Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Confessions of a sheet snob

Hey from Tulsa -- again! I'm back in the deadliest city in Oklahoma for another horse show. In the goal of saving some cash, I tried booking a hotel north of the fairgrounds, and it backfired on me. Driving to check in to the hotel, I started to see that I wasn't in the best neighborhood. I drove past the hotel -- and kept going! Thankfully, I was able to find another hotel in a better area for a little bit more money. And my reliable big brother once again played travel secretary for me, cancelling the icky motel reservation. (That reminds me: I still have to blog about the Boston cab experience.)

Who would think that Tulsa is a scary city? It is. Tulsa's murder, rape & assault rates are twice the national average -- and higher than in Oklahoma City! Not exactly an ideal vacation spot. So, you can understand why I went with my gut about the safety of my hotel. My life and peace of mind are worth another $15-20 per night, don't you think?

And that brings me to my confession: I am a sheet snob. I would love to know WHY so many hotel beds are made with flat sheets instead of fitted sheets. Seriously. I can't stand having to get up in the middle of the night and re-making the bed. It's a big pet peeve of mine -- please tell me I'm not the only one who doesn't get this?
It also bugs me when they don't get rid of the threadbare sheets. Really, how much does a new white sheet set actually set the hotel back?

Yeah, I know, major problems. :)

I'm leaving you with a quote that I saw on a church sign in rural Oklahoma:
"Don't be open-minded -- your brain will fall out."
Seriously. I swear to God.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lazy Saturday

I have never been so glad to be at home with no plans on a Saturday! I was in Tulsa most of the week "working" at a horse show. I use the word working lightly, as it did not go so hot as far as the number of clients. Oh well. I have to go back on Tuesday for a few days -- hopefully it will be busier.

We are having some fabulously cool August weather -- it's in the 70s. I love it. Today's only plan is to go next door to Alisen & Caleb's garden and harvest whatever is ready to eat. I have plans to make a yummy, fresh pizza for dinner. And if the muse hits, I may do some writing to flesh out an idea I had for a book.

I have an extra dog in the house this morning. Rowdy, my mom's heeler, decided to come over for an unauthorized visit. I know he was lonely, as our dear Rocky is gone, and haven't the heart to punish him this once. The boys have been uncharacteristically quiet, and I know they miss the old boy. It has not been a good year for pets in this family.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Smooth Moves

There's nothing like a perfectly blended fruit smoothie to end the day. With the abundance of fresh fruit, I could live on these. My favorite: blackberries, peaches, yogurt and a little flaxseed. Yum.

I went on a quick trail ride this morning and got home just before the skies opened up and gave us some much-needed rain. I had an outdoor project planned -- to take advantage of the cooler weather -- but postponed it yet again. Instead, I worked on a new business idea I have and cleaned up my bedroom. It's still the only room downstairs I haven't painted. I was thinking of a chocolate brown & soft pink, but now am leaning toward the chocolate with a slate blue. I can't make up my mind. Whatever color I end up with, it definitely won't be as dramatic as the bathroom.

My biggest disappointment of the day was the Favre-Jets deal. Call me a traitor, a dreamer or whatever, but I was still holding out hope he'd go to the Vikings. We may end up with what's-his-name Pennington, who was released from the Jets. It looks like another typical Purple season -- and they are still in training camp in Mankato.

Looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully, I'll have something more exciting to blog about than smoothies & paint colors.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Road Conditions

One of my least-favorite things about living in "the hollow" are the road conditions. Potholes big enough to house a family of four. Rednecks who drive too fast on the wrong side of the road. A lack of maintenance by the road department.

{Of course, I should point out that we are lucky: there's usually very little traffic, it's a gorgeous setting -- especially in the summer with the shady canopies created by the trees.}

No. 1 on the list of Thomas Hollow complaints has been a big dip in the road that's been there since March or April. And I'm not exaggerating -- it's like a giant reverse speed bump. When we had all that flooding this spring, a culvert was washed out by my house. The road grader stopped by a day or so later and pulled out the big steel pipe that lets the water run under the road (vs. over it). He set it by the side of the road, and that was the sum of the repairs.

And so it's been painful to watch out my kitchen window as people navigate their way through! Some are unfamiliar with the road and are going way too fast, risking breaking an axle. The UPS and FedEx drivers don't really care if they wreck their vehicles. And people pulling trailers for construction work or transporting cattle have to crawl through the dip, dragging their trailer through.

Finally, yesterday, relief! The road department came out and -- in the span of just a few hours -- fixed the culvert. No more dip in the road. It only took a few months to get 'er done.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Time flies

So Alisen brought it to my attention today that I haven't blogged in almost a week. It's not like I have the excuse of being busy (unless you count staying cool?) or out of town. I just haven't been motivated to sit at the computer and type!

It's been in the mid-high 90s the past few days. The only relief is to stay in the air conditioning or in the water. I've been staying occupied cleaning the house & rearranging some furniture. I moved my desk to create a cozy little reading nook, complete with a cowhide on the floor and a hand-me-down recliner in the corner.

But enough of that. I had a fabulous weekend! Saturday night was the first "Farm to Table" dinner event, created & hosted by the Wardlaw clan. It was quite a treat -- delicious food in a beautiful setting with great people. We feasted on foods made from local produce & meat: homemade bread, tomato-cucumber gazpacho, fresh green beans & baby potatoes, sweet corn on the cob, Jamaican rub chicken, deviled eggs and fresh-from-the-oven peach cobbler. I think I ate a week's worth of calories in that one sitting.

After stuffing ourselves, we were treated to a movie under the stars, literally. They had a movie screen & projector set up, so we watched "Ratatouille" as the fireflies came out. And -- as is tradition at Thomas Hollow parties -- people gathered around the fire pit to play music. I can't wait for the next dinner!

Sunday, I spent most of the day lounging in the water at the Blue Hole. It was a great way to end the weekend (thanks, Brandi, for inviting me along!).

That's the blog. Nothing super-exciting, which is fine by me, as the next couple of months are going to be busy.