Category Archives: humor

The Great State Fair of OOOOHHklahoma


Another year, another visit to the state fair.  This has been a tradition in our family but maybe it just needs to die.  It was important to me and I forced it on everyone else. Kind of like looking at Christmas lights.

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This is my favorite fifth grader.

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The famous monorail we used to ride

Last year I told you about my long history with the fair.  This year I went with four hundred of my closest fifth grade friends to visit the fair.  For generations, the Monday of fair week has been a holiday off school so the school kids could go to the fair for free all day but not this year, not this school. Everyone in the state knows that the week of the fair always brings rain, no matter what kind of drought has been strangling the area.  Every year.  Today was some kind of freak storm.  I stood in my den, looking at my weather app, several of them actually, and they all said “Clear and sunny, 73 degrees” .  I glanced out my windows and porch to see the wildest wind ever and rain and darkness.  The wind was blowing out of the EAST??!!  I wondered if Mary Poppins was coming into town. But it cleared up after we arrived at the fairgrounds.

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The famous chilled root beer

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The midway, unchartered territory. We never go down there…


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This porr lady totally lost control of her show. The animals won. It was pretty funny though…


  • The famous Cinnamon Rolls?  I think ours was left over from last night.  Not nearly as good as I remember ( make sure you read about Mr Mark and the cinnamon roll from last year)
  • The famous corn dogs?  Not cooked completely so the batter was a bit juicy on the inside.
  • We got no freebies in the buildings we went through.  Times must be tough!  No bags, yard sticks, stickers or anything.
  • The famous root beer in a mini jug?  Wonderful as ever!
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is this a sheep or goat? I think sheep…

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this had to be left over from last night…not nearly as yummy as memory serves

I have so many good memories of being at the fair with Mr Mark.  Twenty-six years of memories.  Recently I found the shorts he wore to the fair that first time in 1987.

The monorail.

The space needle.

The cinnamon rolls.

The shriner guys and their balloon art.

The leather sellers in the buildings.

I think Mr Mark liked the pork chop sandwich the best.

Thanks, State Fair, for adding more memories to our State Fair file in the brain.  Until next year…Maybe…



The Phone Saga


So my phone fritzed out while I was out of town…

It went down like this:  I was in Virginia Beach with nine of our writing team gals preparing for a retreat for thirteen of our readers.  A gal from Wichita Falls and I were using a vehicle of one of the writers to head to the airport to pick up several of our readers.  I used the map on my phone to help us and we headed off.  

After about 20 minutes or so, we noticed that the map wasn’t staying up with our driving.  And it wasn’t because we were driving faster than our guardian angel could keep up with.  As we neared a dead end in a neighborhood, we realized that we were not where we should be.  I know, we are fast to catch on!  We paused and pushed a few buttons on my phone but it just kept searching for service.  

At this point, it was obvious, even to us, the phone was not working properly.  The owner of the vehicle had told us she had a GPS of some variety in the console.   We reached for it but we were unsure even how to use one.  We punched a few buttons and out came this voice, “Depart, depart!”

Okay, that was strange…

The voice sounded literally like the voice of a she-devil.  Freaked me out.

My mind immediately jumped to the most obvious conclusion.  Quantico was very near where we were…  I am sure the military caused some sort of EMT force field around our vehicle.  

Have you ever researched what kind of work goes on at Quantico?  You will totally agree with my conclusions.

My phone never recovered.  I was unable to communicate with my family unless I was in wifi zone, and then I could IMessage or facebook message.  It was so strange.  

And when my flight plans completely fell apart, I had to purchase wifi hours just to keep the family somewhat abreast of the situation, which changed every hour.  Have you ever tried to find a pay phone recently?

The morning after I returned home, I rushed up to the AT&T store where I got the phone just three weeks earlier.  They asked if I had tried this or that trick to reset the phone…Yes, I had tried those tricks and more.  

By noon I was waiting with eight hundred people in the Apple store in the mall.  When the little youngster was ready to assist us, we went running into his arms.  His name was Boston, like the group or the town.  He told us that his parents liked the group.  I told him to be thankful they didn’t like Queen.  He played around with the phone, of course to no avail.  I informed him of the reason I believed it fritzed.  He laughed at first but when my smart college boy read to him from the internet about what goes on at that base, well, we made a believer out of him.  Especially when I got to the demonic voice speaking out of the GPS.  

I think he was sad to see us go that day.  We were probably the most fun he had seen in a while…

The phone was replaced so no more force field destruction.  The backup on the computer didn’t exactly work but somehow all of the last week’s pictures returned.  I just don’t have the text messages for the past week.  

Which may be good if you were getting requests from me to hang blinds or do odd jobs because I won’t have any record of asking you.  But if I promised to do something for you, well, don’t hold your breath…

Wrong Number, No Problem



The phone rang.  I answered it, not knowing who was calling.

“Is Javier there?”

“No, but that is really funny.  Have you seen the movie Couragious?”
“No,” laughing…

“It is such a good movie and the scene about the Javier mixup is just so funny.”

“Ok, thanks.”
“You haven’t seen the movie?  That is your assignmnet for the weekend.  You HAVE to see the movie”

“Okay, I will.”
“You will love it.”
“Have a great weeken…”

So don’t call my number unless you want to talk.  I have no adults in the house.  Remember, you called ME!!

Halloween, One Year Ago


010One year ago…

I think about that phrase a lot these days.  It is ten months today since becoming a widow.

One year ago…

We quickly got ready after school and headed out around 5 to grab some of the fifty-cent corn dogs from Sonic.  Well, we only thought we would get corn dogs at Sonic.  We stopped at THREE different Sonics and NO CORN DOGS LEFT.  Their signs were still advertising corn dogs but none to be found. Our mouths were watering for the greasy goodness.  So instead we headed to Grandpa’s facility to gather candy from the occupants, still very hungry.

One year ago… my father was in a facility to help him recover from a broken leg.  Little did we know.  He actually took several steps backwards at the facility but that was somehow all in God’s sovereign plan.  Aren’t those sovereign plans so difficult to accept when they aren’t our plans?  We were dressed in costumes and walked around the cafeteria area to collect candy from the good folks there.  My dad never made it out of bed so we visited him in his room.  Mr Mark led the crazy costumed kids down the hall to Grandpa’s room to give him a bit of cheer.  We paused for pictures outside before moving on, back to our neighborhood to trick-or-treat with all the neighbor kids, still very hungry and craving corndogs.

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As we left the facility, a thought occurred to me.  Coit’s hadn’t closed yet.  They surely would have corn dogs.  We pulled up to the speaker and promptly ordered 8 corn dogs.  You can’t make this stuff up.  NO CORN DOGS!  It is after seven by now and we are more hungry, even after numerous Resee’s Cups, M & Ms and Laffy Taffy.  The gal felt sorry for us and kept looking for corn dogs, but don’t even tell me where she looked because she came back to the speaker and told us she had found ONE.  One corn dog for a car of 7 people (Stephen was home working the door and handing out candy)!  We ordered old fashioned root beer floats and one corn dog.  One corn dog.  After it was fried up, she came back on the speaker and said she would give it to us free because it looked so strange and because she felt bad that they only had one!  So out comes the most deformed, dark brown, freakish corn dog.  We took pictures and named it, The Last Corn Dog in the City.

That memory resurfaces each time corn dogs are mentioned in our home.  We laugh about the crazy dog that no one really wanted by then but Dad ate it!  Mr Mark applied catsup and jumped right in while we watched with lips curled and noses upturned!

One year ago…

This year… Grandpa and Mr Mark are sitting at the feet of Jesus.  This year… Stephen is away at college.  This year… it is just me and five kids.  This year…We are together still, if only in our memories.

j's 16th bday

Foreign Phrases




I took French in high school.  One year.

And to this day I remember just one phrase that I try to insert into my casual conversations:

Je fais du velo.  I am riding my bike.  Very handy in just about any language.

Sur le Pont  d’Avignon l’on y danse.  At the bridge of Avignon people dance there.  It is a song that French children sing, at least according to my French teacher!  Actually, Mr. Mark and I did dance on it just for fun once in France!

Then there is my German.  After living in Austria nearly 2 years, I could comfortably order my Chinese food in German and speak in present tense.  I learned several German phrases from songs I played on my flute.

Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe.  I am standing with one foot in the grave, a song by Bach I think.

Dies Bildnes ist bizaubernd schon.  I remember clearly the day I actually got to use the phrase correctly, while standing in front of a painting at a museum in Austria.  I impressed all those standing around me.  It means that the portrait is enchanting.  Good one, eh?

But lately I have been looking for foreign phrases that can actually enhance my conversation.  Here are the ones I like right now:

Vaya con Dios.  Go with God.

Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan.  What God has done, is rightly done.

Gott soll allein mein Herze haben.  God alone has my heart.

Now I need to go find the picture of Mr Mark and I dancing on the bridge.  It is pretty funny.  Mr Mark was like state champion French high school student and very good at catching onto languages.  He was speaking better German after one week visiting me in Austria than I was after nearly a year there!  None of our kids have taken to foreign languages yet.  After 3 and 4 years of high school Spanish, I can’t get the two oldest to speak anything in public.

And what is it about the “foreign language switch” in my brain?  When I order food from the Mexican food restaurant, my brain knows it has to say something foreign so it goes straight to German.  More than once I have said thank you in German to the fellows and I am sure that I am the only regular customer that does that!  Maybe that is why they always smile at me when I come in!  I have tried to order a dozen tortillas and queso in Spanish but it comes out more like, Mas agua, por favor, with a touch of Southern accent attached…