, and one Cookies & Creme. The perfect way to end a trip. Every. Single. Time!
Stillwater Day Trip
For those of you looking for a quick day outing, this trip was a short hour and a half drive one way. It is the perfect day trip destination that I highly recommend.
What’s your favorite place to visit when in Stilly? Leave your comment below so that we can add it to our must sees.
My son, niece, and I took a short two hour drive this past week so that I could share this really cool museum with them before my niece goes back to Colorado. I truly could have taken hundreds of pictures while we were there but I wanted to be “in the moment” as much as possible and just…..be. When you go, make sure and eat or drink before entering because those things are a no-no. You probably already knew that, but just in case you didn’t…that’s my public service announcement! You’re welcome. lol
Crystal Bridges is located in Bentonville, Arkansas and although it is located in a neighbor state, this museum is well worth the visit. The link to their website will allow you to take virtual tours of the exhibits however, as soon as you are able, in person viewings are the absolute best way to get the entire scope and feel of the various art pieces.
A Little Background
Alice Walton, the daughter of Helen Walton and Walmart founder Sam Walton, founded Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and serves as chairwoman of the museum’s Board of Directors. There is much more about Alice on the website if you would like to learn more about her passion for the arts. The art housed at Crystal Bridges is truly fabulous – any way you slice it!
BTW – one of the staff told us that this was a melting windmill. We saw was a (’bout ready to pop) pregnant windmill. Do you? lol
Stopping to take selfies and impromptu photo shoots are always a must when my niece is in town!
We social distanced from everyone else! I promise!
See… no one around. (:
Last, but never least…
You might have heard about the gigantic art structure that used to be in the open foyer between the museum store and the art gallery. That structure has been moved and is now located outside on the art nature trail. Take a look of this terrifying art piece!
I hope you enjoyed looking at a few of the pictures of this fun (and fairly close) getaway! As an FYI, right next door to Crystal Bridges is a children’s science museum, Scott Family Amazeum. I don’t have little’s anymore or I would have checked it out also.
I would love for you to comment below if you have visited either museum and let me know what your favorite exhibit was!
I have a problem with a mole. Or a family of moles…I’m not sure. I had a feeling I had them but the evidence of new tunnels seemed to stop popping up for several months. Hoping that they (it, he, she??) had moved out of my yard, I continued to keep an eye out for the little tunnel dweller(s). Well, recently I went into my backyard and instantly saw the signs. Ugh! There were new mole trails with neat little mole volcano mounds in lots of new places. I decided it was time to learn how to get rid of moles!
Key google music. (wait… what would google music sound like?)
What Were My Options?
Turns out there are many ways to get rid of moles from non-lethal traps to lethal poisons. I was not confused about wanting to get rid of the moles but now I found myself significantly confused about which method I should use. If I went non-lethal, I would have to catch the critter(s) and actually see their squishy little mole face and nubby little fingers and toes. Then I would have to deal with the trauma of where I would release it!
Moles are most active during three different times of the day: 2-7 a.m., 11-4 p.m., and 8-11 p.m. Males are more active in February and March when they are searching for receptive females. On the other hand, females are more active in May and June when they need more food to nurse their young.
Moles: The Final Decision
Finally, I skipped over to Bobvila.com and at the end of the long article of humane and less humane methods to get rid of moles, he said it was better to try to live with them.
“Until you’re rid of the pesky critters, know that it can be OK and even beneficial to live with your underground neighbors for the time being. Their quick digging actually aerates your yard and circulates nutrients in the soil. Plus, a mole’s diet of grubs and other insects could get rid of pests that would otherwise eat at the roots of your plants. While you’re cohabiting, just follow a little bit of maintenance to be sure their shallow tunnels don’t completely disrupt the roots of your plants: Press any raised soil back into place with your foot, and water thoroughly so that the roots do not dry out.”
Well, I Guess They Are Here To Stay
At the end of my extensive Google research I have made the decision to just let them be. I guess this means I need to name it (them). Maybe Molebert, Molinda, Mollymole….? If you have a cute name that you think would fit this face, comment below!
The infamous peak tornado season for Oklahoma are the months April through June. May holds the record for the most touch downs. However, if you’ve lived in Oklahoma for more than a minute, you know that tornadoes happen when any strong system headed up from the gulf collides with any strong system coming down from Canada! ? Bearing this in mind, it is not surprising that the tornado numbers pick back up again in September and October.
In my fact checking adventure for this article, I learned a few interesting statistics. According to Weather.gov, Oklahoma had a record breaking 149 touchdowns in 2019 (105 taking place in the month of May)! Oklahoman’s can never be sure when we will have an unprecedented outbreak like 2019 or a quiet and mostly uneventful year like 2014 with a meager 16. Either way, I encourage you to collect the things from my tornado preparedness list below and add some of your own that fit your family’s unique needs. One family I know has backpacks for each family member to use in a weather emergency. What a great idea!
Fretting over the goods!
Being prepared in a tornado disaster situation is something that I somewhat fret over, plan for, purchase around, neglect, then finally use the purchases for other things until I am alarmed by another possible disaster which starts the whole process again. Does this sound familiar to you? Have you been the person that finally drank the stacked cases of bottled water to clear up room in the garage?
Where did the supplies go?
When news of COVID-19 hit the U.S., masses snatched up the most basic things like flour, chocolate chips, (we saw loads of cute “baking with my kids” posts), paper towels, and of course—toilet paper! Who knew that within a few weeks the nation would be wishing the Sears catalogs were still a thing? In my area of Oklahoma, the shelves are still woefully understocked of paper towels and toilet paper. But believe you me, I will never just grab the little four roll pack again! I did that a few weeks before “The Great T.P. Stampede” and regretted that decision to almost the last square. I now purchase at least the 9-pack every other paycheck…. just in case.
Which brings us to the tornado disaster list of things to gather for the infamous Oklahoma tornado season. What should be the top go-to items of our ‘nador disaster stash? Below is a top 12 list of things that I gather and why!
Top 12 items you need nearby in case of a tornado
Flashlights/batteries/candles – Power outages are a real issue whether it’s from damaging winds or an actual tornado. I make sure to have several around the house. Over the years I’ve discovered broken flashlights right when we needed them most.
Manual can opener – It only took one time of losing power for several days to make me a 21st century believer in manual can openers. Fun fact, I haven’t owned an electric one since that event.
Purse/wallet (drivers license, cash, credit card’s) – I keep my purse near me during extreme weather events. Just knowing that I will be in control of my money and identity after a significant weather disaster helps me to feel more secure.
First aid supplies – Flying debris is a shocking phenomenon! Pictures of wood beams going straight through concrete curbs will forever give me chills.
Pet food/leash – Please make sure your pet’s collar is on and that you have microchipped them in case they get separated from you.
Reading glasses – I must have them for everything… I’m that age.
Weeks supply prescription medications – If a disaster happens, it might take several days to get refills depending on how extensive the damage is in your area.
Cell Phone – Take the time to have it fully charged before the storm enters your area of the state.
Solar cell phone charger – This is a much more economical option than sitting in your car to charge your phone.
Keys – Hunting down your set of keys is an added stress you do not need in the event of a tornado.
Whistle – Absolute brilliant item to have on your person in case you need to make a loud sound to be rescued. Simply attach one to a your wrist or around your neck on a lanyard.
Shoes! – Please wear your shoes during a tornado threat and make sure your children have shoes on as well. It may seem weird or silly at 2:00 am but watching survivors walking around in areas with debris, exposed nails, downed trees, and broken glass will make a believer out of you!
I hope my list, as well as a few more in the links below, help your family to confidently prepare for a tornado event. Keep your eyes to the skies and stay safe, friends. If you have a great disaster preparedness plan, I would love to hear about it! Post your comment below.
For additional Oklahoma resources, visit and download these printable preparation documents from the Oklahoma government and Oklahoma State University websites.