Saturday, August 30, 2008


Namaste, as I understand it, can mean "hello" or "good-bye." While its literal meaning is close to "I bow to you," it is actually a more profound greeting along the lines of "the divine spark in me recognizes the divine spark in you." The word was also the name of Edmond's only Indian restaurant. Owned and run by Yamini Jonnada and her family, Namaste served wonderful food -- Jack was addicted to their lamb korma and I dream about their spinach pakora -- along with great helpings of warmth and charm. Tonight was their last night. I saw an item to that effect in the paper this morning. Jack and I were dismayed when we got to the door and saw a note that said "Closed for private party. All welcome." The message was confusing but when we went in and asked, we were invited in. The family had prepared a marvelous buffet for any of their customers who came by. "No charge, we're closed," we were told. What a gracious way to say "Namaste." We enjoyed our meal, though it was seasoned with sadness. Yamini says they hope to find another location and will be catering in the meantime. So if you want some marvelous Indian food for your next party (and you're in the central Oklahoma area), call 405-326-3647. I'll let you know when a new restaurant opens.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Like a Rat in a Trap....

Rocky showed up at 4:00 yesterday afternoon -- getting to be like clockwork. I put Roxie in her crate -- didn't want another broken window. Jack had gotten the squirrel trap out of the attic and I put dogfood in it. I went back later only to discover that Rocky had moved the trap -- the dog food fell through the bottom -- and had cleaned up the food. Imagine my surprise when Jack came in this morning and said that Rocky was in the trap. Poor little guy! But he made very large, very ugly noises when we carried it to the car. He pretty much filled the trap and we weren't sure he could turn around. I'd called animal control but they couldn't say when they'd pick him up and I didn't want him spending any more time in the trap than necessary, so Jack and I took him to the woods close to Lake Arcadia. Always prepared, I had a pair of needle-nosed pliers and a 7-iron. Jack got the door open easily (no need for pliers) but Rocky didn't seem to catch on. Jack picked up the trap and tried to dump him out, but he clung to the bottom of the cage. We set the cage back down on the ground and, using the golf club, I tipped it up a bit. Rocky figured it out and scampered away, but, oh, the language he used as he headed for the trees would probably get him bleeped on Animal Planet. My biggest concern now -- I hope he was an only child!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In the Doghouse

We live on about an acre in a wooded part of town. When we first moved here, we were in the country. We had quail in our back yard. Over the last 35 years, town has grown up around us. Wildlife has suffered from loss of habitat. I've always enjoyed the critters who wandered into the yard -- the ugly 'possum we named Ol' Roy and his daintier partner, even the mother skunk with the two babies who visited summer before last. But our latest visitor is on my last nerve. It's a precious little raccoon. Roxie has taken an extreme dislike to this little interloper and is determined to put an end to the invasion. I saw the raccoon in the yard last week, then heard a loud crash. Yep, Rox had spotted Rocky Raccoon and tried to go through one of the panes in the front bay window. The glass man came yesterday and quoted us a price of $125 to replace the pane and said he'd come back tomorrow afternoon. The raccoon returned this afternoon. You got it. Rox did it again. Perhaps we'll get a deal on the second pane. There are 30 panes in the bay window so Rox has 28 to go. Realistically, she can probably only reach the bottom 12 panes -- but she can always do the same ones over again. We now have the baby gate up so she can't get into the living room. I may have to buy another baby gate to go over the low window in my office -- she knocked that one out year before last. I love the decor -- vintage prison!!!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Oregon Coast

I got an email today from Rebecca Morris who's with the Oregon Coast Visitors Association -- they have a new web site. My trip to the coast between Lincoln City and Yachats was one of the best ever. Fabulous scenery, great food, super people and lots to do and see. I'm putting up a couple of pics from my trip but I suggest you go to for more.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This Old House

Proudly claiming its space on Calabasas' busy main street (part of the famous Camino Real) is the Leonis Adobe, a venerable structure that has been rooted to this spot since 1844. It's hard to recognize the original building -- it has been enlarged over the years -- but it has endured earthquake and development and stands to share its history with those who take time to stop in.
Miguel Leonis, from the Basque region of France, was a smuggler who had to take it on the lam. By marrying an Indian woman, Espiritu Chijulla, he acquired considerable land and livestock. Over the years he added to his holdings, controlling vast tracts of land by both fair means and foul. When he died, he left his wife a pittance.
Espiritu, whose family holdings had not been inconsequential, took the matter to court -- a bold move for a woman in those times. She received a fair settlement and lived on the property until her death in 1906.

My friend Lin loves history and the Adobe. She loves the educational program offered there -- children not only learn about the history but how early Californians lived. Turkeys, chickens, sheep, goats, horses and long-horned cattle bring the farmyard to life and docents demonstrate home arts like baking in the outdoor oven and making tortillas. (Leonis himself was a snob and insisted on French bread)

Lin is especially fond of Daisy, one of the resident longhorns. She shared this story about her grand-daughter -- a cautionary tale about literal interpretation. Lin and Ross were getting ready to leave town and she told her then-three-year-old grand-daughter, "Catherine, Daisy's going to have her baby while we're gone so I want you to be sure and call me when she has it." Days later Lin got a call from the excited little girl. "Nan, Nan, Daisy had her baby! And Nan -- it was a cow!" Lin says she had a Far Side-style vision of Daisy in a rocking chair, her udder in her lap, cuddling a swaddled baby.

Daisy, who's retired from motherhood, was hot and tired the day we visited -- not really in the mood to pose for a picture.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Too Busy to Blog

Wow! We've been going at a break-neck pace the last few days. The Porters could run a press tour any day. Day before yesterday we toured the Reagan Presidential Museum -- the most magnificent setting overlooking a wide valley. We didn't do the exhibits justice (just like a press tour!) -- it would have taken a much longer visit to really examine and absorb all the information there. My favorite exhibit was on the diaries President Reagan kept during his two terms. That such a busy person could take time to write every day impressed me. After the assassination attempt, his entry read, "Getting shot hurts." Lin loved the plane -- Air Force One. Jack loved the jelly beans on his desk.
The next day -- yesterday -- we visited the Getty Villa at Malibu. This was the original Getty Museum, a copy of the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneaum (destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D.) When the new Getty was built, a lot of the art was moved there and the Villa was reserved for ancient art. I've never seen such a fine collection of Greek pottery -- but my favorite thing was a room made of over a dozen kinds of marble. The floor patterns throughout the villa were gorgeous. And the gardens were exquisite. Lin and I spent a lot more time than the guys -- but they found a shady spot and sat until we were ready to leave. What good sports!
Today, after church, we went to Pacific Palisades to the Will Rogers State Historic Park. This is where Will, Betty and their children lived from 1927 until his death in 1935 and Betty's in 1944.
They originally had 186 acres; the property now is about 150. They first built a small house for weekend getaways but Will missed the wide open spaces and they enlarged the home. When I read that it has 31 rooms and 11 bathrooms, I expected something grand. Silly me! I should have known our Oklahoma favorite son would not have forgotten his down-to-earth roots. The house is large and rambling but so unpretentious! They even had a porch swing from their Beverly Hills home hanging in the living room. When they lived in Beverly Hills, sometimes Will would come home from work, flop down on the porch swing for a nap, then take off again. Betty insisted that it be put in the house so she could keep track of him!
The grounds include a polo field where the game is still regularly played, a four-hole golf course Will had built to help a friend rehab from a plane accident, stables and riding rings and lots of space for hiking. On a cooler day, it would have been fun to hike up to the highest point on the ranch, Inspiration Point, for the view. The house had an ocean view in Will's time, but the trees have grown so tall, it's obscured now.
The stables were almost fancier than the house. They would have been fancier but a friend suggested that they were going to rival the Capitol. Will had the partially finished building torn down and a smaller version erected -- he didn't want to be accused of "putting on airs."
Will Rogers was such an amazing person -- successful in every medium of his day -- and yet so humble. I'm so afraid that younger generations don't know who he was. He's the epitome of a good American -- it's hard to think of a public figure today who has had such a positive influence on society.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Malibu Moment

Paradise Cove is a privately owned stretch of beach with a long-time, local favorite restaurant and a nice curve of sand. For those old enough -- and willing to admit to watching a lot of TV -- the only thing missing is Rockford's trailer. Yes, this is where the Rockford Files with James Garner was set. Lin and I walked along the firm sand at the water's edge -- getting our pants legs wet when the waves came in farther than we expected. It was a great scene, with small children jumping and playing in the water and would-be surfer dudes waiting for the giant rollers that never came. Dinner was excellent -- we ate outside with our feet in the sand. The clam chowder was, if not the best I've ever eaten, a top contender. Everything else was wonderful, too, and by meal's end we were stuffed as any well-prepared flounder. About that time we watched a dessert go by. I tackled the waiter, requesting a photo before it was served. Honest to goodness -- cake on steroids! I'll count the layers when I get home and see the photo (which I'll post here later) but imagine a couple of layer cakes stacked on top of one another (not your dinky 8-inchers, either) then cut in thirds. That was about the size of it. And who ordered this gargantuan goody? Three skinny women. Life is definitely not fair!
P.S. In case you're wondering about the big-momma blister -- I went to a walk-in medical clinic yesterday. The doctor doubted my diagnosis of shingles shot reaction but had no alternative theories to offer. The nurse lanced all eruptions, slathered neosporin on a bandage and covered the whole thing up. I plan to leave it that way until the bandage rots and falls off -- the way I deal with anything smacking of yucky.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Big Mother Blister

Okay, this is just nasty! But I'm curious as to whether anyone else out there has had this reaction to a shingles shot. I had a shingles shot just over two weeks ago. My arm was red and itched for a number of days. It was okay for long enough that when I got an itchy bump on the spot, I assumed it was a bite. Well, guess what. If it was a bite, I'd hate to see what did it. I have a blister the size of a dime and it looks like one of those bubble wrap bubbles. It has several baby bubbles around it. The area around it is pink and slightly itchy. It doesn't hurt. But it looks awful -- like a bladder growing on my arm! I've checked the internet for shingles shot reactions and can't find anything like it. And, of course, I'm a thousand miles away from my doctor. It doesn't hurt and I keep thinking it will get smaller, but it's making my friends very nervous.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Okie Pride

Today we visited Ojai, California, a charming and quirky little town where our friends' daughter lives. Rosalyn took Lin and me to the coolest book store -- Bart's Books. The place is put together like a house of cards. It started with a little house but now a maze of out-of-doors (but roofed-over) areas has been added on. Even the outside walls of the store have book shelves with books that stay out. A sign by the door says, "When closed, please throw coins in slot in the door for the amount marked on the book. Thank you." I loved it that the music playing was "If I ever get back to Oklahoma, I'm going to nail my feet to the ground." When I get home, I must check on the group's CDs -- it was Jason Boland and the Stragglers, a red-dirt band made up of members from Texas and Oklahoma. Roger Ray, brother of Bart's owner Dave Ray, plays steel guitar and dobro with the band. Cool, huh?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How Last Year Am I?

Jack and I have just spent the last day and a half in Beverly Hills -- getting acquainted with Rodeo Drive and checking out all the ultra-swank shops. Now we're in Calabasas with our friends Lin and Ross Porter. As Lin and I walked her dog Buster around their neighborhood lake, we met several of her friends and acquaintances. All wanted to know if I were writing about Calabasas. I replied that my article was about Beverly Hills. They quickly assured me that BH was passe; that all the really chic people were now in Calabasas. They even went so far as to suggest that Beverly Hills was "passe." "That's okay," I told them, "so is Oklahoma!" Only in the best way, of course.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Fishing Fan

My folks were big fishermen and my grandparents often fished for food. My husband wasn't raised fishing and I don't particularly like eating fish, so we just never go fishing. But now I know why my folks loved it so much. While on the Grace Anne II, I got to try two different kinds of fishing. (Our fishing boats arrived in formation!)

I got up with the sun both mornings to fish for muskie. These magnificent fish can grow up to almost five feet long and are prized for their fight. The rod and reel used are sturdy and the lures are the size of a nice pan-sized fish. The technique involves casting and reeling in, giving a final figure eight with the lure before pulling it out and casting again. By the second morning I was feeling pretty proud of myself. I didn't snarl the line on the reel once. I didn't catch any fish -- but I saw one. As I did my figure eight, I saw a silver streak in the water. He didn't bite. I asked Paul, our guide, if he had been holding the rod and using his own special ju-ju, would he have caught that fish. "Nah," he said, "he was too passive, not really interested." I think Paul was just making me feel good but when he estimated the fish to have weighed over 40 pounds, I was glad I hadn't caught it -- I'm not sure I could have pulled it in!

I did better with walleye, catching a number of small ones and a couple of keepers. To fish for walleye, you use a minnow for bait and drop the line to the bottom of the lake, then jiggle the rod to keep it moving. Chris, another of our guides, caught a couple of impressive northern pike but I was happy with my walleye.

Almost everything was catch and release; we kept some of the larger walleyes for our lunch which the guides prepared on the shore. The fish were beautifully filleted, breaded (with a secret mixture) and fried -- and it was great!

So I fished in the early morning for muskie, after breakfast for walleye, had shore lunch, got a great massage (we were on an island where the Grace Anne people have a lodge, sauna, hot tub and gazebo) then reboarded the Grace Anne for a lovely shower. It was only four when I finished and I knew we wouldn't eat until much later (and I could skip the great, afternoon hors 'oeuvres) so I asked if I could go fishing again! More fun -- more walleye! I'd say I'm addicted, but I think I'm really addicted to fishing Grace Anne style -- everything prepared for me, no putting minnows on my own hook, no touching the fish, just dropping the line and reeling them in!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


There's a story, don't know if it's true, that the word "posh" came from the most desirable stateroom location on transAtlantic cruises -- port out, starboard home. It's come to mean "smart, fashionable, exclusive." I have just lived posh for the last three days and I could easily get used to it. I was a guest on the Grace Anne II, a beautiful, historic yacht which cruises the Canadian waters of Lake of the Woods.

Not only was the yacht the epitome of posh, the service and food were superb. Stewards Scott and Cameron anticipated my every desire and every request was met with swift action. It was hard to get used to not helping myself -- I felt like a naughty kid when I walked away from a table on the fly deck, leaving a half-finished drink for someone else to pick up -- not only wasteful, but thoughtless! I'll bet if I'd asked one of the stewards to blow my nose, they would have done it gracefully!

Chef Nicky presided over the kitchen and created elaborate presentations in that compact space. No tempermental diva he, he accepted our invasions with cameras and questions with unfailing good humor and a captivating Gallic grin.

Activities? I've discovered I'm hooked on fishing -- pun intended. More about that in the next post. Also available -- skeet shooting, canoeing, kayaking, massage and even a floating driving range! And wildlife watching in the remote areas of the lake where we cruised was excellent -- deer, beaver, bald eagles, pelicans, loons. We didn't spot a bear, but Chris, one of our fishing guides, said he'd seen two this season.

Huge Lake of the Woods is dotted with thousands of pine and poplar-covered islands so we were never out of sight of land, but we were so far away from roads that we saw no houses and few boats. Each night we moored to a buoy in a secluded bay, the only sounds the calls of the loons.

This trip was surely the height of luxury -- one I'll never be able to afford. But if you have more money than you know what to do with, take my advice and book a cruise on the Grace Anne II.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Finding Adventure in Kansas

When Bev and I drove from Wichita to Pittsburg, we stopped in Chanute to visit the Osa and Martin Johnson Museum. If you're younger than I am, you may ask, "Who are Osa and Martin Johnson?" If you live in a larger city, you may connect the names with a new chain of stores being opened by American Eagle Outfitters -- Martin + Osa. Martin and Osa were adventurers and wildlife photographers. They pretty much invented the wildlife documentary and even pioneered product placement. They traveled to Africa and the South Seas to photograph primitive peoples and wildlife -- all the while looking spiffy in their safari outfits. They were movie stars with people flocking to theaters to see their films. Both Martin and Osa grew up in Kansas, traveled the world, and brought the world to small-town America. This is a cool, little museum and definitely worth a stop.