Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The First Tornado Warning

I wrote this last March on the anniversary of the 1st tornado warning for my facebook page, Inspired To Survive. After yesterday's brush with tornadoes I was reminded of it and decided to share it here too.  I've revised it, since obviously, today is not the anniversary. Also, another interesting connection, when I shared this at a women's group at church I learned that one of the women present at our meeting knew the Base Commander back then and remembered this happening. Talk about living history...I thought I had already revised this with his name, but will need to get in touch with my friend and get that information again. Her mother had babysat his children and Gladys said that they were a wonderful family. 

March 25th, 2012 will be the 64th anniv of the 1st U.S. tornado warning (March 25, 1948).  In March, 1948 the Tinker AF Base Commander asked his weather people to determine a way to predict a tornado. Days earlier there had been a devastating tornado in Oklahoma causing $10 million in damages and the loss of many lives. This was a terrific amount of money damages for 1948. The weather guys realized the same weather conditions existed on March 25th.  Although some scientists thought the base commander was crazy, he went out on a limb and issued a tornado warning.  As a result, lives were saved, & history was made because Okla did have another tornado that day. Those of us who live in tornado country should be forever grateful, because, although not perfect, tornado warnings help us live more safely and we depend on them many times throughout the years. Most of us cannot imagine a time without tornado warnings. Elaine Bellamy


Yes, we are just a few short weeks shy of Thanksgiving...but we had ourselves another little tornado scare last night. I don't personally have any pictures. Even if I had been stupid enough to leave my house and try to take some, our house was in the "rain wrapped" part of the storm and I wouldn't have been able to capture any. No, this little chicken was making her way to her to the basement. Plus, since our electricity was off, I had no way of tracking the storm anymore and had to assume it could be coming our way. After we finally got down there in place, I realized I had left my purse in the kitchen. Yes, of course you take your purse to the storm cellar. Think about it, it would be bad enough to recreate your life, without having to start all over without a driver's license and checkbook. We've been told it crossed Highway 9, just about 4 1/2 miles south of our house at that red dirt road that I like to take pictures of. Then, it went at an angle towards the Fort Cobb Lake, where it lifted up a bunch of the lake in a big ol waterspout and dropped it back down again. They didn't say what part of the lake this happened on, but it's not a very long lake and we're only about 2 blocks from the lake...so I'm guess it was probably closer than when it was at the red dirt road. Anyway, that's too close for comfort for me. The weathermen said this happened because we were having an unseasonably warm day, combined with all the other factors you need for a tornado.

I thought it was going to totally miss us and go more east than north (we're north). This is because I broke my long standing "weather rule". Instead of following my weather rule of changing back and forth between the 3 Oklahoma channel, we were just watching one channel. Luckily, my daughter-in-law was watching a different channel where they were using words like Fort Cobb Lake, which was really important for our well-being. So, I will definitely go back to following my weather rule of watching all channels available. There are some great local pictures circulating taken from people that I guess were not in the "rain wrapped" part of our area. I'm going to see if someone will give me permission to post one of their pic's.

This has been quite the week for Oklahoma. Although, there have been other earthquakes previously in Oklahoma and I understand we're only about 40 miles from the fault at Meers, OK, we only felt our first earthquake Saturday night. That was really odd. I could hear a strange rumbling noise starting in our bedroom north of the living room, that ran through the house from north to south. As it moved towards the living room, going on through the garage on the south, my husband and I just looked at each other and said, "was that an earthquake?" My first thought was that were were raccoons running across the roof. As loud as it was, it would have had to be quite a herd. No I don't know what groups or families of the raccoon species is called.  (I've been pretty frustrated by raccoons lately.) Sure enough, it was, an earthquake, that is. The scary part - the epicenter was well over a hundred miles from our house. It turns out there's been 2 or 3 earthquakes in Oklahoma lately. Some people around here said they felt more aftershocks yesterday after the tornado, but I guess I was distracted. Maybe it was while I was in the basement while I was worrying about the snakes...and my purse. Yes, I forgot to mention, we found evidence of  a dead snake and another snake skin in the basement. And no, this was not the first time we've had snake trouble. We are getting ready to replace our roof and do some other minor home repairs. Finding the snake entryway is going to be at the TOP of the list. Finally, we got the text message from our daughter-in-law that told us it was safe to leave the storm shelter, so we were able to escape back to the house. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Earlier this fall, we were given tickets to a rodeo in Anadarko by the MoBetta people. It had been so long since I had been to a rodeo, that I could not resist taking some pictures. Getting ready to be in the mood.
Got my tickets and keys. Time to hit the road Jack.
Note the blurred horse and rider. This is how much of my photography experience went.

Somehow I managed to get the horses to be clearer, but the foreground is blurry. Back to the drawing board...

 By now, I had kind of figured out what to do

This was the cute part of the evening, the kids' race. What got me was that there was one little boy that ran barefooted. I couldn't help but hope he didn't have any cuts on his feet, because I thought of all the bacteria that could be present in dirt where animals were. I haven't read about any children near death from running barefoot at the rodeo, so I guess it worked out ok for him.

And then it was off to the Asleep At The Wheel concert where a good time was had by all. That's all for now, have to go take care of some house duties. Happy trails.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just A Red Dirt Road Picture

There's a red dirt road just a couple of miles from our house. I finally remembered to go over there and take some pictures. I was really disappointed in a way, because I had hoped to get some sunset pictures. However, this particular road is almost like in a little valley, with trees across the west side of the road. So, the sunset was not viewable, at least on the day I went.

I guess I'll have to go back and try sunrise, which for me is a lot harder to accomplish. My idea of sunrise is usually being asleep. But, I've been known to get up that time of day and go out with a camera once in a while. I need to hurry up before we have our first freeze, which according to the weatherman could be in just a few days! I am so not ready for winter. Wish we could have fall for a LONG time.

After I left that spot, I drove a mile further west to a farm that we drove past every single time we went to town when I was growing up. There's an old falling down farmhouse on it, that I wanted to try getting some pictures of. I love the soft grays and greeny blues of this picture.

Before I sign off, just have to give you one more red dirt road picture....

Update as of March, 2012: I am so glad I went by and took these pictures a few months ago. In just the past couple of weeks, this property burned down. I don't know if it was on purpose or unintentional. It was so dangerous walking around there, it might have been on purpose by the owner. Sure am glad I got some old beat up house pic's while I had the chance.

Seeing the ruts in this picture remind me of places in Red Rock Canyon state park near Hinton, where they say you can see the ruts of wagon wheels during the pioneer days of the old west. I should go over there and take pictures when the fall leaves get just a little prettier. 

Friday, October 7, 2011


Just got back a couple of nights ago from my annual trip to Branson. Actually, I never feel the need to take an annual trip there, but my mother and my Aunt Joy love to go at least once a year and I hate to let them down, as I am their driver. This year, my sister Patricia joined us, which was quite helpful, since there were two times I got horribly, terribly sick and she had to take over the driving for me. I have made myself a doctor's appointment, I think the crystal ball is saying I have medical tests in my future. But, for now, I will take the Scarlet O'Hara approach and "think about it tomorrow".

Anyway, back to Branson. Got some new clothes and am going to take my look to a whole different direction this fall and winter. Did a little sewing and crafts shopping, found some more Mary Engelbreit fabric to go into a little project I was already planning. Bought me a 49er jacket at Pendleton's. The 49er jacket came out in 1949 and I remember our mother wearing one when I was a little girl. I guess the style is so classic, they either reissued it or, maybe never quit. I have uploaded the tag that came on the jacket, because I love it. It reminds me of old Simplicity pattern covers. My look will be more Oklahoma housewife, rather than exotic retro housewife. I wasn't born in 1949, but I'm pretty sure I never knew anyone that looked this good in one of these jackets in the early 50's.

Luckily, I got to go to two of my favorite stores in the whole wide world: Dressin Gaudy and Quilts & Quilts. When I said I don't feel the need to take a trip there, that's slightly inaccurate. I would need to at least drive through there about once a year just so I could drop into these two stores. The first one has lots of clothes I like that I can't seem to find in Oklahoma. I have to use a process of elimination to narrow down what I buy, since I can only get a few things. This year I went all out and bought 2 skirts, 2 jackets, and a sweater. I justified it because I have my niece's wedding and my high school reunion to attend this fall. Plus, as I said, it was just time to take my wardrobe in a whole different direction.

Quilts and Quilts was where I bought the sewing items I mentioned above. If you like to sew or quilt - this is the store for you. I guess they have thousands of bolts of fabric. I should have asked while I was there. I don't quilt, but I can always find something I think I can't live without. This year, my sister and I got a great idea for using crayons on fabric and adding embroidery to it. So, I will be experimenting with that in the upcoming weeks and let you know how that works. Fabric crayons are better than regular, so of course, we had to buy those. I'm sure Quilts and Quilts is on all the quilt tours. But, I've never been on one, so I don't know that for sure. Even if you don't sew, but enjoy looking at interesting quilts go there on your next trip. They had a Halloween quilt that was absolutely adorable. This was one of the crayon projects. They had colored haunted house pictures and trees without any leaves gray and then outlined the edges in black floss. Then they sewed pieces of Halloween fabric between the squares. They have a VERY strict rule about no pictures or cameras, so of course I couldn't take a picture because I did not want to get thrown out of the store. You can find Quilts and Quilts online and on Facebook, so look them up if you like to sew. They also have the most non-traditional patterns I've ever seen for sweatshirt coats, wall-hangings, quilts, ect. And, you can order online.

Another place we had to go to was Dick's Oldtime 5 and 10. The only thing I bought that I thought I had to have was a dressy OSU scarf. One never knows when they might need that. I would say I could wear it to homecoming, but I already have my new OSU quilted jacket my mother made me that I will wear for that...if I get to go. Just had to post a copy of the sack from Dick's, for your reading entertainment... Patricia and I didn't go to any music shows. Yes, I know, we're crazy. We had thought about just going back to the room each night after we took our mom and aunt to their shows. Yes, I know, we're also boring. But, instead, we roamed around in stores down at the Branson Landing. We mainly went to places where Patrica has historically gotten great buys. Also, I had to block out the time for the reoccurring medical problems that I referred above.

This was not a good time for me to be reporting on great places to eat. I ate several over easy eggs and some mild bowls of soup. Not exactly what you were probably thinking about eating on your next vacation. However, I did enjoy our meal at Mel's Hard Luck Diner with the singing waitress and waiter. (Even if it was just an over easy egg with a little dab of grits.) Everyone else said the $6.99 buffet was really pretty good. The music was excellent. Honestly, the first time the singing started, they were behind me and I thought the song was on the jukebox! I liked the waitress' voice so well, I bought one of her CD's. We ate at Cracker Barrel 3 times in 2 different towns. As usual, they were consistent and tasty. I just plain like Cracker Barrel. I should probably do commercials for them.

One more note about flea markets: the day we went downtown to Dick's, we decided we would stay in that area a couple of hours. It didn't take me long to walk through Dicks, so I decided to walk down the street to a couple of flea markets I had found advertised on the map. One of them had a sign as you entered that said, "22 rooms". I wasn't sure I really wanted to see 22 rooms and almost left. Later, I was glad I stayed and kept looking. Because a good thing happened.....it made me want to go home and get rid of a bunch of stuff at my house. It made me want to change the direction I was going in my life. I will let you know how that works out for me, but as of now, I already feel like I'm moving in a new direction. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

F. L. Millwee, my grandfather

I just happened to catch this picture of my grandfather, F. L. Millwee, years ago when he was cleaning beets from his garden.  I took the picture with a borrowed 35 mm camera while I was auditing a photography class from the Univ. of Okla. during the time I worked at Griffen Memorial Hospital, one of Oklahoma's state mental hospitals. When I first developed the picture, my teacher said it was unusable, because the back yard was so shady and I was such a novice, I hadn't used the right camera settings. However, he said there were some ways we could try to salvage the picture. We used dodging on his face with a little tool we made from a coat hanger and a piece of panty hose, while we tried to bring out his shirt better. Actually, the photo I have framed in my house has more delineation on his shirt, which blends into the sky on this picture. But, I was trying to show his face with this, so I had to loose the shirt. I also used a high contrast paper, which helped bring out the contrasting highlights between the beet leaves, the handle on the knife, and the dirt on his hands. This has become a favorite picture for years in our family and my sister Patricia had my mother paint it for her. I always think, "not bad for a picture that almost got left in a trash can in 1974".  Not only was he a very inspirational man, but he also was the hardest working person I've ever known. In about 1963 at the age of 73, he got kicked in the head by a cow that was coming up a ramp behind him. An incompetent dairy hand had opened up the ramp when he wasn't supposed to. Granddaddy got a brain tumor. The doctor that operated drilled several holes around his skull to relieve pressure. He wasn't sure if it would work, and said he might not ever be the same, but it worked. He lived to the age of 102 and was active until just a few years before he died. He retired within a couple of years of the brain tumor, but went on to farm a garden of several acres that included a huge blackberry patch and every vegetable known to western civilization. One of my most vivid strong willed memories of my life was of being at the kitchen table with him when I was about 5 years old. I was telling him, "but, Granddaddy, I don't feel like yogurt today." My grandparents made their own yogurt, dug up pine trees with a root ball for Christmas trees to replant later, and gave away garden vegetables to anyone that showed up and asked.  If you will note, there is a tree at the back of the picture with a couple of diagonal lines leaning against it, those were his hoes. Just beyond this tree was a back garden gate that led to some back barns, a chicken coop, and his goats, plus a fantastic view of the Wichita Mts., which the geologists believe are some of the oldest mountains in the United States. 
The F. L. Millwee Family, 1940's (L to R: Glenn, Mamie, F. L. Claude, and Lena May)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Highway 9 Fantastic Friday Trip In Southwest Oklahoma

Highway 9 is the highway of my childhood. It was the road we took to go to Carnegie and Anadarko and the world beyond. I grew up about 5 miles northwest of Highway 9 on the first electrical dairy in Western Oklahoma.  I'm old enough I remember when we had to drive red dirt roads most of the way to Highway 9. Of course, today, most of the red dirt roads have been blacktopped. But, there is one left between our old farm and Highway 9.  Back then, we also had peanuts, wheat, cotton, and beef cows. At various other times, we had chickens and turkeys, although the turkeys were only there for 1 season. As I recall, my mother and grandmother each ordered about 100 baby chicks to raise for fryers every spring. So I figure we must have had chicken of some type about every 3 days. The chickens had to go away when agricultural rules changed for chickens in Oklahoma and they decided it was unsafe to have them on a dairy farm due to the risk of salmonella. I was thrilled when that rule was put into place because I absolutely hated picking chicken feathers off a chicken. The only thing is, the doctor didn't decide I was allergic to chicken feathers until shortly before the rule changed, so I didn't miss out on much chicken feather pickin'. However, I disliked chickens so much, I made my husband promise when we got married that I would NEVER have to have chickens. We've celebrated our 33rd Wedding Anniversary and he hasn't ordered any chickens for me yet. Of course, I really don't have too much to worry about, as chicken is my husband's least favorite food in the universe. He claims his mother burned him out on chicken when he was growing up. He has such an aversion to chicken that the school cooks have been known to cook him something special when chicken is on the school menu.

My favorite second hand furniture store in the whole world is KENNY'S USED FURNITURE AND APPLIANCES run by my good friends, Kenny and Sondra Weaver in Anadarko, OK.  You can find them at 216 W. Main, just around the corner from the Caddo County Court House. I have to go there just about every time I go to Anadarko, this is partly to see what's new, but also to check up on Sondra and Kenny. Sondra and I worked together for so many years, in fact, she was the one that kept me in line, that it still seems a part of my routine to see her every chance I get so we can stay caught up on all our gossip. She was my secretary for a long time. Sondra and Kenny really have "the touch" when it comes to recognizing a bargain  and what people want when they're looking for used furniture to sell. Go expecting a good quality of used furniture. This is not your "furniture on it's last legs kind of a place". Plus, they have a pretty steady business, so it's like Wal-mart and little boys clothes -  if you see something you like you better buy it that day. I say that because I learned when my boys were growing up that Wal-mart never seemed to carry as much in the boys' department as they did in the girls.  Sondra and Kenny can be located by phone at 405-247-4848. Because they are technically retired and are very busy with other things too, they are only open Tues, Wed., Thurs., and Fri.  from 10a.m.ish to 5p.m.ish.  Kenny and Sondra specialize in everything you might need to furnish a house inexpensively. Generally everything I have bought was ready to set in place in my house. However, I have bought things that I went ahead and refinished, just because I like refinishing furniture. They also have a $1/$2 shelf.

A couple of blocks east of Kenny & Sondra, there is another favorite junk store haunt of mine at Linda's Swap Shop, 301 NE 1st Street, also in Anadarko. Linda's is only open on Mondays and Fridays, so if you want to hit both Kenny's and Linda's - it looks like Friday is the day for you. Linda's has a variety from inexpensive trinkets to genuine antiques and collectibles. I've bought regularly from Linda's for years. The phone number for Linda's is 405-535-0834.

All this junking has probably made you hungry or thirsty. There are several good options not too far away. The Soda Fountain Eatery @ 108 West Broadway has homemade soups, salads, and great desserts. I often get the King Ranch Chicken Sandwich, although they have several other good choices.
If you like Mexican food, Munoz's family restaurant north of Linda's Swap Shop at 507 NE 1st and El Charro's at 126 West Broadway are both pretty good choices. Some people swear by one or the other. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've had good meals at both.
There is also a new little deli run by Jeff Powell, about 1 block North of Linda's Swap Shop, in the same strip mall area as Munoz and a Bakery, which has some pretty good looking things in the cases.
The Bowling Alley, Indian City Lanes, 131 East Broadway has made a pretty good hamburger in the past - but I must be honest in reporting I haven't eaten there lately, so I can't guarantee it is the same.
There are also an assortment of the usual fast food places: Dairy Queen, Braums, Mazzios, Pizza Hut, McDonald's  Subway, Taco Mayo, a China City Buffet, a KFC, and my favorite fall back on choice - Sonic... Just stay on the main drags and find the one appropriate for your taste buds that day. We have eaten at them all and continue to return. The only one I can't make a report on is McDonald's...we have never been to the Anadarko one. There are also a couple of BBQ places. BBQ not being one of my fortes, I really couldn't say how they compare on the continuum of BBQ goodness.

When you have snacked and drank to your heart's content and are ready for more adventures, if you're feeling in a historical frame of mind, there are some museum options in Anadarko. The Anadarko Philomathic Museum is at 311 E. Main, 405-247-3240.  The Southern Plains Indian Museum, Highway 62 East, 405-247-6221 is on the East side of town, on the highway that comes from Chickasha. The National Hall of Fame (Indian) is an outdoor sculpture exhibit just East of the Southern Plains Indian Museum. Totally free and a must see historical site, you should drop by the U.S. Post Office at the corner of  Oklahoma and NE 1st. There are very famous, very free to look at, very old paintings on the post office walls done by the Kiowa 5. Of course, shopping rather than museums may be more your cup of tea. If that's the case, drop in at The Ideal Decorating Center or Lonnie's. They're both in the 100 block of Broadway near The Soda Fountain Eatery.

If you are free and thirsty between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., you better hit Sonic on Highway 9 west (902 Petree Road) for half price drinks.

If all this has not worn you out and you need an evening activity, I can heartily recommend heading towards Carnegie, OK for a movie. The Liberty Theater in Carnegie is the longest running operating theater in Oklahoma. The information line is 1-800-250-3225. Give them a call to see what is showing. Regular movies are only $4.00, the 3D movies are $6. What makes the Liberty unique, is that it's a triplex. Every night of the year in small town Oklahoma, there are 3 movie choices - for $4.00 each!!!!! Where else in America does this happen? The hot dogs, called "Show Dogs" by the locals, are about $1.50. A small drink is about $1.25.  This has to be the best movie buy in the country. Plus, the movies are newly issued movies. There are a few times we miss out on one we really want to see, but they get most of the really good ones. Sometimes the really good ones last for weeks. When The Blind Side came out, I think it lasted for 6 weeks. I personally went to see it twice, because I went once with my mother, decided my husband better go see it and went back with him. I talked to people who saw it 3 or 4 times. My grandsons love, love, love to go to the movies at The Liberty. If you decide you need a more substantial meal than a Show Dog, Carnegie has other options for eating out. In addition to the Pizza Hut and another Sonic, there is also another El Charro, north of the river bridge and Georgia's, which is on Highway 9 going West of Carnegie towards Mt. View. Georgia's has featured all you can eat fried fish on Friday nights.

So, I hope this has intrigued you about spending a day junking and museum hopping  in Caddo County in Southwest Oklahoma.   I will post pictures after my next trip to Anadarko, as I had forgotten my camera the last time I went. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In Katrina's Kitchen: Homemade Cheez-Its

I stumbled through a variety of links today that went back to this recipe for homemade cheese crackers. If you've ever wanted to make your own Cheez-Its, this is your opportunity. These would be easy to make and take when you're expected to show up with something simple to eat. Of course, it won't work if you're responsible for a big main dish. In Katrina's Kitchen: Homemade Cheez-Its:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint | A Family Food Drinkery

Recently, I saw The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint of Mississippi, featured on Picker Sisters. Then tonight when I stumbled across their website on another blog, my husband told me he had also seen them featured on some show on the Travel Channel. Anyway, it looks like a place we need to go to when we're on a vacation in the south. However, we've had such a hot summer in Oklahoma, I don't know when I'm going to feel like going anywhere even hotter than it is here. But, I know my desire to go on vacation will overpower my desire to not get too hot. Read "The Shed Welcomes You!, it's a very fun read.

  The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint | A Family Food Drinkery:

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

DIY Home Decor Crafts - Easy Home Decorating Craft Ideas - Country Living

Wish I could get the hang of doing the pictures on this BlogThis process. However, this is a great table made from an old wooden cable spool. It has far surpassed the 1970's hippie cable tables I remember seeing in people's houses back then. Unfortunately, I think my woodworking skills are in the learning disabled dept., I don't think I could master the dowels on this. Check these ideas out. 

DIY Home Decor Crafts - Easy Home Decorating Craft Ideas - Country Living:

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kids Eat Free and Kids Meal Deals Search Engine

Check out this website in order to find out where you can feed children for free. Kids Eat Free and Kids Meal Deals Search Engine

Just a tip, I got nowhere when I entered the nearest small town, which does have some National/Regional chains.  When I entered Lawton, OK I got back 3 options. When I entered Oklahoma City, OK I got 32 choices.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Road Trip: Weatherford, OK

My husband Mike and I decided on the spur of the moment to drive over to Weatherford last weekend. We were going to eat at the DOWNTOWN DINER, (580-774-1234; 123 W. Main) owned and operated by a hometown guy, Steve Ralston, who grew up at Fort Cobb. His younger sister Brenda was in my Girl Scout troop and his mother Marjorie, also was a good helper with Girl Scouts. (Actually, I have older stories than that. His grandfather Tom used to work for my dad, long before Steve was ever born, plus I have a lot of memories of his grandmother's beauty shop, but that's another story.) However, when we arrived in town, we discovered that Saturday is the diner's day to close early, at either 2 or 2:30. I can understand that, a lot of small towns in Oklahoma have realized they aren't all that busy on late Saturday afternoons and have taken to closing earlier. So, I will have to go into more detail about DOWNTOWN DINER on our next trip to Weatherford, since the last time I was there, I was eating, not taking notes. Let's just say there are a lot of "retro, down home country cooking" choices with great desserts. There is so much to pick from I had a hard time deciding, but was happy with my Kitty Chicken Salad and Key Lime Cake. I called the restaurant to get the hours so you wouldn't make the mistake I made. They are open from 6 am to 2 pm Tues, Wed, and Saturday. On Thursday and Friday, they're open from 6 to 8. Go, you'll be glad you did.

Eyewitness News 5 made Weatherford one  of their 2011 Helping Hands Road Trip visits today and I think they were planning to make Downtown Diner as one of their headquarters, I saw a list of the planned agendas the last time I ate there. (Unfortunately, I have lost track of time while I fell into cyber-land today and forgot to turn the station in time to catch the 5 pm news. However, by 6 p.m. they had moved on to another location. I'm sure they will have some links on their website about it as well.)

On our way to the Diner, we stopped at a new store I've been wanting to visit, JUNKPILE STYLE. It's owned and operated by Sheila Meyer. The location is at 1010 E. Main St., Weatherford. Her phone is 580-772-2272. Her e-mail is Sheilarickaz@msn.com.  I will post some pictures...just as soon as I figure out how to e-mail them to myself from my Blackberry so I can access them off my computer. (I don't think I've mentioned it, but my technological skills are about on par with turning on light-switches and operating a washer and dryer.) JUNKPILE STYLE's hours are Monday thru Saturday from 10 am to 5:30 pm.

We really enjoyed looking around at JUNKPILE STYLE.  Sheila has only been open since June, but her store already has a nice homey feel. She really has a nice eye for display arrangements and has found some  nice pieces. One piece I especially loved was a painted dining room table with wallpaper squares decopauged on top. If you have a dyed in the wool Bing Crosby fan in your life, she has a great picture you need to get them. She has old school maps, a Coke machine, and lots of re-purposed furniture.  She told me she enjoys repurposing stuff and redoing furniture. So if, you find yourself out on I-40 in Western Oklahoma, make a point to take the Weatherford exit and go exploring. I really need to go back to Weatherford when I can spend some more time and give you a list of other places to visit while you're there.

Oh, and since we couldn't eat at DOWNTOWN DINER, we had to force ourselves to eat at LUCILLE'S ROADHOUSE (lol), which is also another good place to eat. We both ordered the Chicken Fried Steak and therefore had to have a doggy carton to take home. We had enough food to eat 2 more meals afterward. I told Mike the next time we need to get one dinner with 2 plates and we would have had more room for the Blackberry pie.  Of course, if we hadn't had the Fried Pickle appetizer, we would have had more room. When you go to Weatherford, plan on spending enough time to eat lunch at the Diner and supper at the Roadhouse...or have an afternoon snack at the diner, they have homemade pies and cakes.

I broke one of my rules that day...I took my husband. He is junking-challenged and has a bit of a problem with it. However, he does enjoy a good meal, so he was able to still find some joy in the experience.  Although really, shouldn't my stimulating wit and conversation have been enough? I highly recommend you get out on the road and head to Weatherford some day. In addition to several antique/junk stores, there are also some museums, the Stafford Air and Space Museum (580-772-5871) and the Heartland Museum  (580-774-2212),  Plus, my mother likes it because they have a Super Wal-Mart and a Stage....something for everyone.

Although I don't have any pictures to add at this time, I did decide to upload Sheila's business card for JUNKYARD STYLE. I was quite taken with it, it's very eye-catching.

Please disregard the www.junkpilestyle.com address. Sheila says for now that she can be reached at the Sheilarickaz@msn.com and 580-772-2272.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Road Trip: Cordell and Clinton, OK

When I'm in the mood for a little nearby junking, I run over to Cordell and Clinton for the morning or afternoon. I wander the back roads till I get to Highway 152, going west. Cordell is only about 35 minutes from my house and Clinton is 16 miles from Cordell, so it makes an easy and convenient day trip. For those outside the Southwest Oklahoma area, Clinton is 84 miles west of Oklahoma City, just off I-40. To get to Cordell from Lawton, take US 62 west from Lawton for 26 miles and US 183 for 49 miles.

CORDELL has two 2 second hand stores, both in the down-town area.
J & D's BARGAINS is operated by J. and Debbie Banks. Their store is jam packed, just don't go expecting a lot of furniture choices because they have limited floor space and have invested heavily in the glassware and cookware type of collectables. If you need a lid for a specific Pyrex dish, need a pie plate, or want to acquire a set of cornflower blue pattern Corning Ware dishes - J & D's is your go-to place. We all have our stories of the "one that got away", and one of my most memorable lost pieces was a storage shelf for $5.00 @ J.&D.'s.  I was in a car that day and didn't have room for a rickety shelf.  About 2 days later when I was back home I realized how and where I could have used it and how to reinforce it. By the time I got back over there - it was gone, of course. J & D's is stocked from the floors to the ceiling with stuff and lots of it. There is a book and cookbook section, 50's and 60's kitsch, dishes, pans, cast iron cookware, tools, basically, you name it...they may have it. They have things I don't even know the names of.  Just don't go expecting furniture because they don't have a lot of space to store it. However, the day I was in there in late June there were probably a half dozen pieces of miscellaneous pieces of furniture.

JUDA THRIFT STORE is operated by a local church ministry and generates income for their food bank program. In many ways, it's a typical church thrift store. Every time I'm there, I see a half dozen customers, so they seem to stay busy. They seem to specialize in standard economical clothing. I found a great pair of black gingham Capri pants for $1.00. However, I don't usually shop the clothing. I think if you were looking for basic clothing to cut up for making rag rugs or crafts, this would be the place to go. They usually have some furniture to pick through, as well as kitchen stuff. I did notice that whoever did the most recent pricing had used a black magic marker and actually wrote prices on the outside of items. I don't know if it was the type of marker that would scrub off - so that could be quite the detriment depending on the item. This place is quite the grab bag of assorted items. I either find nothing...or several items of interest. The last time I was there, I found a heavy duty stainless cooker/strainer for $2.00 that fits down inside a stock pot and the complete collection of Beatrix Potter in one book that was in excellent condition. This is one of those places you really have to filter out the junk. Of course, they are beholden to their donations, which are often probably the leftovers from garage sales.

When I'm in Cordell, I also like to drop by THE TANGERINE DOOR@ 217 E. Main, 580-832-2786. It definitely isn't bargain shopping, but they do have neat and interesting merchandise. I can always find something to buy and put away for future gift giving or use for my own enjoyment.

When I drove on to CLINTON, it was with the plan to go to THE MULBERRY BUSH. However, when I drove by the store that had been their location, it was empty with a For Sale sign. Realizing it was Sonic Happy Hour, I went there to regroup. Aren't cell phones with data plans wonderful? I looked up yellowpages.com and found the current phone number for THE MULBERRY BUSH ANTIQUE MALL AND VINTAGE MARKET @ 604 Frisco Ave. When I called, I discovered that they had just been open at their new location for 3 weeks, after having been closed since October of 2010. (I had not realized how long it had been since I'd been able to run over to Clinton.) Their new location is great. It's 2-two floors of booths & vendors. The location is very interesting. Posts have been created out of tree trunks and there is an old time store's decorative display area on the 2nd floor. Cheryl Crane McCullers is the owner. She is open Mon. thru Sat from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. She also goes to Canton, TX. Her Facebook page is listed as The Mulberry Bush Vintage Market and she shows lots of current pictures of current stock. She also has a website at www.tmbgifts.com.

Down the street, also on Frisco Ave, you will find MEMORY LANE ANTIQUE MALL @ 624 Frisco Ave. Memory Lane has two store's worth of booths and NANA'S ANTIQUES AND GIFTS @ 706 Frisco Ave. Nana's has booth vendors also, and quite an assortment of colorful refinished furniture, that's different than anything I've seen elsewhere. Her rescued counter top with stools is a great place to rest while you're checking out at the register. Nana's is also on Facebook listed as Nana's Antiques-Gifts. 

New Okla. City Antique Stop

I ran to OKLA. CITY this week to take care of several things and discovered a place new to me that will join my "must visit" list in the future: The RED ROOSTER ANTIQUE MALL at 305 SW 89th Street. From the street it doesn't look like a very big place, but once I got in there, I realized it was huge with lots of vendors. Several were having pretty good sales. Booth 88 was having a 50% off sale (scored a large cardboard Coca Cola sign for my collection). One room had a $3 table. Found a couple of unique things. I found a neat Walt Disney collectable that I will have to take a picture of to show, mere words will not do it justice. I also loved the little picture display I bought that had a criss-crossed spoon and fork in the front.  If you are into retro clothing and shoes, they had the biggest selection I've seen in years. Anyone need a retro prom dress to display for their bedroom or sewing room? The owner was very friendly and helpful. This will definitely not be my last trip to this shop. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the outside to help give you an idea what to look for if you decide to go there, but it was another one of our Oklahoma 100+ days and I think I was brain dead from the heat by that time.

After I left the RED ROOSTER I cut over to Shields Blvd to get cheap gas and cut through the down-town area so I could get over to BIG TRUCK TACOS at 530 NW 23rd Street. I had to order my favorite - the Flaming Lips tacos. Before the day was over I checked the sales at Joann's and Michaels. Found lots of useful stuff in the $1 sections at Michaels. It looks like it won't be long before the new Outlet Mall will be finished out on west I-40. I also got a new hair cut which looked amazing that day at the salon. Unfortunately, not so much now that I'm doing it myself. Unfortunately, while I was shopping I accidentally deleted my OKC memo on my Blackberry - so I lost lots of important info I will have to recreate. All because I thought I was deleting one word. There's lots to do and see in OKC, but that will have to be save for other days.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Why, the Red Dirt Cowgirl Drives Again?

I've been looking around for a Blog that celebrates back door travel of Oklahoma...you know, the places where you can find good junk stores, antique stores, flea markets, good food, great recipes, and interesting places to visit. Well, so far I haven't found such a Blog, so you know what they say, write about what you know. I've been roaming around looking for junk and back roads and interesting highway trips since not long after I started driving. So, I decided, it was finally time for me to start that Blog. Since I grew up in the red dirt country of Southwest Oklahoma and still live down the road from one of the few remaining red dirt roads that will probably never get black-topped, I've been thinking about the demise of red dirt roads and decided to commemorate them also with my Blog.

When I was 16 I took my first foray into the furniture refinishing world with an old rusted ice cream parlour chair missing the seat and managed to turn it into a finished white chair with a cushion for a high school home management project. A couple of years later during my freshman year of college, one of my college best friends introduced me to junk store shopping. These two experiences have led to me developing the lifetime hobbies of furniture refinishing and junk store reclamations. Over and over again, I have taken old furniture in bad shape and turned it into something fun. It has been a fun and rewarding hobby economically and a way to meet some interesting people along the way. I recommend trying it, you might be surprised what you will find.