Day 18: The Passage of Time

I find it somewhat amazing that there are buildings and structures that are still standing after hundreds of years. They stand tall in their history and glory and are stunning to behold. I find it equally amazing, that there are other buildings and structures that have not been around even a fraction of the time and are in heartbreaking disrepair and dilapidated.

Day 18: The Passage of Time. Courtyard gate at The Heritage Manor

One such building, is where my husband and I got married, almost 25 years ago. The Heritage Manor was a lovely bed and breakfast found out in northwest Oklahoma, complete with hot tub on the roof. The ceremony was held in the courtyard, and we exchanged our vows on the middle balcony before friends and family. Complete with horse drawn carriage and singing to the man about to become my husband, July 25, 1992 will forever be the most important day of my life. It was the doorway for every other great memory to be built upon.

While out modern day treasure hunting, there was a cache listed at the entry to the drive leading up to the manor. When we pulled up, my hand went to my mouth as I took in the sight before me. How sad to see the place where we joined our lives together falling apart at the seams. Once the shock had passed, I then thought, how amazing this is on the flip side of that coin, to see what being forgotten coupled with time had done to the place. It then opened the discussion for the great what if. What if we could hold our silver anniversary vow renewal here, where it all began.

We had already been working on plans to have a zombie themed renewal and the possibility of having it in a cemetery, but what could be more perfect than to change the location to where our history merged. As we walked around the courtyard and up the stone steps, we talked about our wedding day and formulated plans and ideas for the upcoming event. What if we could replicate some of the shots from out wedding done in our zombie finery and the morbid setting that was once a storybook scene? I looked into the eyes of my husband, and as he looked back, they sparkled with glee at the thought of saying “I Do” here once again.

Before leaving, we stood upon the steps where one of our favorite wedding photos was shot and took a quick photo, letting the passage of time, the memories of the past, the promise of the future wash over us. It was nostalgic, bittersweet and one of the greatest afternoons of our married life.


Day 17: Them Bones

Day 17: Them Bones – found at a cemetery while geocaching

My husband and I are considered a tad strange. We love Halloween and go all out, we own a hearse, we used to live in what was once a funeral home and aren’t creeped out by it, we love things that are a bit morbid, we collect bones when we are out hiking and geocaching.

I am fascinated by the different skulls and bones that we have discovered, the condition that most of them are in and how well preserved they are. The physical make up of the bones themselves and how they are knitted together. I have never had a desire to become a vet, or go into biology, but there is just something about bones that is bewitching.

A while back, we visited the Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City and were giddy with joy as we meandered around looking at bones and fossils of all types. It was an incredible journey into the land of bones. My camera had a smorgasbord to feast upon, shooting bones of a variety of animals. I literally squealed with delight when we came upon the section with the bat skeletons. How delicate their wing bones are, and it is mind boggling that such thin pieces of bone can maintain flight.


While the wing bones of bats seem tiny, they are nothing in comparison to that of the humming bird. They are such delicate creatures while hovering around flowers and feeders, but seeing what lies at the base of their being and how they can move so quickly is astonishing. These tiny birds with bones a wisp in thickness soar magically around us.


Of all the shots captured at the bone museum, my favorite has to be the picture of the cephalopod. It wasn’t until I got home and got all of the pictures transferred from camera to computer that I was actually able to see how well the shot really came out. I was nothing short of thrilled and even looking at it now, makes me smile and think, “Wow, I really captured that shot!” It has become one of the memorable, favorite moments behind the camera.


As delightful as the museum itself it,they also have a gift shop where you can buy bone related items, as well as actual bones themselves. Skulls, skeletons, bones of all shapes and sized.  many will look at bones as being morbid and death, for me they are the base of life. How would any living thing move without the strength of the bone? As we hike, as we cache, and as we continue to find them, we will collect these incredible skeletal treasures, the beauty of bones.

Day 16: No Introduction Needed

It goes without saying that each of my children are unique individuals unto themselves. You could peg them just as easily by their personalities as you can by actually looking at them. None more so than my youngest. Jeremiah is fixing to turn 17. With him more than the others, I wonder where the the time really has gone.

Jeremiah is the one I could use the analogy of the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. A sarcastic, quit witted butterfly, but one none the less. He went from being a shy, introverted and empathetic little boy to this teenage man-child who no longer has a fear of what people may think of him, although he still retains that empathetic heart. He is so secure on who he is, that it is a great example even to us adults to just simply LIVE.


Day 16: No Introduction Needed

Not only is he sharp as a tack, he is exceedingly intelligent. He will start spitting out math stuff and I will have to remind him that he is speaking math and not English and that if he wants me to be able to participate in the conversation he will have to change it up some. Hand in hand with his intellect, his talent for music it astounding beyond measure. (Did get the music pun there? Measure? ……)

In 5th grade he decided he wanted to play trumpet. And having older brothers in the high school band, he would pick up what they were playing by ear, and could actually look at flute or saxophone music and transpose it to trumpet. He didn’t stop there, however. He started learning other instruments by just playing them. Trombone, baritone, tuba all came to him with ease.

His talent overlaps with  his passion for the band. He treats it with the seriousness it deserves, while having fun with what he is doing.

With a quirkiness to rival the ages, he has taken the OKRF community by storm and has multiple mothers and family that have adopted him. He spends his festival days hanging out in the gypsy camp as Pink, and is also the lost laundry lad.


If ever there was a child who broke the mold, it is this one. Full of wit, charm, smarts, passion and compassion, Jeremiah is a total package human being, and one who makes both his parents very proud.

Day 15: The Diversity of Quiet Skies

I have never met Amy in person. I actually met her virtually through a mutual friend who happens to be an author. With both of us having a deep love for books, we found ourselves on the fast track to friendship. One day, I will have the pleasure of meeting her in person as I refuse to let a little thing like half a country ever stop that. 

Amy is a diverse, jack of all trades artist, meaning the woman can simply do it all. She draws and paints, she hand crafts jewlery, she has some of the most beautiful knitted work out there. Not mention she writes and is a coffee connoisseur and creator of delectable delicacies.

While Amy the artist, is nothing short of a master at whatever her hand touches, Amy my long distance friend is witty and intelligent, creative and downright hysterical. She is real and focused and does not let things that appear to be failures defeat her. She is strength capsulized in human flesh. All of this shines through in her designs and creations. 

Day 15: Hand Cradted Thin Blue Line Necklace

Quiet Sky Designs, no matter if you are looking at the website, Facebook, Pinterest or some other avenue of the interwebs, you will se the visual testament of the work itself.  And in person where you can see first hand the detail and quality of work, it is even more breathtaking. 

I count myself truly blessed to call Amy, as well as so many other crafty and talented people, my friends. They fill that part of me that cries for the beauty that is art, and they fill they fill my heart with their love and friendship. 

Day 14: 8 Legged Art

Most of my life, I have been arachnophobic. It all started with that 1977 horror flick Kingdom of the Spiders. It freaked me out and changed the way I looked at the little 8 legged freaks for a very long time.

Now that I’m an adult, I have gotten much better about my fear. I’ve used photography as a way to help work through a lot of it, taking photos of webs and different spider varieties. Am I all the way there? Nope, but I am now to the point that unless it’s so realistic it’s hard to tell it’s not real, I am cool with fake spiders on most levels. Of course it wasn’t always so, and I was unable to visit the Twisted Spiders booth at OKRF for several years.

Day 14: 8 Legged Art

When I conquered my mindset and began to look at the creations as the interesting jewelry that they really are, I developed  a deep appreciation for the craftsmanship and time invested into each spider.

I personally have two spiders. One a very iridescent and pearlesque creation, the second done from Tigers Eye matching the ring my husband gave me 26 years ago that had once been his mother’s. Both of these lovelies share space on one of my Lilly creations, that goes by the name of Calypso and they seem quite at home resting on said pirate hat. They are eye catching beauties and are an instant conversation starter.

Art comes in so many forms and fashions, and I love that The Castle of Musgkogee brings in vendors who truly have unique art forms that you just don’t see any and everywhere. They are individual, captivating and getting to visit their booths is like Christmas in May. (Or whichever month and whatever festival you may see them at.) I urge you to look up the artisans that I have shared the past few day, as well as those in your own area. Share them with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Help make their businesses and their art successful.  Enjoy the beauty of the distinctive art forms that grace our world. Beauty is art and the artists that create it.

Day 13: Food Is Art

I can proudly claim that my child is a culinary student. I can also proudly claim that my child is a food artist. Tristan knew from an early age that he was going to go into the culinary field. At 8 years old, his hero and culinary idol was none other than Bobby Flay. As he grew older, his food interest shifted to that of confection and his love and passion became that of cakes and cupcakes. He would bake at home and finally, his senior year in high school enrolled in cake decorating classes at the Vo-Tech in our area.

Day 13: Food IS Art

He learned the basics of decorative cake design, along with that of making various flowers. Letting his creativity run amok, he made numerous cakes for friends, family, school functions and my kitchen showed the love of his craft.

It wasn’t until he went through his dessert and showpiece classes at culinary school that his art undoubtedly began to flourish. With access to the tools and supplies of his dreams, his imagination and artistic ability took form, and his talent began to blow the minds of us all. The beautiful cakes, pies and pastries, along with his creations in tallow and chocolate were nothing short of spectacular, and taking this journey has opened up new goals for him.trist

When he was little, we used to tell him and his brothers that the only thing in the world that would ever stop him from accomplishing anything would be him, that there was nothing he couldn’t achieve. He took us at our word and his dream is to intern with Ron Ben-Israel and learn all that he can from the Sweet Genius himself. This small town Oklahoma boy is looking towards NYC and has great plans to make all of his culinary dreams come true. I have no doubt he will achieve his artistic and culinary goals and will one day be a force to be reckoned with in the food industry.

Day 12: The Heart of a Hero


365 Day 12: The Heart of a Hero. Thank you to all who have served!

Today’s 365 is dedicated to my husband and every other veteran who has served this great nation.

It takes a special person to take on the mantle of solider, no matter what branch they have chosen. It takes someone who looks at others before self, who cherishes the blood soaked soil on which we stand, whose heart without a doubt bleeds red, white and blue.

When my husband and I met, he was a member of the Oklahoma National Guard. Soon before we married, we sat down together and made the choice for him to go active duty. It is a choice that I will never regret having made. It helped seed a heart of service to the community with him, and his path has stayed on that course. Corrections, EMS, Law Enforcement. Service is everything.

My grandfather served in WWII, my uncle and my father served as well. There is a military legacy within my family and my niece and son have taken up that mantle as well, serving respectively in the Air Force and the Oklahoma National Guard. It is not just my family that makes me nod my head in respect, but I have numerous friends who have served as well. In May, they come and stand together on Somer’s Field and pay their respect to their fallen brothers and sisters in the most heartfelt and impacting Memorial Day Services to take place, each and every year.


Memorial Day Service at The Castle of Muskogee

I will never be able to put the gratitude I feel towards our veterans into words. So today, I simply say thank you. For all you have given of your heart, of your flesh, of your mind, you are the heroes we hold dear. Thank you, from all that I am.