Christmas Past

Christmas Eve is here, the turkey is in the oven, the dressing started, to be fair, part of it was started a couple of days ago. I sit quietly with my coffee, reflecting, it’s the day for that. It started last night with a dream of Christmas at my parents house.

We all have those memories, the ones that are so warm and inviting that you almost feel as if time travel is a real possibility. Sam Beckett style, so you can really appreciate the experience.

I remember my mom waking up at 4am to put the turkey in, the sounds coming from the kitchen are comforting. When I wake again it is to the aroma of turkey cooking, bread rising and pancakes.

There was always pancakes on Christmas, with bacon and real hot cocoa.

Then everyone would come to the house, my nephews and niece, brothers and sister and their spouses. The laughter was the best sound in the world. My dad had this booming laugh, that would not only fill the house but one’s soul as well. He was always so joyful, that joy was contagious. He was a gregarious man who loved life and loved God. What a combination, he and my mom lived a life that was a true testament to how Christians should behave. Never judgmental (except for my music) always loving, generous and warm. Christmas always amplified those qualities.

When it came time for lunch, yes we had Christmas lunch, my dad would ask one of my brothers to say the blessing.

It was always Jesse, the youngest, I will be honest, I never noticed until my oldest brothers son brought it to my attention.

He said it really hurt his dad that my dad never chose him. So, on that last Christmas that we all spent together, we didn’t know it would be our last at the time, I was with my mom in the kitchen. I started talking about how much I loved our Christmas traditions and then I said did you ever notice dad doesn’t ask Jim to say the blessing? It’s always Jesse, I wonder if Jim would like to say it. Then I just left it there.

At lunch that day my dad asked Jim to say the blessing, Jim looked startled and his eyes got a little teary, darn Oklahoma dust. Then he said the prayer and it was beautiful. Later my nephew told me how much that meant to Jim.

I hope when my children look back at our Christmas times together, they do it with as much fondness as I have for my memories with my parents.

I don’t remember the presents, well, one I do, my cowboy boots that I wanted so badly. I kept them forever, until they literally fell apart. Urban Cowboy, anyone.

I remember the love, the warmth, the laughter and the wonderful dressing. There I said it, dressing, not stuffing, to this day I still make my mom’s dressing. I don’t deviate, I don’t add, take away, or anything else. With every bite I take of that dressing I am back in Owasso, Oklahoma, I can hear my dad’s laughter and see the twinkle in my mom’s eyes. I feel love.

I pray everyone has be the best Christmas ever and experiences the promises of what is to come.

Seamstress Found

My mother used to be my seamstress, she was hands down the best seamstress in all of Oklahoma, nay, the world, nay, the universe. The covenant between a seamstress and her client is sacrosanct. You have to be able to trust your seamstress to tell you the truth about your clothing choices. Not what they think you want to hear, even if that truth is harsh.

So I needed a seamstress to do some alterations on a dress I am going to wear to a formal wedding. I found the dress I wanted, I was really hoping I wasn’t just thinking it would look good on me and it was not going to.

I researched online to find a seamstress, I found one with great reviews and called her. She could fit me in, I have two dresses, one is my dream dress the other a backup.

I took both because one needed to be altered and one needed to be hemmed.

Today I had a fitting, the one that needed to be altered, dream dress, fits like a glove, but I didn’t want to be overly optimistic. So I said I’m not really sure, she said try on the other one, I did. She came into the room and said can I be honest with you.

I said, yes please, brutally, she said the first dress looks amazing on you, this dress makes you look older than you are. I was like um I’m 55, she said what, I said um yeah. She said no, this is not the dress for you, the first one looks amazing and that is the one you need to wear.

I concurred, she will finish the alterations and have it cleaned and pressed and I will pick it up Monday.

I am very excited, this wedding is going to be so awesome, I cannot wait to see this beautiful bride walk down the aisle.

I am very happy to have found a good seamstress in the area, I haven’t really had one since my mom stopped being one. Like I said, the trust has to be there, my mother used to tell me some harsh truths. And I appreciated it, greatly, I am not one to tell a white lie when it comes to fashion.

It’s a risky thing, to tell a stranger the truth in a department store dressing area. I have done that, of course I told them my name was Rachel and I was a buyer for Bloomingdales. I didn’t want to die.

being the daughter of a seamstress affords me a different eye when it comes to fashion and what fits and what looks good on people. I wish I could sew, I cannot, I never had the patience to learn, my poor mother tried, but even she had to admit defeat.

My head was better suited to living in the clouds and reading all day long. She knew that and was happy to allow me to be well, me.

Maybe I’ll post pictures of me in the dress, that way you can all judge me. It’ll be too late by then, but hey, that is what the internet was invented for. Judging others after the fact, or making up stuff in it’s entirety and going to jail for it.

The Travels of Foy and Odela

This is the day my family waits for, Friday the 13th in January. It’s the best day. My parents were married this day and yes, it was a Friday. They were married for 59 years before my dad passed away. We consider this day a good luck day. We don’t believe in luck, except for this day, Friday the 13th in January.
I know I typically tell the story of how they met and eventually fell in love, however, today I am going to tell a different story, the one of how they journeyed to California during the depression.
Foy and Odela realized that in order for them to make enough money for their family to thrive they needed to leave Oklahoma.
So, they packed up their Model T Ford and started the journey to California. Foy had already been there and knew that there were so many more opportunities than where they were at. Odela trusted his judgement more than anyone else on earth.
They packed up not only themselves but a four-year-old and a baby. Off they went, they worked their way across the country, picking cotton, picking fruit, vegetables, whatever work they could find.
When they made it to New Mexico their car decided it had been worked too hard and died. On the road, in the middle of nowhere with darkness coming on quickly.
A family drove up that spoke very little English, however through gestures and some words Foy was able to let them know what the problem was. The father of the other family was able to convey Foy, Odela and their children should get in their car and come home with them.
So off they went, trusting that these were good people. They were, they were also very literally dirt poor, the house had a dirt floor, but the family happily shared their food and made a pallet for Foy and Odela and their children.
The next morning the family once again shared their food with the travelers. The father took Foy to fix the car and Odela helped the mother clean up after breakfast.
Foy was able to fix the car and they continued on to California.
Odela would later say it was the first time she had ever encountered people who were not like her. She would say it was one of the best experiences of her life and she felt God had purposely allowed their car to break down so she could meet that family.
Foy and Odela started life out as poor as the proverbial church mouse, but they worked hard, never complained about the work and not only made it to California, their family flourished. They eventually made their way back to Oklahoma where they spent the rest of their days.

New Year New Actions

It’s that time of year again, you know, the time where people start making unrealistic “resolutions”. Where did this come from? The new year brings a new life; I have found that life goes on as it always did. There is no fresh start there are only paths and you have to choose the ones you want to travel.
I have never given up anything or made any resolutions, my only resolution is to not be a sheep. Or a lemming, either one of those things in this world is bad.
I think for myself, I do my research, I pray to God for wisdom and strength every single day of my life. I always, always try and do the right thing.
The right thing for a lot of people involves self, self-interest, do whatever makes you feel good. That is the biggest load of hogwash known to man.
I have said it before, if I did what makes me feel good, I would be 8 million pounds. Because what makes me feel good is puffy Cheetos, chocolate, sour skittles, diet coke, Starbucks and dressing. Oh, and watching television, if I didn’t need to sleep I could watch television 24×7. I have loved television since I was little, I seriously cannot remember a time without it. I have a bigger love of books, but television is right up there.
Do what makes you feel good, seriously, who buys into that? The world, that’s who, the world is going to tell you that you are the only one that matters in your world.
But here it is folks, there are more important things than your own selfish wants, I count myself in this as well.
I have a huge love of shoes, fashion, makeup and candy, it would be easy for me to do what makes me feel good. It is human nature, but we are not supposed to aspire to human nature, we are to aspire to Jesus nature. I am speaking as if anyone who reads this is a Christian, so if you’re not, then you cannot be offended. It’s Angie World for a reason.
Jesus commands us to take care of each other, this is not a political thing, it is not up to the government to take care of us. We are supposed to be looking out for each other.
My dad told me that when he was a boy, about once a month his dad would load their wagon up with bags of food from their farm.
They would then go to certain homes and simply leave the bags on the front porches. There was no knock, no interactions, just the act of leaving the food and getting out of Dodge.
My dad said this went on for a while and finally he asked his dad why they were doing this. His dad’s simple answer was that neighbors take care of each other. Their farm was doing well, some others weren’t’ and he wasn’t about to see folks starve.
It was the depression and in Oklahoma, it was real, people were starving. But not in their world, my great-grandfather saw to it. As long as there was enough for his family he would take the excess and make sure others could feed their children.
That is who I am descended from, that is what we do, we see a need and we fill it. This is the way the world is supposed to work according to Jesus. Feed the body then feed the soul.
Before today’s world, neighborhoods were different, there were no garages in the back, everyone was in the front. We all knew each other and we especially knew when a family was in trouble.
We are too insulated today, all of us, I am not absolving myself from this scenario. I don’t know my neighbors, I kinda know the ones behind me, but the ones next to me moved and the other side they are never home. And well that’s about it. I am very non-social as well, I am an introverted extrovert. An anomaly as it were.
So here is what I believe we should all do in the new year, ditch the resolutions, just walk out your front door and meet your neighbors.
Take care of each other, take the government out of it, we should be helping one another.

Peaceful Assembly

I am proudly from Oklahoma; I don’t believe I have ever hidden that fact. I preface what I am about to say with that for good reason.
I follow several news outlets from my home state, a few days ago there was a news article regarding some students at OU staging a protest.
Now, before I continue, this is not about what they were protesting, I don’t believe that is the important issue at hand at this point. What this is about is their right to protest.
With so many people protesting the wrong way, rioting, looting, harming people, beating them, shooting them and burning neighborhoods down, this group exercised their First Amendment Right, the correct way.
They stage a peaceful protest, let me say it again, peaceful. They followed the rules of not only the Constitution of the United States of America, they behaved the way we are supposed to in a civilized society.
At the moment I read the article, I was proud of this group of young people, once again, not for what they were protesting, but in the manner they went about it. The correct way, the legal way, the civilized way, the Oklahoma way.
I scrolled down to the comments, because, well, let’s face it, these days that is the best part of the internet. Best/worst, take your pick.
People were vicious in their attack upon these protesters. I thought, what! Are you kidding me? They are literally rioting in the streets in some states. Being destructive, unproductive, unlawful, and these young people exercised their First Amendment Rights the correct way and you want to vilify them for that?
Of course I could not contain myself, perhaps I should have, but I would not be me if I had. I commented on how I didn’t understand the name calling in the comments and how the students had been within their rights to protest. It doesn’t matter what they were protesting they were within their rights to do so. As long as they obey the rules of the land I am going to defend their right to protest.
Of course at that point I opened myself up to attack, and did they. I was called names; I was called a Hillary supporter (which to me is the worst) I was vilified.
I find it shocking, that we, as Americans, don’t recognize civility and law-abiding people when we are told about them.
How are people so completely ignorant of the law? How are people so completely ignorant of our constitution? I hear it misquoted all the time. I hear people quoting the preamble as the actual constitution. Where did all of the civics classes go? Did people not attend them? Mind you the people spouting these things are roughly my age. No excuses. I grew up in Oklahoma, I was taught what it means to be an American. I was taught that all people were created equal. I was taught the First Amendment is our most important one, as it opens the door to the rest of them.
If we didn’t have Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, the right to peaceful assembly, we wouldn’t have any of the others.
Freedom comes with a price, it is the price of obeying the laws, of knowing your rights and exercising them.
I commend this group of students at OU for exercising their First Amendment right to peaceful assembly.
There it is, peaceful, non-violent, they didn’t incite a riot, they didn’t scream obscenities, they didn’t beat innocent bystanders, they didn’t loot Norman, they didn’t start fires. They peacefully assembled.
If you have any comments that are vicious in nature, I will delete them. As this is AngieWorld and I write the constitution of that world. However, my email address is angie@angieworld.

My Review of the Rustic Cuff Business

I’m going to tell you something, something I don’t advertise or tell anyone that I do, to me it is a private thing and something that gives me great joy. Whenever I am in the drive-thru at Starbucks I pay for the person behind me. I know what you are thinking, what is the big deal, well I am telling you that because it parlays into what I am about to delve into.
I was raised to take Matthew 6:4 at it’s literal word, in case you have forgotten what it says: “Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” My mother was a pro at this, I didn’t know she made quilt tops for homeless veterans until I was 16 years old and caught her and my dad loading them into the car to deliver to the woman who would distribute them.
I am also a Mary Kay Consultant, something else that will come into play as you will soon see. In Mary Kay we are taught the Golden Rule, if you don’t know it when you become a Consultant, you learn it in lesson one. For those of you not familiar with it: Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. Pretty simple and clear cut. These are lessons we should all be learning as children, and they should not be a surprise to anyone as an adult.
Now, onto the heart of why I am telling you all this, there is a company in Tulsa called Rustic Cuff. The owner and creator of the business is a woman named Jill, her back story is well worth reading. It’s a great backstory, although, the majority of us in life have a great backstory. However, it takes a rare individual to take that story and make it a business, not only a business but a thriving one, especially one that is specialized.
You see the company makes and sells bracelets, and the owner is constantly giving them away. So now the women who buy them also give them away, they call it “gifting”. They imbue Jill with the attributes usually reserved for sainthood, I find it a little disconcerting.
Don’t get me wrong, what she has created is special and wonderful, she has taken a setback and created a business. She is adding to the economy of Tulsa, employing people and selling a much sought after item. But she is not in the league of a Mary Kay Ash or Ebby Halliday, yet, once she begins to employee more women and create more jobs without ceilings for them I will be more impressed.
You see in Mary Kay, we are taught about gifting, we give gifts with every purchase (the majority of us do), we also give a gift for having us in your homes. When we deliver product we have it wrapped prettily in a gift back with tissue. I have customers tell me that they look forward to my deliveries because even though they are paying for the product they feel like they are getting a gift.
Jill does give a lot of bracelets away, they have bracelets and cuffs, the followers call them all cuffs. They are not, they are bracelets, they buy them by the 100’s, from what I have seen. One woman posted that her husband (who is in the military and deployed) saw their bank account on line, called her and told her no more. She had spent roughly $400.00 on bracelets. Bracelets. The women then began commenting that she should spend more! I saw that and was floored, I thought can someone say divorce court.
I see women posting that they will have to feed their family fried bologna because they have spent too much on these things. They have to scrounge for rent or house payments, I just think to myself this is insane.
I have a few of these very attractive pieces, I will not be “gifting” any of them as I purchased ones that represent things in my life. I have also asked my children for one for Christmas, it is a true cuff and is a cutout of Oklahoma. Once again something that means something special to me.
I fully believe this woman is doing great things and is guided by the Golden Rule, from what I have seen she is very giving, very driven, high energy and family oriented. She is a rare breed of woman that God has blessed beyond measure and she is giving back. She gives back to the community at large, I have seen her do great things with this newfound fame she has garnered. I pray she continues and God continues to bless her, what I want to say to her followers, and they are followers, not mere customers, is that the near worship you have for her is a little scary. I have seen you post pictures of her children when they were out with their mother. I have seen you take pictures of Jill without her knowledge, with her in the background, some with her children in them. I have no words for that.
Please remember, this is a business, she is a business woman, with everything she is giving away, she is making a lot of money. This is not an altruistic business, it has a bottom line, however she seems to have her priorities in order, God, Family, Business. I pray she has continued success. I love seeing women succeed in business, but her premise is nothing new, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

What I Gave Up

So, on Facebook, where we all know the good information is at, I read a post from a fellow Owassoan that made me think. He said that he met a man who lives in Owasso now and the man corrected him on the pronunciation of Owasso. You see there are two ways to pronounce it, if you are from Owasso, it is Owassuh, if you are not, it is Owasso. There is a distinction, my fellow Owassoan let him know, you might live there but you are not from there.

He was right, even though I did not live there from birth, I am from there, I claim it as my hometown. I hope the natives don’t mind that I claim the city for my hometown; it is where I came of age, where I learned many life lessons and where I finally had real parents.

I talk a lot about what Owasso gave me, I don’t really talk about what I gave up to gain all of the friendships, knowledge, parents, church home and life lessons. I gave up living in a city I loved; I gave up being in the Orchestra, being on the basketball team, the volleyball team and track. I gave up my cousins, all of them; I gave up my grandmother and great Aunt Effie, my aunts and uncles.

I know what you are thinking; I could have had many of those things in Owasso, yes to the sports, no to the music. There was no orchestra in the Owasso school system; I was so depressed I didn’t want to entertain the thought of joining the band. Even though I could play the clarinet, having also been in band in the City. For the first year I was there I was seriously depressed, I had one friend, and everyone in the school had been together since kindergarten. For the first time in my life I was an outsider, looking in, not really belonging, my parents, God bless them, took me back to the City almost every weekend for the first year. Oh, BTW, the City is what all native Oklahomans call Oklahoma City. So for the first year I went back there almost every weekend, to see my grandmother and great Aunt Effie and reconnect with friends.

Then something happened, I was in the library, in the 9th grade and I saw one of my classmates, not someone I knew well, still only had one friend, Tammi, but I said hi. He said hi, then asked me what I was doing that weekend, (not because he liked me, he was making small talk) before I could open my mouth he looked at me disdainfully and said let me guess, going to the City. I just nodded; I didn’t know anyone knew my business. He then said the words I will never forget, you’re missing it, you’re missing everything there is to do here, you’re missing out on freindships and life. Owasso is fun and you are not part of it, but you could be if you would quit running back to the City every chance you get.

That stopped me cold, I had serious thinking to do, I made a decision, I stopped going to the City all the time, started going to football games and the Skate Ranch. I made friends; I became an Owassoan, second best decision ever.

I don’t regret what I gave up because I gained so much, I love being from a place that has heart, that takes care of it’s own and doesn’t let you go once you become one of them.

I am now reconnected with my cousins and could not be happier, I am still a City girl by birth but an Owassoan by choice.

 

Owasso Dreams

Driving to work yesterday I realized how much I miss Owasso, not for the turning of the leaves, the friends, the Ram Cafe, the Tijuana Tater or for the frito chili pies. No, I miss it for the roads, the country roads to be exact, the ones where you can take your car out and open up the carburetor and fly. It seemed like flying to me when I was learning to drive and drive fast.
Driving fast appears to be genetic, my grandfather drove fast, my father drive fast as do I, it seems the old adage is right, I just can’t drive 55. There is nothing like the feeling of all that power at your fingertips, under your foot as you press against the accelerator, the numbers going higher on the dashboard. The realization that you are flying over the pavement, it smacks of freedom, there is nothing but you, the machine, the road and the music. One cannot drive fast without good music filling air of the car, it is intoxicating, better than any drug around.
All last week, while sitting in unbearable traffic, I missed Owasso, even driving down main street behind the old people from the retirement home that took up both lanes. You knew that it would end in roughly 10 minutes, there was no end to the traffic here last week. I have a shift that has me going in later, typically there is very little traffic. Last week we had ice here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and since Texans can’t drive on ice it was a mess. A horrible, frustrating mess, filled with people hitting their brakes on the ice, or just speeding up on the ice. Insanity was the word of the day. Ok, the week.
I learned to drive on the ice and snow thanks to my dad, I remember shortly after my 16th birthday, he told me to get in the car, we drove up Dalton Hill. It’s named after the Dalton Gang, google them if you are not familiar with them, the hill was named after them due to the fact they used to hide out there. I digress, we get to the top of the icy hill, he turns the car around, gets out and says figure it out. He then proceeded to walk home.
I did the only thing I could, I moved to the drivers seat and figured it out, I will say this, he got home before I did, however I learned to drive on ice and snow and every other condition one can think of. Well, not a monsoon, we didn’t have those in Owasso, or earthquakes, but Oklahoma weather, I’m good.
Next week is Christmas and I am way excited, I will once again take up the reigns of hosting our Christmas Eve celebration in our new home. I will cook the food, wrap the presents and we will welcome my children, granddaughter and a new person to the celebration this year.
I hope everyone has a great day and a wonderful pre-Christmas week. Remember the reason we even have this season, the Birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Monday Thoughts

I wear a lot of hats, first and foremost is mother, then grandmother, I write a blog so everyone can see what goes on in my head, I do a radio show with my good friend Shanon Jay of KHVN, then there is my J. O. B. where I help people with their Internet. And the hat that sits above all of them is Christian. That’s the hat that I hear irritates some people. Well then I consider it a hat well worn.
People have the erroneous tendency to think of Christians as meek, mild, complacent creatures. I guess those people have never read the Bible. If they had said individuals would realize we are indeed radicals, free thinkers given free will to decide for ourselves how we believe and why we believe the way we do.
I spent my childhood learning the bible, reading it and as I matured, understanding it, as an adult applying the principles to my everyday life.
I had the great fortune to have some of the best Sunday School teachers in the world. Grace Wemberly, Caroline Hall, Ed and Fleeta Sunday, simply the best. There in Owasso, Oklahoma not only did I receive an amazing secular education I received the best religious, Christian education as well.
I believe it was by Devine intervention that I arrived in Owasso, there is no other explanation. I will be forever grateful that I was adopted by my mom and dad and raised in a place I could expand my mind and my soul.

Irritated

As most of you know nothing gets me riled up like infidelity, there is now something going around on Facebook (where we all know is where I get my information) about how devoted Brad Pitt is to Angelina Jolie. I’m sorry; these two sicken me, if he was such a wonderful man, then where was the devotion to his actual wife?
However, according to Pat Robertson it was acceptable for Brad Pitt to cheat on his wife because he is good looking. Angelina Jolie has been quoted as saying that she cannot wait to show her children Mr. and Mrs. Smith because that is the film that shows their parents falling in love. Hmmm, wasn’t Brad Pitt married to Jennifer Aniston at that point and time? Didn’t Jennifer Anniston visit Brad on the set of that movie? Yes to both, it also means that Jolie met Jennifer, knew Brad was married and went after him like a tornado goes after Oklahoma.
I have been the victim of a woman seeing what I had and going after it with a vengeance. See, want, take, that is the philosophy of these women, don’t think you are safe from that kind of vicious attack. If someone perceives your life as something they want, and they have no morals, they will take it.
I don’t want to even see a film that these two are in anymore, that is how much they sicken me. Before you go off on some tangent about how brave Jolie is having a mastectomy, please know that the test she took and the surgeries she had, the normal, average woman in this country and many other, could never afford. EVER.
Much less the plastic surgery afterwards to replace her breasts, I don’t believe there was anything brave about what she did. She is wealthy and privileged; she can make these choices, where we cannot.
I will continue to not see their movies; I will continue to be sickened by the very public, poor treatment of Pitt’s first wife. The way they continue to want to slap her in the face every chance they get. Especially Angelina Jolie, you won, ok, you got the man, I hope it is worth an eternity in hell for you. What God has joined together let no man, or woman put asunder. Those words are there for a reason; God so hated infidelity it is mentioned twice in the top ten. Do not commit adultery and do not covet what is your neighbors. This is it people, don’t think these two are romantic; the couple that was so romantic to me were my parents and grandparents. They stayed together during the dust bowl, during the depression and they worked together, through good times, bad times, sickness and in health. That is what romance is, not cheating and stealing.

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