Family (Whoa!) Lizards


All you need is a reliable car and go!  Our rule, me and Eddi, is no interstates.  Mostly, we travel on 2 lane roads.  Most times we stay in Oklahoma but a few times, we have strayed into Texas.  We live about 45 minutes from the Texas border so its not hard to stray there.  We love antique stores where I love cookbooks and he loves tiny copper toys or sharp objects.  Most times we don’t stop anywhere, except for snack stops, just keep driving.

One of our favorite spots is Chickasaw National Recreation, or Sulpher area.  Sulpher is the small town where the park is located.  We even love driving thru town and finding new routes thru the town.  Since Eddi is under 18, we can’t go to the small casino but the candy shop on the other side of the hotel is game.  Its the only hotel in town with casino on one side and others shops, including the candy store, on the other side.  There’s a bluff that over looks the entire town by the Veterans Lake that we enjoy visiting.  Eddi tends to freak out his mother by going to the edge of the bluff.  Driving around the park is very relaxing, the sulpher spring runs thru the park and the deer know they are not hunted so they run everywhere.  You have to go low speed at dusk because the deer love to run across the road, perfect time to take pictures of the local wildlife.

Another favorite is Mountain Lake, near Ardmore, Oklahoma.  We go the back way thru a small town near Ardmore and it takes us about a hour to get there.  We even walk on the walkway at the dam on the lake.  Its a prime fishing spot for the area and the drive is pretty relaxing.    Lots of spiders so I let Eddi go first, although the last few times, we took the bearded dragon, Hangry, with us.  He likes to ride on the dash of the car and watch everything.

Hangry loves being perched on the dash, soaking up the rays.  He doesn’t move from his spot.  Last couple of times, Eddi has been sleeping in and doesn’t want to come so I just pick up the lizard and off we go.  I love going to a small town and finding all the old stores and schools no longer open.  Some people take a camera but all I take is my phone, to take my photos.  I love old barns and churches.  Thru it all, Hangry sits in his favorite spot or perched on our chests.  Its so relaxing to just drive and not worry about life’s problems.  For us, road trips happen on the weekend because I have the weekends off so everyone is sleeping in but me. I get curious about what is down that road and just have to drive down to see.  It could be a dead end or it could connect to another road and keep going on.  Its gotten to where I put an extra twenty or so in my budget so I can gas up on my weekend road trips and not mess up the daily gas mileage.
Here is some delightful books…

Have fun…Darlene

Family (Whoa!) Shopping toys


Have you seen this?  I ordered this, thinking that the grand-niece and nephew would enjoy this.  Its been 4 days and the adults are having more fun than the kids who have been gone.  Eddi and Elysia have been having fun with these round little things.  The kids got to see them for about 5 seconds as they were going home.  I have been told to order more because the 20 or so pieces I got, are not enough.  I even, at the age of 50, got stuck playing with them when they arrived in the mail.  lol

   I’m gonna have to order this large pack, just to satisfy everyone.  They love legos and games like Minecraft.  They are my little nerds and their dad taught them to build worlds on Minecraft.  They are quite good at it.

I wonder about this one?  The robot looking thing looks like it could be fun.  I imagine that “Godzilla” (me) would have fun smushing these as they build them.  Baby Jacub could help me. The other one is too expensive but looks interesting.

Look at these beauties.  Boy, am I gonna have to budget for more toys.  I’m gonna go for now.  Have fun.  Darlene

death Family (Whoa!)


Mom has been gone for about a week and half.  I still haven’t cried.  Nette cries, here and there, most days, missing Mom.  Christine injured her eye and has those awful sunglasses they give you at the hospital… I was joining them in the suv when I see her, she looks exactly like our mom, huddled in a jacket that I used to loan Mom.  For a sec there, I thought it was our Mom.  We know she is gone but we are glad she is not suffering anymore.

Mourning is different for everyone.  Some are broken by death while others seem to be not broken at all.  No way is the right way.  Its not a one size fits all kind, of things.   My way is right for me and Nette’s way is best for her, neither is wrong.  I hope I do get to cry but its not going to kill me if I don’t.  I’m grateful that I had 50 years with my Mom and I’m going to miss talking with her.  Mourning doesn’t have to be this big thing, it can be quiet.  I have never went thru depression, so those with depression, it can hit them like a mack truck.  Remember that your emotional well-being will affect your health.  I had a simple cold but the day after, it got worse.  In the two years since my last health scare, I have been healthy-ish, no headaches, no dizzy spells, and no allergies but then wham!  I’m still sick-ish, 95% over this cold.

It took me longer to get over my brother-in-law’s death.  He was my best friend and my big brother who watched my back.  I lead a boring life so I never need his help in that regards, except for when we run into his drunk old uncle who wanted in my pants.  I will never forget my last words to him.  Me and Christine had taken him to the ER because his legs were hurting so bad.  They released him and so we went home.  The kids said, “I love you,” and went on to bed.  Ed turned to his wife, Christine, and said, “I love you,” and I was fixing to go down the hall, when I turned, and said, smart-alecky, “I love you too!” Messing with him like that was my hobby, so he grinned at me and rolled his eyes at me.  That was the last time I saw him alive.  I sobbed like a baby at his memorial service.  Every death is going to hit you different. And some days, you will think you’re over the worst part when bam! You’re back in the car with devastation rushing towards a telephone pole.

Crying doesn’t make you weak.  Sometimes you need a time out to mourn.  Some need more help than others.  You don’t know how you will react until it happens. Enjoy the time you do have and don’t forget to tell them how you feel, you might never get another chance.

Family (Whoa!)


Monday, I got what mere humans call a head cold. I was miserable on the scale of 1 -10 being the “corona”, I was at a 2. My nose wasn’t even runny just a bit stopped up. Nette was back home after spending a week in the hospital due to complications to an infecttion. Early Tuesday morning, around 2:30 am, Nette gets a call, saying that our Mom had passed away.

I wanted to cry like Nette was doing, but I couldn’t. I expect it will hit in the next week or two. The next few days, we have been telling stories about Mom. Being diabetic means emotional stress makes us sicker. My cold went from a 2 to a 5 by Wednesday and Christine got some sinus swelling in her eye. By Friday, she couldn’t see out the corner of her left eye. All I wanted to do is cough up gunk and sleep all day.

Mom was 72 and had been a diabetic for about 40 years. She had a learning disability which is why she didn’t graduate till she was 21. She wan’t overly demonastive or tell us she loved us every day but we knew without a doubt that she loved us. She had a killer “resting bitch face,” that scared most folks. She was super quiet, shy, a real homebody.

When I was 2, it was discovered that I had throat cancer. After more tests, it became not cancer but polyps. They were reaccuring and grew on the esophogus and windpipe, making me have numerous surgeries, mom says at least a hundred, by the time I was eighteen. When I was 3 till I was 6, I had a tracheostomy (tube in my neck) so I had to have constant care. Mom was the one who was there and made sure I had a normal childhood. She was always our biggest cheerleader. She taught us to keep moving, to not let anything stop us.

Her favorite color was brown. Who loves brown? But she did, She was a housewife to a man who was not faithful and very lazy. He couldn’t keep a job so when I was 14, she got a job in home health and kept at it till in her 50’s. When I was 17, us 4 girls ganged up on our father and kicked him out of the house. This was in the 80’s when sex abuse became known. She always believed us over him and never looked back. The last 8 years, she lived with Nette with EW showing up later. We let Ew mooch money off her so she could see her youngest daughter but our Mom knew we didn’t approve of her. We repected our mom too much to actively fight EW over stuff and it allowed Mom to play dumb over EW’s actions.

I think EW is going to be mad when we tell her that we are cremating our Mom, not burying her like she wanted. She had about 6 grand saved for her burial but last year she used it to tear down our childhood home that had become an eyesore. So whatevery money she had saved will go to pay for her cremation. She was always there for us and we will miss her alot.

Family (Whoa!)


About five years ago, we did a new tradition at Christmas time. Quite by accident. Eddi was into nerf guns, big time, so for Christmas, all of us in the immediate family bought him nerf guns. You would be amazed at how many nerf guns there are, even the imitation ones. One shot, multiple shots or the machine gun type. When his big sister learned he was getting guns for the holiday, she wanted some too.

A rule in our family, a Christmas gift cannot exceed 20 dollars. 30 dollars is the highest, on the rare occasion. Santa Claus only brings one present per household and family members give each other gifts. We don’t believe in expensive gifts but in charity and morality. Its not good for a child to get everything. I once threatened Eddi with “socks for Christmans” when he was misbehaving, he quickly straightened up, Our living room is not very big so its crowded on the holidays.

Christmas day was awesome. Everyone loved their gifts and was borrowing Eddi’s guns. Renee shot Eddi and suddenly everyone was grabbing one of the nerf guns and firing their guns. Utter pandemonium happened as everyone got into position and was firing their rounds at everything that moved. I couldn’t fire my gun so much, I was too busy laughing at all the chaos. I was hiding behind the cushions on the couch since I was laughing so hard to even get up, run and hide. You think it would die down once all the ammo was spent but we kept returning the ammo or using it on our own guns. The war lasted about an hour or two until it was time to eat.

Ever since this war, Eddi gets a few guns and we have a war on Christmas morning. Its rather fun. Eddie even puts his guns in a gym bag and initiates gun battles in the neighborhood during that first year. The girls love him because they get guns too and even teaches them how to shoot em. When we hear screaming, we know that they are having a war.


Diabetic Life


  For a long time I denied that I was a diabetic.  But when you wake up barfing morning after morning, well you have to go visit the doc.  THEN, even after that, you kinda accept it but won’t listen to what the doctor tells you, it takes another wake-up call to make you listen.  Imean I am living with my widowed sister, Christine, who is a type 2 diabeticraise her two kids so its not like all of this diabetes stuff is new.  Her journey starts with 2 kids (6 yrs apart) then 5 yrs after that DKA illness that put her in a coma for a week, to take care of her sugar. 

   To give you some history, Ed, her hubby and my best bro in law died of diabetes/ high blood pressure issues (heart attack)and it doesn’t stop there.  My mother and all 5 of her sisters are diabetics.  Her own mother was also a diabetic.  Her two sisters were also fiabetic.  you get the picture… Womenfolk in our line are diabetics.  I have both kinds in our family.  Mom only has one sister still alive. 

So, when I say I avoided the “D” word I meant it.  But as with diabetes, high bllod pressure wasn’t far behind.  I didn’t even listen then.  Until I started getting blinding headaches.  one morning, headache was so bad, i clled in sick.  Hours later, my vision blurred.  Next day, still suffering I went to work but couldn’t even see the words on my computer screen, I decided I was too sick.  I drove home, yes, my vision was still blurry, and crawled in bed.  I thought it was my allergies but when I woke up. I couldn’t speak! I knew the words but getting them onto my tongue was not happening.  My nephew grew concerned when I threw a pickle at him but then Christine (who was also my boss) came in gearing up to start trying to talk me into going to the hospital, she was sure surprised when I just nodded.  To cut this short, I stayed in hospital for a week, getting poked and prodded, and I only remained speechless for about 2 days.  After 3 yrs, they can’t decide if it was a small stroke or a brain dohickey. 

   Lesson inall this…TAKE YOUR DAMN MEDICINE.  I’m lucky.  When I started my journey, my A1C was a 7.8, now it’s a good 6.2.  Figure out what foods are good and which ones are bad for you.  My sugar runs 150 in the mornings but if is in the 300 range, I have to throw up.  I take a liitle pill, glipizide, and control what i eat.  I snack all thru the day but have a big supper then a small snack before bed.  I can’t have a whole lot of meat because it runs my sugar up too much.  Because of a orevious illness, I don’t eat alot of veggies so my doc understood and prescribed vitamins to help with that. 

   Well, I’ve got to do some shopping so I’ll see ya later.  Be nice to each other and we’ll talk later.      Darlene



Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

I like to cook but only simple stuff. I am no gourmet, no flashy “lay oregano on top to give it more flair” type. I am a very picky eater so I tend to tweak recipes to suit me. #3 sister, Christine, tends to do most of the cooking now. I used to do most of the cooking but gradually Christine has taken over that job and I let her.

I love going to garage sales and finding old cookbooks for only a dollar. but with this corona virus thang going on, not a lot of folks are putting on garage sales. I like them in the 50’s-60’s but if you can find them older, its a treasure.

I buy new ones too because I know that Christine bought an instapot and loves the thing. Microwave meals are interesting. I get excited for the little spiral notebook kinds, you know the ones that churches put out to fund raise. I have a cousin who loves anything pioneer woman. The really big ones I can usually find at antique stores. You wouldn’t believe a 14 year old nerd/heathen would go to an antique store with us but he will. Eagerly, in fact. He loves the copper toys while we look at everything. We have learned over the years to look in the back of the store for the books. Plain american food is what I like. But I do like to buy others, especially chinese since they all love chinese dishes.

I’m not into garnishing my food since 5 seconds after you put food in front of their faces, they start shoveling it in. We recently moved #2 sister in, various health problems, plus Renee, (my niece,who lives with boyfriend but comes over most days) and her 3 kids, that makes 8 or so people in the house that eat alot. Yep, I am the kind of diabetic that has to eat several times a day plus a big meal for supper. I snack all thru the day to keep the sugar high enough. A 20 oz Pepsi usually takes me 2 days to finish. I try to limit my caffeine since it tends to make me sleepy. Yep, I have a small allergy to caffeine, I can’t even have coffee. I love plain ol water, although I will at times at flavor packets to it.

My dream library would be filled with cookbooks of all kinds. I still go thru the book sections at the local Wal-Mart to just look at all the nice new cookbooks that I need to buy when I win the lottery. lol

I will root around my amazon and ebay stuff to see if I have any interesting books. I usually have a list of books I want but that are not in my budget right now. I will add them later…keep checking back.

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