Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm late, I'm late!

Jan Meng's studio at Hungry Holler

First of all, my apologies. I’ve been quite remiss with my blogging and commenting of late, but I will catch up with you all real soon. My arm is finally on the mend, and this week I have been frantically trying to catch up with the housework, and shopping prior to the holiday. And, as most of you know, if you don’t find me here, you’ll find me slaving over a hot stove at my other blog, Range Warfare. :-)

I hope everyone has had a very happy Thanksgiving. It’s not an English thing, but we’re certainly not averse to the time off. I am often asked what we do in England at Thanksgiving. My answer is always the same – nothing, because we have bugger all to be thankful for in England. Only joking folks. :-) Personally, I think I won the lottery of life being born British.

But I did cook us a roast dinner, not turkey though, as we like to have turkey at Christmas. We had roast lamb, and Mick made some mint sauce to go with it. It’s the first lamb we have had since we moved to Oklahoma 4½ years ago, it just doesn’t seem to be a very popular meat here. We bought this lamb joint on a recent trip to Missouri, but we have since managed to talk a local butcher into getting some for us. We also had roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, veggies and lashings of gravy, so basically, a traditional English Sunday lunch.

On Thanksgiving Day, the weather was absolutely perfect, sunny and about 68°F. Today, is quite a different story. I awoke to snow this morning! Temps are now in the low 40’s, and below freezing at night. Brrrrr! I’m not complaining too much, as I would far rather be cold than hot, and it’s a good reason for a log fire.

Also, if you’re interested, you can find my latest article for Oklahoma Living magazine here:

Oh, and btw, the typos are not mine, that should read wander/wandering.

The article is about a recent visit to a local arts center called, Hungry Holler, home of renowned artists, Jan and Marc Meng. Jan is a self confessed gourdphile, who creates beautiful works of art from homegrown gourds. The article shows some of her work on exhibit in their small rustic gallery. If you’d like to see more, check out their web site at:

A Gourd decorated with recycled bottle caps

Marc is known as the Zen Spoonmaster as he lovingly handcrafts cooking utensils from woods such as maple, wild cherry and walnut. Each spoon he creates is totally unique and will last a lifetime. Also the spatulas are made for right and left handed cooks.

I have begun my own collection as you can see below. I really enjoyed my visit to Hungry Holler and will certainly be making a return trip.

On a little side note. I posted about this article on Range Warfare and several people asked me where the spoons were, as it seems they have disappeared from their web site. When I checked it out, I noticed that they have updated the site, and I have e-mailed Jan Meng to find out what’s happened to the spoons. I’m sure it’s just a temporary glitch, and I’ll get back to you about it as soon as I hear. But check out the gourds anyway, they are fabulous.

Also a big Thank You to Sarah, I just noticed your comment about the award. I'll post about this real soon.

I hope you all have a good week.

Toodle pip for now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh Deer!

It’s true what they say, it doesn’t rain but it pours. Not only am I still having problems with my arm, but last week, Mick hit a deer on his way to work. He was driving on a two-lane highway, with a 55-MPH speed limit, when the deer ran right out in front of him and stopped. He had no chance to brake, or swerve to avoid it. The deer went right across the bonnet (hood).

The result:
Damage to Mick – zero
Damage to car – bad, but repairable
Damage to deer – terminal.

At first glance, the car doesn’t look too bad,

but one headlight is smashed, the bonnet (hood) is dented and warped,

and the side panel is cracked and hanging loose.

But at least Mick was only shaken, not stirred, and that’s the main thing. Still, one cannot help but wonder, what else is going to go wrong?
On a brighter note...
One of my friends got married at the weekend. She is, or was, a member of my writer’s group, The Grand Lake Wordsmiths. The blushing bride is a septuagenarian, and her beau, an octogenarian. I wish them lots of love and happiness in their future lives together. C. is moving to Missouri, and will be sadly missed by the writer’s group, she is an excellent writer and a masterful poet. Sorry, about the photo, they all came out a bit dark.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Would you believe it’s now two weeks since Alvin bit me, and my arm is still not completely healed? One of his teeth went particularly deep, and it’s this that is still causing me problems. To compound matters, I had an allergic reaction to the first lot of antibiotics, and the bottom half of my face swelled up until I looked like a hamster with lip enhancements. Alvin, of course, made a full and quick recovery from his ailment, and shows no signs of remorse for having maimed his mummy.

Anyway, last week, just to add to my woes, I had to get a story into Oklahoma Living magazine by Wednesday, and typing was very difficult. But, not having much choice in the matter, I did it anyway. I am such a martyr to my trade. :-)

Writing with a pen or pencil was also very painful, worse than typing in fact, and I really can’t start my day without a cup of tea and my crossword. My favorite crossword is the cryptic one from a Scottish newspaper called The Herald. It’s one of the few newspapers that still offers a free printable crossword on-line every weekday. If you’re interested you can find it here:
I could have done the on-line version, but it’s just not the same. To me crosswords have to be done on paper.

Just to digress a moment, although the crossword was invented by an American, the Brits took the idea and came up with the cryptic crossword. These are particularly tricky crosswords, as you have to work out what the clue means before you can answer it. It’s like a battle of wits, and sometimes all out war, between the compiler and the solver.

Anyway, unable to do my crossword, I came across a word game on-line called Bookworm, and now I’m hooked. If you want to check it out you can find it here:
But I warn you, it’s addictive. I am now having to wean myself off it, but at least it kept me occupied during my incapacity.

I am a huge fan of word puzzles and word games, particularly Scrabble, but then I suppose words are my stock and trade. I call them worms, because they are so squiggly and squirmy that they wriggle away from you just when you need them the most.

On a final note, a big thank you to everyone who stopped by and commiserated with me in my hour of need, I really appreciated it.

Toodle pip for now.