Posted in Adventure, Food

Jicama and a Barbcue Place – Adventures in Food

Trying new foods is one of my “adventures.” Sometimes it’s food new to me, sometimes it’s a food prepared in a different way, or by someone who knows how to cook it, sometimes it’s a new eating establishment.

This month I have two food adventures to share. A new eating place, and a new food.

First up, Earl’s

Earl’s is a barbecue place in Edmond Oklahoma. I wish I’d thought to take pictures. It’s one of my cousin’s favorite places to eat and he treated me to lunch earlier this week when I had to be in the city.  The interior has a fifties vibe. The restrooms are labeled, Elvis (men’s) and Priscilla (women).  Inside the ladies room are large framed pictures of Elvis and Priscilla, one with them holding baby Lisa Marie.

The dining room has space between the tables so the guests aren’t crowded during the busy times, although we were lucky and were eating at an odd time, so the place wasn’t too busy. The tables are polished with just a little bit of texture remaining. Old license plates from around the country decorate the walls.

The food was good,  they didn’t skimp on the meat or the fries. Dessert was cobbler. I had blackberry, his mom had peach. They didn’t skimp on the servings there either. Mine might have been two servings somewhere else. No, I did not save part of it for later. Ate the whole thing then and there, and enjoyed it. I’m willing to go back next time he wants to go. I might even go by myself next time I’m in that part of the city.

Okra is a must

I first learned about Earls this summer with my cousins and I were traveling to California. We stopped at a barbecue place in New Mexico or Arizona and he was beyond upset that they didn’t serve okra.  I’m not sure New Mexico or Arizona knows about okra. Okra is served almost everywhere in Oklahoma and Texas, and I often order it, sometimes by itself.  I didn’t know okra was considered a staple side dish for barbecue. After all, I always have fries and or coleslaw. However, in his mind okra goes with barbecue, period. Which made it imperative for him that I eat at Earl’s so I could see how barbecue should be served.

It was a great day. Good food and good company.

A New Food

While I was in the city another friend asked me to pick up some   jicama. I thought she wanted it for her. But, since I won’t see her for almost two weeks, and we weren’t sure how long Jicama would last, it turned out it is for me. I hope I like it, I love saying the name “Hic a ma.” with a name that fun to say, it’s bound to taste good.

What is it?

According to the internet jicama is:  a Mexican yam bean or Mexican turnip. It is the edible tuberous root of a Mexican vine, jicama. According to the label on my purchase, and the nice man who helped me find it in the store, it is known as a Mexican potato.


Do you try new eating places often?

Do you try new foods often?

What was the last new dish you tried? Did  you like it?



Posted in Adventure, Food

Celebrate Life – Have Ice Cream for Breakfast


Life is a celebration. Sometimes, in the hectic day to day living or just trying to survive, we forget that. Today is Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. The idea is to celebrate the lives of children who are fighting cancer and honor the memory of those who fought and lost. It’s a great way to remember to celebrate life, ours and others’. Children come in all ages. Those who are chronologically young, and those who are young in heart and spirit.

Cancer survivor, Jared celebrating life with ice cream
Cancer survivor, Jared celebrating life with ice cream


However, I mixed my dates up and had ice cream for breakfast yesterday in celebration of ALL children who are, or have fought cancer. Even made a special trip to the store to buy ice cream, because I don’t keep it at the house. 


Choices, choices, so many ice cream choices.
Choices, choices, so many ice cream choices.

Since today is the actual Eat Ice Cream day, I once again celebrated with ice cream for breakfast.



Today I will celebrate life by spending time with my grandson. How will you celebrate life today?

Have you ever had ice cream for breakfast?

How about dessert first? Ever eat dessert before the meal?

Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Join me on my Facebook page, Creating a Diamond Life.



Posted in Adventure, Ultimate Blog Challenge

Cyber Space – The New Final Frontier?


The New Final Frontier

Captain Kirk was wrong. Space wasn’t the final frontier. There is still new territory to explore. New territory we can explore from the comfort of our home. Cyber Space is the final frontier.

What’s in Cyber Space

Cyber space has everything. People who have the same interests and will visit and share ideas with you are in cyber space. People who will read your words, and be moved to action, are in cyber space. People who will encourage and cheer you on as you attempt something new can be found in cyber space. People who are available at all hours are in cyber space. People you already know and like, but seldom have a chance to connect with are in cyber space.

Cyber space is also filled with education, want to learn how to do an activity? Instructions can be found in cyber space. Want to know how to spell a word, or find a fact? Cyber space has the answer. Need someone to help you? They can be found in cyber space.

Be Brave

Try a new venture. Visit a new place. Share your knowledge. Venture into the final frontier. Let cyber space help you.

Do you try new things often?

Have you tried a new online social media activity?

What is your favorite thing about cyber space?

Share your thoughts in the comments. This post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Joining a challenge is entering a new frontier. Don’t be afraid. Try something new.


Posted in Adventure, Ultimate Blog Challenge

Let the Wild Child Out; Embrace Your Inner Rebel



After we had been married a lot of years, maybe 20 or so, I asked my husband what first attracted him to me.

He said, “I saw you walking down the sidewalk and you had writing on your jeans. I thought, I have to meet that girl who writes on her jeans.”

We were in college, it was 1971, girls did not write on their jeans. In fact, girls had just started wearing jeans in public, at least the girls in my world. I had a boring night class and wrote on the knee of my jeans to stay awake. Of course, the ink didn’t all come out in the wash.

I think I was intrigued with him because he was a bit of a rebel too. He was going to school to be an Agricultural teacher, but he wasn’t a cowboy. His hair was on the long side, and he had several shirts with the sleeves cut out. His music was eclectic, a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and a little Motown.


There we were, two rebels hooking up in a straight-laced traditional world. We got married. He graduated college and got a job. We hid most of our wildness in an attempt to appear as if we were proper, responsible adults. He sometimes allowed his wild child to come out and play. I didn’t, I was afraid I’d never get her back under cover.

After he retired we talked about doing some out-of-the ordinary activities, but then he got sick. Which was definitely out-of-the-ordinary.

Once the fog began to life after his death, I let my wild child out by coloring my hair purple. I haven’t gotten her back in her box yet.

We continue to explore the unexpected. I’ve tried different colors for my hair. I even met a celebrity and had my picture taken with him when my hair was green.


No one color sticks, I keep coming back to the natural blonde/grey. My little cousin styled my hair for me, and we took a picture of the styling process.



A friend and I bought crowns, to reward ourselves with when we accomplish a goal. Sometimes we even wear them.

Not all of the wildness is outrageous, or visible to others. I wear mis-matched socks, on purpose. Sometimes I eat dessert first. When friends and I meet for our weekly lunch, I look for something different to order rather than the same thing every time.

I even have pictures of myself taken, or my wild child takes them. Then she shares them with others. Did you see the picture of me with my hair in my face?

My wild child appreciates that I look for ways to let her free. It doesn’t matter if my friends frown, because we didn’t do the expected, or my kids roll their eyes. What is important is that I live and enjoy life.

This is post 3 for the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  


Do you ever give your wild child free reign?

What would you like to do but don’t because it’s not what an adult does?

What would happen if you did something out of the ordinary?

How can you embrace your inner rebel, wild child?

Let me know what you think in the comments.


Posted in Adventure, Travel Tuesday, Uncategorized

Full Service Gas Stations Still Exist and Add to Road Trip Adventures

Yesterday on #Monday Blogs, Leslie at Nurture her Nature  posted about their encounter with a full-service gas station. Which reminded me, when my cousin/friend Teresa and I drove to California this summer we encountered one of those friendly dinosaurs.

We were driving along enjoying the scenery and lack of civilization in New Mexico when Teresa noticed we had about a fourth of a tank of gas left.


Now here in Oklahoma, and especially up where she lives near Oklahoma City, a fourth of a tank is no problem. We can drive for hours, because we know gas stations are plentiful and near.

However, in New Mexico we’d already driven past two exits that didn’t mention fuel. In fact as we neared those off ramps we wondered why they excisted. We couldn’t see any signs of civilization. We figured they must lead to houses, and maybe businesses out of sight. We opted not to be adventurous and follow them.

Finally, a sign boasting of fuel and food at the next exit. This was good. Not only did we need gas, but her son Jared was hungry. The gas station was closed, and looked like it had been for several months if not years. The road to it was torn up and closed. The stop wasn’t an entire loss.

We dug in the ice chest and snack bag to feed our famished male and enjoy a snack ourselves.

Back on the road we all three kept a sharp lookout for a gas station. Finally, we saw a sign for one. We pulled into the small station, and all of us wondered if there was any fuel in the tanks. Before we could get the nozzle off the tank a young woman joined us.

“How much?” she asked.

“Fill it up.” Teresa answered.


She graciously allowed me to take a picture of her pumping our gas. She told us her parents owned the station and she come into “town” to  help them out.

Just before we left I noticed a sign in the window, “bathroom $2.00 for non-customers.” I wish I’d taken a picture of that.

Do you remember the last time you used a full-service gas station?

Have you taken a road trip?

What is your favorite snack for a road trip?


Posted in A to Z, Adventure, Ultimate Blog Challenge

Awesome April, Awesome Women

Awesome April. Winter is gone (we hope.) Flowers are beginning to pop up. It’s time to plant more flowers or vegetables. April is Awesome.

Well, except for the possibility of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, or wildfires. However, we will let those slide for the moment and focus on the awesomeness that is April.

Because we, women, widows, moms, grandmoms, and sister are also AWESOME. April is the perfect time to acknowledge and affirm our awesomeness (could I get any more “a’s” in that sentence?)

April is the month of the A to Z challenge. Each weekday throughout the month of April, a myriad of bloggers  who have accepted the challenge will write a blog post about a subject beginning with a specific letter.

Day one is A, thus awesome. Day two will be B, day three C and so on until the end of the month.  Some bloggers will go random. However, even for a pantzer like me, that was too much “by the seat of my pants.” What if I couldn’t think about something using the letter of the day?

No, better for me to have a map of sorts. I have chosen to blog about ways we can acknowledge and appreciate our awesomeness as women and widows

Come along. You know you’re a fabulous (awesome) person.

To read more alphabet blogs go here.

This post is also a part of The Ultimate Blog Challenge.


What is something you enjoy about April?

What is one thing awesome about you?

What is one thing awesome about someone else that you appreciate?


Author of the soon-to-be reissued, BEYOND THE GRIEF; A WIDOW’S SURVIVAL GUIDE



Posted in Adventure, Fitness

30 Days of Declutter Update

A couple of weeks ago I posted about joining a new challenge, here. I promised to let you know how it went. So far, so good. It is amazing to me how decluttering (even a little) my mind and house can pull weight off.

While I haven’t weighed, since I don’t own any scales, there is no number of pounds proof of weight reduction. However, I have a pair of jeans that I wasn’t able to wear unless I laid on the bed to snap them. Two days ago I wore the jeans, snapped, and zipped them standing up.  That’s got to mean some pounds went somewhere.

So what were the daily challenges and how did I accomplish them? The first week we were to:

Day 1.  Post a selfie of ourselves on the Facebook page and write a list of things we liked about our body.

Day 2.  Purge a closet

Day 3.  Wear our nice jewelry, even with jeans and around the house.

Day 4.  Spruce up our favorite place, make it an oasis for us.

Day 5.  Buy flowers for ourselves.

Day 6.  Reorganize a drawer.

Day 7.  Take a bubble bath.

How did I do each day?

1.  The selfie was a challenge and took me most of the day to figure out a way to make it work. Long story on my computer issues, but I did it.The list of things I liked about my body was short, but I did find a couple of things.

2.  Purge the closet was interesting since I don’t keep clothes I don’t wear, just don’t like them in my way. However, I did have a closet, filled and  cluttered with boxes, making my walk-in closet a reach-in. I went through the boxes, found new homes for some of them and eliminated the others, moving their contents to charity, the trash, or their proper home.

3.  I don’t wear jewelry, nice or otherwise. Didn’t see a point in buying jewelry just to wear for one day. Instead I took the time to wear make-up. Had to reapply it because I went swimming, but I wore make-up all day, just at home.

4.  Sprucing up my favorite place was a no-brainer. I love the little patio area by the pool  Except, it had car parts (I’m serious here, two doors, a fender and a steering wheel.) It took me most of the morning, but the parts got moved away, a lawn chair placed in the area, the cushion added to the swing, and moved a cabinet to the area to hold pool supplies. Now, I can either recline in the lawn chair, or swing and think if I’m not in the pool. Great idea to take one day and make a place special for me. Not sure where my special place will be when it’s too cold for the pool or patio.

5.  Buying myself flowers was a challenge. I forgot to stop at the store that day, the next time I was in town, I couldn’t find a store that sold flowers. No, I didn’t go to a florist, they were closed. Not that long ago my local grocery stores sold flowers, no longer, at least not the ones near me. I know I could have gone to that big store where everyone shops, but I avoid it whenever possible. Ended up cutting me some sunflowers from my pasture. They still brightened the room and made me smile.

6.  Reorganize a drawer. Another easy, no brainer one for me. I have a dresser that I’ve been wanting to move out, only half the drawers had anything in them. I took this day to clean out the other drawers and now the dresser is empty, waiting to be moved to it’s new home.

7.  Taking a bubble bath was another challenge. I don’t take baths. I’m a shower kind of person. What if I take a bath, then can’t get out of the tub? Huh? What then? Instead of a relaxing bath, which would have been the exact opposite for me, I went out and took a moonlit swim. Lucky for me it was warm enough to be in the pool after dark. If you’ve never done it, and have the opportunity, I highly recommend just floating in the pool looking up at the stars.

There you have it, one week into the challenge and I’m enjoying it so much.  Try doing some, or all of the challenges yourself. It’s not too late to join, here, there’s still two weeks of challenges left.

Last week’s challenges were also simple and fun:

Friday – Plan a girl’s day out

Saturday – Create a positive statement

Sunday – Create a nightly ritual

Monday – Walk barefoot in the grass

Tuesday – Write a list of gratitudes

Wednesday – Finish a project

Thursday – Ban criticizing for one day.

I’ll give you an update on those successes throughout the coming week.  In the meantime, the challenges for this week are:

Friday – meditate

Saturday – exercise

Sunday – go for a nature walk

Monday – Go for a swim

Tuesday – Dance party for one

Wednesday – Go for a walk with someone

Thursday – frolic

Have you tried any of these challenges recently?

Do you do any of these challenges on a regular basis?

What is your favorite challenge listed so far?

Widows, like all women, thrive on support and encouragement. Whether we participate in a challenge to improve our outlook, other aspect of our life, join a group that offers support, or read a book with suggestions and examples of others in our situation, we need support from others.

Check out my book, Beyond the Grief: A Widow’s Survival Guide. It offers ideas on ways to handle different issues as well as stories of how other widows dealt with particular problems.