See Oklahoma, One Step at a Time – Travel Tuesday Photos

Virtual Travel

As I mentioned in a previous blog, walking has become my exercise of choice. Most days I walk 2.5 miles, on a track. It’s boring. Oh sure, I get to watch the sun rise, beautiful.














And yes, I do have a walking partner most days. Still, to add some spice to the walk, why not “visit” some areas here. The plan is (there I go, trying to plan again) to post pictures and information about the town, community, or interesting landmark as, or after, I would reach them if I was truly walking toward a destination.

First up is Stuart. A small town now, community really, but at one time Stuart was the place to be, twoa bustling metropolis. First up is the hotel. Built in 1902 adjacent to the train depot.

Today the hotel serves at the town hall and is rented out for special gatherings, family reunions, weddings, anniversaries, etc.


Next to the hotel is a small park. Perfect for sitting and visiting with friends while children run and play.



Like many small towns and communities a memorial thanks the service men and women involved in conflicts from WWI to  the most recent.

 In addition, the Stuart memorial honors the Gold star mothers, mothers who had children who gave their all in service of the United States Armed Forces.








While Stuart had and has many good upstanding citizens, people who promote the town and help in any way possible, people who signed on the line to offer their lives for their country, we have had a few less desirable people visit. To house those persons, a jail was built. Constructed in 1918, it’s clear it hasn’t been used in several years.



















Stuart even has it’s own tag office.

Today, just as when the town was founded children are considered treasures and everyone watches out for them and does their best to keep the little ones safe.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of Stuart one of many small communities dotting Oklahoma. They are especially prominent in the southeastern part of the state. Lucky for the residents they don’t have to walk everywhere or depend on horse and wagon or buggy since the large towns of Tulsa and Oklahoma City are about a two hour drive away. If we’d actually walked there from my home, at my slow rate, it would’ve taken us seven days.

Do you walk for exercise?

Do you have small communities where you live?

What’s your favorite thing in your town?




Excuses Create Walls Between Us and Our Dreams

Yesterday’s post gave me fits. First the computer wouldn’t play nice and let me write in my word processor. Next the internet gave me fits. Then the WordPress site didn’t format correctly. It was a bad night. I’d spent the day out of town at a meeting and was tired.

Finally, I gave up and went to bed, I needed to be up at 5 this morning. Didn’t want to still be working on the blog post by then. Last night my feeling was disappointment, I wasn’t going to get a daily post up for October for the Ultimate blog Challenge.

This morning my frame of mind was improved. First, I remembered the posts could be two in one day if needed. Cool. Second, I had a picture ready to go, it posted and now the blog is up-to-date, just needing a post for today.  And here it is.

A post about the walls we build in our lives. Invisible walls separating us from each other. However, I’m not very political so this is about our individual walls, the walls we put up to separate us from our dreams and goals, and yes even people.

Sometimes our walls start out as a little pebble.

Often it’s the word “can’t”. I can’t do whatever it is I’m wanting to do. Most often in the company of other supporting rocks.

We have two options when the rocks hurt our feet.

1.) We can gather them, the reason and the supporting rocks. Those that give us an excuse or a reason not to do whatever it is we want to do, or think we would enjoy. I can’t do this (rock one) because of that (rock 2) and (additional rocks.) We keep adding until we’ve built a rock wall that seems insurmountable.

2.) We can step over or on the rocks and proceed toward our goal stacking the rocks together to create a marker. A sign that we came that way, and moved ahead.

If the wall is already built, then it’s time to build a ladder to climb over it. Ladders are built just like the wall, one step, one rung, one action, one success  at a time.

I finally gave up and went to bed. I built a wall that prevented me from posting on the blog and preventing me from having a post for every day in October. That’s the goal of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, to have 30-31 posts at the end of the month.

So today I built a ladder to climb the wall.

Rung One, Posted a picture of a ladder on a wall.

Rung two:  This blog is going to have a post for every day, even if they aren’t actually posted on the day.

Rung three: Wrote a post for today.

Rung four: Schedule today’s post for later this afternoon, even though I will be away from the computer.

Rung five, okay, there were only four rungs. This wall was relatively short. Still, it could have stopped my dream/goal of 31 posts in October. Instead, I am still on track.

Which are you building, a wall, a ladder, or a marker?

What stands in the way of your dream?

What was the most recent “rock” you encountered and overcame?



Who’s an Optimist?

Do you admit to being an optimist?

Many of us are proud to claim optimism as one of our awesome affirmations. It’s not that we don’t see the clouds, or the darkness of life. We just believe that overall things are good, or at least there is good to be experienced and enjoyed.

Don’t think you’re an optimist? Not even a little? Do you go to bed each evening fulling expecting to wake up in the morning?Do you have a list, or an idea of activities for the next day?

You are an optimist. You believe the sun will come up again, you will wake up, and you will have the energy or “want-to” to accomplish some or all of the items on your list. You are an optimist.

Do you get in your car to travel to work, the store, a meeting, or a friend’s house? You believe your car will start when you put the key in and turn it. Sure, it always started in the past, but that’s no promise it will continue.

You are an optimist, you believe your car will start, and then move once it’s put in gear.

An optimist doesn’t have to be a Pollyanna, never seeing the darkness, or even believing it exists. There are people like that, I’m sure.  However, for me, being an optimist means believing there will be sunshine and rainbows after the rain.

As an optimist I go to bed each night with a lengthy list of to-do items, not that I believe everything will be accomplished, but I will wake up and have a go at the list.

As an optimist I believe  my car will start when I turn the key, and if it doesn’t, someone will soon have it running.

As an optimist, I believe people will band together and help those whose homes are destroyed by tornadoes, hurricanes, fire, or other disasters.

An optimist doesn’t believe the glass is half full. An optimist believes there is a glass, and it has a drinkable beverage in it.

For me, being an optimist means believing there is good in the world. How about you?


Are you an optimist?

What is the best optimistic thing that happened to you today?


Linking up to The Ultimate Blog Challenge and the A to Z blog challenge. Don’t forget to check out some of the other bloggers on both challenges.


Letting Go of Perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist? Being a perfectionist helps us do a good job. On the surface there is nothing wrong with aiming for perfect. However, sometimes the idea of perfectionism is often like a rock wall  in our path.  It can keep us from enjoying life, or indulging in an activity that brings us pleasure.

rock wall up close


The wall may look both insurmountable, in impenetrable, stopping us in our tracks, keeping us from moving forward. However there is another option. We can forget being going over or through the stumbling block of perfectionism, and continue along beside it, allowing for mistakes and ordinary.

road cut through the rock

Following along the path of the obstacle will often lead us to a different destination. Which doesn’t mean bad, just different.

I belong to several quilting groups and quilters seem to be divided into two fractions when it comes to perfectionism, either a quilter makes a “perfect” quilt top or she doesn’t. Those who insist on a mistake free quilt top take seams out repeatedly until they get the block “perfect.” This seems to work for them,

Then there is my group. Those of us who stitch it as close to  correct as possible, but if a seam doesn’t exactly match, or a point is cut off we don’t obsess. Neither faction is more right than the other, we just have different ways of looking at the quilt and the quilting process.

Sometimes members from either group will cross the line over to the other side for a quilt, or block.

Several years ago I taught a quilting class and one of the students insisted on her stitching being “perfect.” This created quite a challenge for her as she had never sewn before. Not she had never made a quilt, but she had never sewn at all. Anything. Not only had she never sewn, she wanted to make “The Hungry Caterpillar quilt.”

image via red rooster


Finally one day, while sewing at home, she decided to leave her mistake to show me why it must be removed. Except, when she came to class, she couldn’t find the mistake. She decided then, unless a mistake was horrific and noticeable the next day it stayed. When she finished the top none of us could find the errors she’d opted to leave in, and we looked. She had a quilt top she loved, and a new hobby she could enjoy. She didn’t entirely leave perfectionism at the door, but she limited how much it could affect her sewing.

Sometimes perfectionism attacks us at work. To be fair, we do need to do a good job, but, if we step back we might find a way to not only make our jobs easier, but remove some of the “perfectionism” stress.

In the “old days”when we all used typewriters (remember those?), secretaries struggled to type  mistake-free papers for their bosses.

Bette Nesmith Graham developed a product that became known as Liquid Paper.  She shared her path to perfectionism with other women in the office. Her invention helped her, and other women climb the rocky wall of perfect typing, until she tumbled off again. She made a mistake the invention could not fix and her boss fired her.

Now, she had to follow the new path. Which she did, creating a multi-million dollar business and paying it forward by setting up two foundations to help women find new ways to earn a living Bette Nesmith Graham made not being perfect work for her.

Where is being perfect slowing you down? At work? At home? At play?

Give yourself the gift of not being perfect for one day. Give yourself the gift of ordinary, or permission to make a mistake or two.

Come back and leave a comment. Let me know if not being perfect for one day made you feel better, less stressed.

Are you a perfectionist?

is there any area of your life where you are comfortable being not perfect?

Are you a closet perfectionist? (closets and cabinets are neat, and perfectly arranged, the rest of your life is cluttered and messy)

Joining in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Also this month, took the challenge to blog on one theme all month-long. This month the theme is “Be Nice to You.”

Home Exercise

Staying on the fitness track is NOT easy. However, since Jen over at JVKom encourages her readers with a Fitness Friday, I’m trying.

This week she wants to know our favorite place to work out. Huh? Not only am I supposed to work out to stay healthy, and able to live where I want. Now I have a favorite place?

Home. My house. That’s it, my favorite (?) place to exercise.

First of all, I live in a rural area, driving to a gym, work-out facility, or even a track means a 30 minute drive, one way. That means if I travel, my exercise takes a minimum of 2 hours.  Don’t have time for that!

Second, is price. Using a facility (unless it’s an outdoor track) means paying for the privilege. What? I have to pay to get hot and sweaty? Plus, paying for the use of the room and equipment, there is the gas cost. Which isn’t cheap these days.

Third is the commitment. Since becoming a widow I seem  commitment-phobic. Didn’t have an issue committing to staying with one man “until death did us part.” However, no agreeing to be at a specific place at a certain time,  several times a week is beyond me. Shoot, even agreeing to be there weekly is a challenge.

So, my exercise place of choice (can’t say it’s my favorite) is home. I have a walking video that I enjoy, use when walking outside is beyond me. Since I live in a rural area, I enjoy walking the outer perimeter of our acreage, it’s about a mile walk. And of course, there is the pool. I do love getting in the pool and exercising. Really, I play and call it exercise. In the past the bicycle was an exercise-type activity I enjoyed. Soon it will be added to my list of “exercising” activities.

So, there  you have it, favorite place to exercise, or maybe, the least objectionable place to work out is at home.

Check out Jen and the other friendly fitness folks on her blog here. Do you have a favorite (or least objectionable) place to exercise?

Do you have an exercise routine?

Is exercise as an activity new to you?

For more ideas on how I, and other women, and you can survive and continue a productive, enjoyable life after widowhood check out my book, Beyond the Grief; A Widow’s Survival Guide.