Thursday, July 26, 2012

OshKosh 2012

500,000 people from 60 different countries, 10,000 + aircraft of all shapes and sizes, blistering sunshine, 100 degree temperatures, seminars, courses, trainings, airplane accessories for sale, AND airplane shows running constantly!  That describes OshKosh, Wisconsin for a week every July.  How we missed this event all these 40 years of being in the aviation business is beyond me!

But, alas, we attended this past week for 4 days!  I almost OD'd on sensory overload!  At one time I found myself riding a tram along with 30 other folks, the motor grinding, the driver shouting out stops,  airplanes playing dodge ball in the sky, music playing everywhere.  Added to the ambiance was the smell of jet fuel and oil which permeated the whole place! Men of every shape and size are drawn to this event like a magnet!  Their eyes bug out and they almost drool at the instruments of flight.  I could actually hear the hearts of men pounding with excitement every time ANOTHER plane fired up. Every guy there could tell the type of plane, the tail number, the date it was in production, it's purpose and when it was retired.  THAT was very impressive!

 The number of women attending could fit into the air conditioned ladies room ALL at the same time.  (That room was the ONLY one with AC that I found, all week!)

Many folks fly their own personal plane to OshKosh, park it in a huge field and live in a tent for the week right there under the wing of the plane. The small airport becomes the busiest airport in the world for those seven days. Some drive their camper or RV into a designated spot and instantly form a community of like minded folks.  Stores, bars, drinking water tanks, bicycle lots, cooking grills and coffee houses pop up almost immediately between the rows upon rows of mobile homes.  Thousands and thousands of bicycles become the method of transportation to the "main event" and parked in a "bicycle lot" only.

The grounds are divided into sections for various types of planes.  There are the WWII war planes, vintage, experimental, yellow cubs, sky diving, hospital planes, the home built kind, foreign, modern, helicopters, etc.  It went on for miles! And the vendors that supply all the necessary accessories for all these planes took up another huge portion of the grounds.

Languages from several foreign countries could be heard everywhere!  We met and ate with five of the cutest young men from Argentina.  How they found their way to Wisconsin is an inspiring story!

Did I mention food?  There was a huge Johnsonville semi-truck remodeled into the "world's largest grill," hamburgers, bar-be-cue sandwiches, ice cream, and brats!  Man-food!

What an experience!

After severe meltdown and de-hydration the first day, I swore never to return.  I sat in the AC hotel for day two, but then decided to "man up" and get back into the game! 

There are plans in the works to RETURN NEXT YEAR! There's even talk of a TENT!!!!! Are you kidding me???

Oh, my!  I'll have to give this some serious thought!  Maybe I can fa-niggle a grandson or two into going.  Male bonding, that's what we'll call it!

It was the Wright BROTHERS that started all this mess you know! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It was a spontaneous decision to have this picture made. Yes, it's cheesy, touristy, and a waste of time and money!  And worth it all!

Visiting the grand kids and their parents in Colorado every summer is a super-duper treat. There's nothing like the pure COOL air of that western mountain state to make the triple digit heat in OK a distant memory, even if it's only for just a few days. Adding to that pleasure is spending time with our eldest son, his beautiful wife, 5 perfect  and hilariously funny Braner kids and their 3 best friends. Staying at Camp Kivu along with a hundred or so teen-agers, their college-age counselors, camp staff, 1 dog, 1 baby deer and various visiting dignitaries is delightful. All ingredients for a great vacation!

 Making family memories is the goal of the trip, and we always come home with MANY!  Pictures preserve the good times.

On this particular day, Honeybuns and I divided the kiddos by sex and took off.  He took the boys to Durango Mountain Resort (formerly Purgatory!) for some high in the sky bungee jumping, panning for gold and alpine racing,  the girls and I spent the day in downtown Durango, SHOPPING!   After trying on and buying shoes, cheap jewelry and good smelling potions we happened by this photo shop. It's right there on main street, I don't know how we missed this in years past.

The girls couldn't believe we were actually going INTO that place. Their eyes lit up when they saw the variety of dresses and themes offered. We could choose between styles, Wild West, Victorian, or Sexy Barmaids.  I voted for "barmaids" but they wisely refused and convinced me that was a bad idea. Maggie wanted to spin a parasol and her BFF Hallie opted for the silver derringer, Victorian it would be!

It was a giggling chaotic time as we wrestled into these outfits.  The gals at the shop brought us lace gloves, hats, chokers and itchy heavy dresses.  We were transformed back to the glory days of 1890!

After a fun time of posing and pretending while the photographer snapped away, we decided that today's t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops were more our style, AND the reality of corsets "cinched" the deal.We agreed to be thankful this style has "bit the dust." 

1890 just wasn't the greatest time for comfortable women's fashions!

That hour or so turned out to be the best memory of the day!  The girls couldn't wait to get back to camp to show this picture around.

I treasure this image, a reminder of a perfect day with two precious girls that are "loved to the moon and back."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


There it is!  The newest cookbook from the women of Liter Baptist Church, Literberry, Illinois!  And it's a DANDY!

These gourmet ladies gather recipes together every so often and have them compiled into a spiral bound book to tickle the taste buds of all their friends and raise a little money in the process.  Right now the church is putting up a new Fellowship Hall so these books will bring in some funds for that. ($10.00 ea)

However, the people that buy these books are the real winners.  No where on earth will you find directions for such delectable delights as Texas Cake, White Chicken Chili, Homemade Noodles, Rhubarb Crunch, Brown Sugar Dumplings, Cracker Jacks, Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops and Little Cheddar Meat Loaves!

I know, I know, you can go online and get a ka-zillion recipes for Eggplant or Vegetable Soup BUT, I KNOW these ladies and let me tell you this, "they know how to cook!"  I can see their faces in my mind and hear their voices in my ears when I open the pages.  No one stirs, beats or bakes better than a bunch of Baptist women that have served thousands of folks at pot-lucks, class socials, and funeral dinners.  These recipes have been tested and perfected for YEARS!

Forget those fancy cookbooks at Barnes & Noble, the recipes from the church win the blue ribbons, hands down!

I'm SO excited to get this latest copy.  I have a new goal of making and eating as many of these dishes as possible within a years time.  I started last night with "Cabbage Surprise," today Julie Besson's  Italian Beef is in the crock pot.  I'm making a note beside each recipe as to when I fixed it, how Honeybuns liked it, and IF I would change it in anyway. (big IF)  It'll be filled with personal notes by July, 2013.  (Think: Julie and Julia, the movie!) The Cabbage Surprise was WONDERFUL!

Honeybuns thinks I am WONDERFUL!  You know what they say, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach."  Yep! It is true!

Wise folks are predicting that books, even cookbooks, will soon be obsolete.  Not at this house! I'll add this one to my collection of "church cookbooks" purchased and enjoyed from every state we've lived in, from every church we've known.  Those women are truly the unsung heroes of kitchens across America. Their wisdom might NEVER make it to the Internet, I'm not taking any chances.