Delores and Chuck ~ Dill Pickle Beginnings

delores1A few years ago I joined an on-line book trading club.  A book was requested and I popped it in the mail ~ Destination?  Arizona.  Inside I tucked a little note sending greetings to the receiver “from Oklahoma”.  A couple of weeks after that the sweetest note arrived in my mailbox.  It seems my Arizona recipient used to be an Okie as well.  And so began the special friendship of Delores and Paula.  We e-mail often, and on occasion, pop surprises in the mail to each other. Delores has the gift of writing and making people smile.

Last week I received a copy of Power Ranch Living in the mail from Delores.  It featured a beautiful photograph of she and her husband on the cover!  Tucked inside was a fun article on their sixty-four years of marriage.  I asked Delores if I could share this on my blog.  I also talked her into sharing a few words with us about their life together.  You’ll never think of dill pickles the same way again.  ~Smile~

Delores and her husband Chuck celebrated 64 years of marriage last July 15, 2014. They laugh at how they first met each other. Delores was a senior in High School and working part-time at her friend’s donut shop and small café. Chuck was a college student who worked part-time as a delivery person for a large restaurant supply company. One day as he was wheeling a dolly, holding a large container of dill pickles, the wheel went off the ramp and the pickles went rolling all over the floor of the café. Delores was bent over with laughter, and Chuck’s face was red as he left the café. Chuck likes to say, “But I got back at her.  I asked her out for a date about a week later, and we ended up getting married a year and a half after that.”

Chuck served in the U.S. Navy for four years during the Korean War. They have raised two daughters and a son. They have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Chuck was an Elementary School Principal for many years in California. Delores played the organ for church and at the local Mortuary during those years. They moved to Arizona eleven years ago and are happy that their family followed them there.

They have their own interests and hobbies. Chuck rides his bike all over their community, and enjoys reading and using his computer. Delores does lots of needlework, and enjoys a Creative Writing Class. She belongs to a small group of younger gals and they keep her busy going to lunch and shopping. They watch DVD’s from The Teaching Co. and enjoy learning about other cultures and history. They aren’t saying it’s easy to stay married. There were times they thought of walking away. There are no secrets to a long marriage. You take it day by day, work out your problems, respect each other, try to live by God’s commandments, and show your love in little ways.


Such a handsome couple.  Congrats Delores and Chuck! Thanks for sharing your joy with us! ♥

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Out for Drive

tractor in shed

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Birthday Song Time (please sing along)


♪ ♫ ♪ Happy Birthday to you.  ♪ ♫ ♪ Happy Birthday to YOU. ♪ ♫ ♪ Happy BIRTHday dear Renae……. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! ♪ ♫ ♪

PicMonkey Collage renae

My blog is three years old today…..influenced by my big sister who is ummmm, NOT three years old today! Happy birthday to a kind-hearted, people loving, animal loving, southern talking, bestest friend ever.

Now everybody…..EAT CAKE!

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Soups to Share

ugly snowman2It is 20 degrees (F) currently in our little town.  The arctic front continues to dip in a little lower for a hello. I would prefer a kinder visit….but hey….we deal with what we get, right?

Last week when we visited my parents, we took them a batch of our favorite “warm your bones” soup.  I tend to get a bit carried away with my ingredients sometimes, so I think they STILL have some of this in their freezer. (If you are in their area, drop by and sample it!) :)

Here’s the recipe if you are looking for something yummy and easy !

  Pasta Fagioli

1-2 pounds lean ground beef (although I used 3.5 pounds on the last batch I made) You could also skip the meat. I choose 93% lean so there is no fat to drain. All that to say…drain if you need to!

1 chopped onion

1 cup, more or less~ to your liking, chopped celery

1 cup, more or less, chopped carrots

1 can light red kidney beans, drained and washed

1 can white beans, drained and washed

2-3 cans beef broth

1 or 2 cans diced tomatoes (I use petite diced)

1 jar spaghetti sauce (24 ounce, Ragu or similar)

About a cup of Ditalini Pasta (or whatever pasta you happen to have) I cook this in a separate pan and add it to the soup just before eating so as not to over cook.

Salt, black pepper, red crushed pepper and oregano

In the biggest stock pot you have (cause this grows fast!), cook your lean beef with chopped onion until meat is browned thoroughly. This is also when I throw in all of my seasonings.  The seasonings are up to you, but I prefer a LOT of black pepper and oregano, salt for flavor and a couple  of pinches of red crushed pepper for some kick. (optional)

Once the meat is cooked well and the onions about clear, stir in everything else, EXCEPT the pasta. Let the veggies get tender and you are about there. Just before serving, you can cook your pasta and either add it to the mixture or to individual bowls.  When I plan on freezing it, I like to keep the pasta out of the mixture. But I’m weird like that. I want no mushies. THIS SOUP IS BETTER and MORE FLAVORFUL SECOND AND THIRD DAY!

Serve with a salad and some crackers and you shouldn’t have to cook for a few days! OR ~ you could share it!

 Vegetable or Beef Stew

Nooooo.  I am not going to give you another stew recipe because most everyone has their favorite go-to on this.  What I AM going to share is that you can teach an old dog new tricks!  When we were in Colorado a few years ago, I ordered a bowl of stew and it was cooked with Hatch HOT chopped green chile peppers.  I love hot and this was a wonderful surprise for my taste buds!  And then this week, a sweet friend shared with me her grandmother’s secret ingredient for stew ~ V-8 juice.  Now for those of you saying……well of course, that’s what I’ve always used……well I am just so glad to know this NOW! I do not like V-8 vegetable juice, (forgive me V-8….I do like your fruit juice!) but I added an entire V-8, a little beef bouillon, and my Hatch peppers~ this stew is outstanding! Surprisingly thick (especially the 2nd day) and fab!

So that’s my shares. Please tell me your secrets! Um….. your cooking secrets.

Be Nice to Others!  ♥

Posted in Oklahoma, recipe, Uncategorized, Winter | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

2014 in Review

Another year has passed so quickly!  My thanks to each of you for spending moments with me in 2014.  My best wishes to you for a grand 2015!  And a reminder to myself and to all to “Be Nice To People”!  We just never know….

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Happy Trees

tree farm seeds tree farm rearview mirror tree farm and road christmas tree farm line of trees

We had surprise snow today. The good kind ~ that sticks to the ground and not to the roads.  I took a little drive past our local Christmas tree farm and found some very happy trees there.  They made it through another Christmas AND they received a much-needed drink.  Hmmm…..maybe we could all be happy trees?

Be nice to people.  You just never know what they may be dealing with today. ♥

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Dear Santa ~


Merry Christmas to all!

Originally posted on stuff i tell my sister:

santa and xmas town stuff 012

It’s the little things…….Merry Christmas ♥♥♥

View original

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And to Laughing Again…

michelle tree 1

As December approached, I found myself missing my friend, Michelle, more and more. She left us only a year ago. There have been many changes in one year’s time.  Adjustments. Rethinking things.  But longing to hear her voice and laugh with her over every day life stuff~ well that has not changed.

So I decided I would laugh with her again.  I went to the store and bought a few little decorations…. on a Sunday afternoon, I talked hubby into a short drive to look for the perfect little tree.  And while he thought I’d lost it at first, soon he was laughing too.  He pulled the truck over on the side of the road as he’d spotted a Snoopy Christmas tree.  This was the right “Michelle” tree. Round and round with the cheap tinsel he went while I added red plastic ornaments.  Michelle was all about helping stray animals & people and stopping traffic to save a turtle from the middle of the road, and real Christmas trees.  She would love this tree.

michelle tree 2

I know.  It’s not very pretty.  But it sparkles and shines in a field full of lonely. Surely smiles and curiosity are stirred in those who pass by?  Who would be so silly?  Well….me.  And hubby.  And Michelle. Smile.

Here’s to a new tradition. And to friends and family.  And to laughing again.

michelle tree 3
Merry Christmas, my friend. ♥

p.s. just so you know….I will be returning to this tree to remove the decorations after the new year. Having given this a bit more thought, in the years to come when we choose a random “Michelle” tree, we will decorate it with items that the critters can enjoy munching on through the winter days.

Posted in Breast Cancer, Oklahoma, Reflections, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Sharing or Stealing?

moore squirrel

moore squirrel 3

Be nice to people.  And critters, too.

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For Hubby ♥

marvin boy

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