Friday, July 11, 2014


Do you read the Sunday Oklahoman?  If you do, last Sunday you might have read Malcolm Berko's column in the Business section.  It is titled "Is it the right time to put money in REITs?"  A couple asked Mr. Berko a question about his take on an investment that their engineer friend had suggested.  Mr. Berko answers, in part, as follows:

"I have a long-time friend who is an engineer and also a non-pareil stock picker.  I've watched this guy pick stocks for 38 years -- and watched him buy stocks that looked like garbage but turned into gold.  I came to the conclusion 205 years ago that engineers rather than politicians and lawyers should rule the world.  Imagine for a moment that the president, the Cabinet and all the White House staff were engineers instead of lawyers.

Then imagine that members of Congress (47 percent are lawyers) were engineers.  Without question, our tax code would be fair; the budget would be balanced; our public schools would be exceptional; poverty would be eliminated; welfare plummet; the trains would run on time; and there would be peace in the valley.  Lawyers are America's terrorists but without guns or suicide vests."

Mr. Berko goes on to answer the couple's question regarding an investment of REITs, but it is take on engineers that causes me to laugh.  If you have ever met or known an engineer, you might tend to agree with him. 

I married one of these engineers and here's a little tongue in cheek of what I have learned from a union of 42 years. 

If you want to do anything, and I repeat, anything on the spur of the moment - do NOT marry an engineer.  Things have to be thought through thoroughly and there might be drawings involved.

If you want your engineer to handcraft an item, expect this project to take weeks and weeks, with drawing after drawing.  Expect to see a list of parts needed with associated costs.  Then expect to see a list of like items selling in the stores and a price comparison and the feasibility and practicality of the hand crafted item versus one from a store.  By the way, an engineer's time is almost never accounted for in a price comparison.  They work for free.  If your engineer should finally decide that the project is worthwhile, there will be a build sheet, cost listed for all individual parts, and now in the digital age, pictures.

If you want a brand new car - do NOT ever marry an engineer -- do you know how much a car's value drops just driving it off the lot?  Nope, not gonna happen in the Tucker house.

If you expect to have a new appliance now and again - do NOT marry an engineer.  That engineer you married takes great delight in seeing just how long they can make an appliance last.  Case in point, my dishwasher was bought in 1987 (I kid you not!) has been fixed probably 5 times.............the sucker just won't break to the point of not being fixable by my engineer hubby.  On the positive side, an engineer can save you tons of money.

If you want to win at any trivia game - marry an engineer.  They are the smartest people I have ever met with few exceptions who, come to think of it, are just non-degreed engineers themselves. 

Engineers are NOT snappy dressers.  Clothes are definitely not a first priority for most engineers.  In fact, their clothes might be a little thread-bare.  If they are still working, it wouldn't be that unusual to see them with a pocket protector.  And you can depend on them to have an ink pen within their reach.   Trivia:  They work crossword puzzles in ink.

I wrote all this as humor, but there is a lot of truth in it as well.  The engineer I married can fix almost anything.  This has been proven on many occasions by many people.  If you can't figure it out, call Johnny.  First, he is probably going to ask you if it is plugged in, if you checked to see if you need gas, if you checked the circuit breaker, and what you were doing at the time of breakage. Then even if you verified all these things to him, when he comes to your rescue he will check them out himself.  Engineers leave little to chance so don't be offended if he checks everything twice.  They are also by nature very pessimistic.  They tend not to believe a word of anything until they have researched and tested it themselves.  

Yep, an engineer is good to have around and very handy. 

I love you!        


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Concert in the Park

Tonight we did something we rarely do anymore.  We went to a concert in the park; not just any concert.........a big band concert.  While the music was just ok, the moment was nice.  The 80 degree temperatures with a slight breeze made for a delightful time.  What made it more delightful was just knowing that park was still being used.  Kids on scooters, young adults biking, football practice, picnics, dogs being walked, snow cones, walkers, runners...........and all sorts of other venues.

We used to go to outdoor concerts every week; our little kids in tow.  We'd spread our blankets out and break out the picnic baskets and treats and wait for the music to begin.  I have a fond memory of the man over under that tree at Mount Saint Mary's dancing alone; his left arm up around his imaginary lady's shoulders and his right around her waist.  I would love to have known his story for he reminded me of my own father.  Was he a World War II vet?  Was he a widower?  Was he dreaming of the imaginary lady?  Or was he just enjoying the music?  He didn't even know anybody was watching.........but I was.  It was a beautiful poignant sight and filled me with a lump in my throat.............watching him and his imaginary lady..............and that lump is in my throat just recalling him again.

Another memory for me was dancing with my youngest nephew back in the early 80s.  We were at a Prairie Home Companion show that was being broadcast from an Edmond park.  My nephew was just a little baby and the music was lively so I couldn't help myself.  I remember the spontaneity of jumping up and grabbing that sweet baby and bouncing him around a bit.  I dare not use the word dance.  I think we all use a baby now and again just to do something that we'd otherwise not do. 

I don't recall all the individual concert venues, but the memories of snapping open the blanket, the picnics, the sodas, the treats for the children, the laughter, the dancing of toddlers around our blanket, the sleepy kids staring at the evening stars...............those have jelled into the most beautiful concert of all.

I hope my children remember those good times for I sure do.  I hope they have fond memories of their childhood.  I hope their memories are as good as the ones I recall..............even if we never got them a McDonald's Happy Meal. 

I love you.

Friday, July 4, 2014

With Stars On

We have just a little less than two hours left for this July 4th, 2014, and fireworks are still booming all around us.  And I love it.  I love everything about the 4th even though we don't do much.  Flag was flying in all its glory! 

For many years we have had such drought conditions that people just wouldn't dare shoot a fire cracker for fear of burning down their house.  Lots of rain has made this year different.  I have never seen such personal displays...........EVER!!!!!!!!!!!  They are big as those provided by the local parks and towns but provided by our neighbors.  Tonight we didn't even leave our neighborhood.  The Midwest City fireworks are just ramping up, 8 miles away, just as our neighborhood displays are dying down.  And just think, California is just beginning their fireworks.  Don't you just love America? 

To me, the 4th represents everything good about America.  Stars, Hot dogs, fire crackers, hamburgers, barbequed ribs, star-shaped sunglasses, homemade ice cream, picnics, fishing, boating, red-white-blue, corn on the cob, sparklers, potato salad, flags, and over-the-top firework displays.  Maybe you had at least one of those today. 
Happy 4th of July America.  We'll see you next year..........with stars on!

I love you.....AMERICA, AMERICA.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Girly Girls

Avon Lipstick 001Avon Lipstick 002Avon Lipstick 003

Good evening everybody. 

Remember these, girls?  This is an Avon lipstick sample and what every little girl loved back in the 60s.  Back in those days, the Avon lady actually came to our house with all her samples.  That bag she carried had all sorts of potions, but what we wanted was that little lipstick.

The Avon lady always had a handful of these little beauties and I couldn't wait to pick a color.  One I particularly remember, and what I wore in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade was the color Mauve.  Just plain old Mauve, not Enchanting Mauve, not Magnificent Mauve, just plain old Mauve.

Today on our way to Ulta to browse the makeup aisles, my daughter told me she was out of her favorite Tarte lipstick.  She showed it to me and indeed, it was flat.  I told her there was lipstick left in the tube.  Not believing me, I told her how I always got the last little drop of lipstick out of those tiny Avon samples.  She said, "Oh, I remember those little samples.  Grandma always had some."  I told her to put her lipstick to her lips and form her lips around it.  Then I explained that she needed to suck on the lipstick until it pulled out a bit.  She was shocked at how much lipstick was remaining in the tube.  "Well, Mom, look at you!"  and then she laughed.  We both laughed at how clever I was all those years ago. 

Back in those days we literally used things least I did.  A new tube of lipstick was rare.  There wasn't a lot of money for lipstick, and I could make that little tiny tube of lipstick last another week or more...........or until the Avon lady came back again.

What fun we had just being girly girls today.

I love you.

Ella Lowe was our Avon lady.  Yes, she was also the cook at our little rural school.  I loved when she'd come down our driveway, and secretly, I think Mom did, too; our little time to be girly girls.  I thought of that when my daughter and I were checking out all the makeup.......just girly girls.

And if you are wondering, that is one of mom's samples from years ago.  When we cleared her bedroom, I found that little lipstick and just couldn't throw it away.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blaine’s 10th Birthday

Blaine's 10th birthday 025Blaine's 10th birthday 057Blaine's 10th birthday 069Blaine's 10th birthday 049

Ten short years ago this little boy made his way into our lives and hearts.  Such a precious baby is not a 10 year old just on the cusp of being a teenager.  How can that be?  Time seems to be marching on.  The days may go slow, but the years disappear in a flash.

This is the first year he has not wanted a birthday party with friends.  He wanted to have salmon patties at my house and play volleyball with his family.  That is exactly what he got.  I have to ask you, though, when is the last time any of you had your child or grandchild ask for salmon patties for dinner, let alone a birthday dinner?

Blaine bragged and bragged on my salmon patties, thanking me over and over.  It was my pleasure of course.  I hope he comes back for his 21st and asks me to make him salmon patties again.

So in honor of Blaine's birthday and just in case Blaine wants to make them, here is the recipe.  Blaine, I quadrupled the recipe for your birthday and had plenty left over for you to take home.

Grandma's Salmon Patties

Canned Salmon, 1 14 oz can
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Any other seasoning you'd like to use.  I used Greek Seasoning last night

Plenty of finely crushed saltines

Drain the salmon, but reserve the liquid.
Mash and mash and mash the salmon to completely pulverize all bones.
This will take time, but important for the texture. 
Add an egg and mix very well.
If the mixture seems a little dry, you can add a bit of the reserved liquid.
Form your patties and roll into the saltine crumbs.

Cover the bottom of your skillet with oil.  I use olive oil.
Once the skillet is hot, drop your patties into the pan, turning when deeply golden brown.
Last night I used my cast iron skillet and cooked on the grill burner outside.

Blaine if you make these, call me.  I will be there.  Oh, by the way, I think they are
even better as cold leftovers.

I love you.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Regina’s Mexican Flavor Salad

Regina's Mexican Flavor Salad


I have really been craving salads lately; particularly chopped salad.

Last week I made this one with ingredients I had on hand.

It was so good, that I made it again later in the week…well sort of….


Regina’s Mexican Flavor Salad


Chopped Iceberg Lettuce

Avocado, chopped

Tomatoes, chopped

Corn on the Cob, grilled and cooled

Black Beans, rinsed and drained

Green Onions, chopped

Cilantro, chopped, and this ingredient is essential for the flavor


Since this salad is made to taste, you can add as much of the ingredients as you want.

I chopped about 1/3 head of a large head of lettuce for one serving – ME!

Grill the corn so that you have some blackened bits on the corn and cool.  Slice the corn off the cob and add to the salad.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients, leaving the avocado till last so that you don’t mush so much.




1/2 cup Ranch Dressing (I made my own from a Hidden Valley Ranch packet)

Jalapeno Pepper (seeded, membrane removed, and diced finely)

Ground Red Pepper


Add the jalapeno to the Ranch Dressing and a little ground red pepper or any other seasoning you might have on hand.

I used some red pepper spice mix I had on hand.  By the way, with seeds and membrane removed, the jalapeno is not hot.


Pour dressing over salad to your taste.  Toss, toss, toss.  You won’t need as much as you might think because the

avocado will act as a dressing, too.


I had a lot of dressing left over so I made another salad later in the week.

I didn’t have avocado and I used garbanzo beans instead of black beans.

I used white peg corn straight out of the can instead of corn on the cob.

I used diced yellow onion instead of green onions.

So you could basically say I had a whole new recipe.

Nonetheless, it was delicious, too.


Experimental Recipe – a Winner.


I love you.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blaine’s Interview–10 Years Old

Audrey in Turquoise 234

Good afternoon everybody.  I hope you enjoyed the beautiful morning here in Oklahoma.  Cloudy and almost felt like there was a slight mist in the air.  A perfectly delightful morning.

As you know if you have ever read this blog, I could be writing about anything that hits my fancy.  This last weekend, Blaine and I were having a nice conversation so I decided I would ask him a few questions and post his answers here. 

Saturday, 21 June 2014 (I still can't get away from writing my dates like that--27 years working for the government does that to you.)

Blaine, meet your 9 year old self, 10 days shy of being 10 years.  This is what you answered to my questions the summer between 4th and 5th grade.

1.  What are you looking forward to doing next year in the 5th grade?  Being able to learn more about math.
2.  What would you like to do when you are a grown up?  Be a soccer player.
3.  Have you kissed a girl?  No!
4.  What is your favorite food?  Salmon patties.
5.  Candy or potato chips?  Candy
6.  Favorite subject?  Social studies and Greek Mythology
7.  What worries you the most?  When people say "y'all", knats, and when Mommy gets on to me.
8.  Favorite restaurant?  Sonic
9.  What would you like to for a first job?  Movie theater
10Favorite color?  Blue
11.  What is a good age for a first date?  22
12.  Who's smarter, boys or girls?  Boys because most of the boys in my class are smarter.  Girls have better handwriting.
13.  Who's your favorite person in the world other than relatives?  Lionel Messi
14.  Would you rather get up early or sleep late?  Get up early.
15.  What is the best bedtime?  9:00
16.  If you needed glasses would you rather have glasses or contacts?  Contacts
17.  Donut or candy bar?  Candy bar
18.  Have you mowed the lawn yet?  Yeah
19.  What do you think of our president?  I don't much like him because his wife banned cinnamon rolls.  I'd just rather have another president.
20.  What do you want to study in college?  Greek Mythology
21.  Do you have any hopes and dreams?  To be in the Olympics
22.  How many kids do you want?  3
23.  How old should you be before you marry?  25
24.  What will your wife look like?  Blond, blue eyes, and sporty.
25.  Chocolate milk or regular?  Regular
26.  Favorite breakfast food?  Pancakes
27.  Where would you like to travel?  Argentina, Spain, Italy and France
28.  What would you like Logan to be when he grows up?  Work in a fancy store or restaurant.
29.  What would you like Audrey to be when she grows up?  Doctor or nurse
30.  What will you be doing in 5 years?  Playing soccer
31.  Will you be a kind man?  Of course!
32.  Who's your favorite teacher?  Miss Embrey
33.  Who's you best friend?  Oscar Sanchez   Why is he your best friend?  He is nice.  He likes sports and we have a lot in common.
34.  What do people like about you?  I am really passionate about things and I am sporty.
35.  Will you own a dog when you get older?  Yes, a big one like Chloe or bigger.
36.  Do you like sunny days or cloudy days?  Sunny days
37.  What's your favorite zoo animal?  Tiger
38.  When do you want a room of your own?  Maybe 13

I love you!!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's Nice That She Still Gets Out

I am continuing the swimsuit theme today so if you males out there want to look away, that'd be just great.  In fact at this point you might notice that X in the upper right hand corner of your electronic gadget and click on it. 

Fair warning - Well........there's nothing in here that is going to cause you any disturbance........I don't think.  Umm, maybe a few nightmares.

Looking through those suits yesterday made me wonder just who designs them.  They are perfect for those younger than 30, those with C cups or less, and those gals weighing less than 120 pound.  I'd flip through them accessing the cup sizes as I went.  Did you know that some of them could actually be used as vessels for poached eggs?.......yep, just about fit a sunny side up egg.  Where's the cups the size of large coffee filters?  But I digress.  Nope, nope, nope, ooh maybe that will fit.  Shoot......that is a size 22.  NOPE - not that size yet. 
After I finally found the right size top, (truth be known - settled on a few that MIGHT fit) it was time to look for a bottom.  Bikini bottom, full panty bottom, boy leg bottom, bottom with a flouncy little skirt, bottom with a straight many choices.........all in black I might add.  I finally found my size and off to the dressing I went.  One thing I want to point out right here, just in case you are going to look for a swimsuit in the near future.  DO NOT look at the hangar for sizes.  They are ALL on the wrong hangars.  If you grab a size 10 hangar, you are liable to get a size 22 or a size 2.  I guess so many women were so frustrated that they just grabbed any old hangar and ran right out the door.  Just get out of here.

I don't know how I was able to find a couple of swimsuits yesterday, but I did.  Perhaps I am now at the age my body was 30 years ago.  I have been in an old, wrinkly body a long, long, long time; built just like my mother.  I just didn't feel as intimidated as the last time I shopped for one---probably 10 years ago.  I guess I am finally at the age where I know there isn't a person out there who cares what I look like.  If anybody thinks anything, it will be "Oh, look at that cute little old woman in her cute little swimsuit.  Isn't she sweet.  I think it is nice that she still gets out."

That all today, folks.  Enough about swimsuits, huh?  I'm just going to think "It's nice that she still gets out."

I love you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two New Swimsuits. So happy!

I have no plans for a vacation, nor do I have plans to go swimming; nonetheless, I have a longing for a new swim suit.  Nothing do but devote two days of my quiet little life looking for a swim suit that was age appropriate, but sexy; sexy, but demure.  A challenge ensued.  I must find something. I cannot walk away defeated by the fact that I am just a little bit.............uh.........fluffy...........and in my sixth decade (when I am old I shall wear purple or in this case, shall wear a swimsuit).

Shopping for a swimsuit is NOT for the faint of heart.  Did you know there is serious risk to suffocation when trying on those two piece swimsuits (not bikinis)?  You get that 6 inch width spandex at the wrong spot and you will be gasping for air, and you'll be pulling, and tugging, and throwing up your hands in defeat, only to remember you HAVE to get the thing either down or back over your head.  Yes, that was my experience.  I was on high center, wouldn't go up, wouldn't go down.  I could not leave the dressing room until I got the thing OFF.  I had to do something.   So I gasped, pulled, and tugged again until that thing shot over my head like a huge rubber band and landed in a heap on the floor.  Do they seriously expect us girls to wear this?  I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.  I was pulling them down over my head rather than stepping into the suit. just got a little easier. 

I finally came out a winner with two swimsuits that fit the 'age appropriate, but sexy, sexy, but demure' category.  It wasn't easy.  If you are shopping for a new swimsuit, let me tell you what is out there...................a huge selection of suits that are for anyone who fits in a size 4 or below and who is flat chested.  What's not out there............................a huge selection of suits for a woman of 6 decades.  There isn't a lot out there to fit (am I am not bragging) an endowed woman.  Where in the world am I going to put the girls?????? 

Nope, buying a swimsuit is not for the faint of heart, but I walked out with a smile on my face.  Two new swimsuits.  So happy!

I love you.

A certain sweet woman I know reported that she recently got the first two swimsuits she tried on.  Seriously, who does that?  If the hubby and I were at the beach, she'd be the person I would point out to the hubby, whining how I wanted to look as good as her in my swimsuit.  In his honesty, he'd say, "You do realize that she is several years younger than you, weighs less, and has great legs."  Ooh, he has made me mad now.

As my sister said recently, "I look good in a swimsuit.  It's all that stuff hanging out of the swimsuit that doesn't look good."  "So happy.", I text her today.  She replied, "Now those are two words I have never used together when buying a swimsuit."   



Monday, June 23, 2014

If I had a Home Away from Home

It has almost all I want out of life.........that being Red River, NM, my favorite spot on this earth.  My home away from home.  If we were there this morning, right now at this exact time--7:00 a.m. MT, we'd just be beginning to wake up.  I'd turn over and notice a slight glow coming through the bedroom window and the old white cotton curtains stirring just a little bit from the crisp, cool, mountain air.  It'd be just cool enough to want to snuggle under the covers for a few more minutes. 

There are things to do this morning so rouse myself and brace for the chilly bumps as I put my feet on the floor.  I notice the front room is glowing from the sunshine (with the help of the old gold drapes that have been there forever) and the shiny pine paneling.  Time to get this day started.  Out to the balcony I'd stumble to observe sunrise coming over the mountain.  The town is still in the shadow of the mountain, but the brightness of the sun illuminating the top of the ski slopes is almost blinding. 

Another day has begun in Red River.  The sleepy little town is coming alive.  In fact, I can see several cars at Shotgun Willy's.  Yes, breakfast AND COFFEE are being served as I type.  The Der Markt (yes, that is the correct spelling) is open for all the essentials you'd need if you were not going out for breakfast. Looking down the street, cars are parked at a few places indicating which businesses are open for breakfast.  Yes, the town is coming alive.

Just what will we do today?  Rent an off road vehicle and go up the mountain?  Walk around town and peek in the shops?  Drive over to Taos and have a nice lunch outside in the plaza watching the people go by, or maybe shop just a little in the old town?  Go see the Vietnam Memorial?  Go see the gorge?  Float down the river?  Oh so many things from which to choose.

It really doesn't matter what we do for it is all good.  You can have your sandy beaches, but for me I will take my mountain home away from home.......IF I HAD A HOME AWAY FROM HOME.

I love you.

Clear, with a high near 75, and a chance of afternoon showers.  What's not to love when it is 105 in Oklahoma today.  No, that is not today's forecast, but we have been there when it was.