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Gumbo; it’s what’s for dinner

23 Mar

I am flattered that quite a few of you asked for the recipe… so I made another pot to be sure of everything, and here it is. It is truly a meditation. I do all of my prep work first, then everything comes together as easy as one – two – three, in under an hour!  Continue reading

Happy New Year!

5 Jan

img_5011

 

I am starting off the year at Park Place. I’d love if you’d follow the link below and come read my first article of the year.

And, I highly recommend browsing there for more great, diverse, and succinct articles.

( Have been wanting to use this photo.)

http://www.1010parkplace.com/moonchild

XO Donna

Peace and Quiet

15 Dec

It is just past 8:00 am and the neighbor’s stereo as been blaring for the last 45 minutes.

 

Continue reading

Going, Going, Gone

8 Dec
Madrid, not Spain

Madrid, New Mexico. by Donna O’Klock

 

Big trips are so much like cooking a holiday dinner – you plan for weeks, the day finally arrives, and it’s all over in a flash! Continue reading

Busy Signal

9 Oct

imageThis week was my week to post on two other sites. If you’d like to visit them and catch up with me, you can click here:

http://damnedgypsy.com/2016/10/07/fixing-a-hole

Or here:

http://1010ParkPlace.com.

Just look under VOICES for my attest article, “Sick and Tired… & Sexy.” Browse a bit while you’re there, so many great writers! And, as always, I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

 

XO Donna

Someone You Know

22 Aug

imageWe were camping in the rain when I heard news of the flooding in Louisiana. It seemed a world away, although from where I live in Austin, TX – to where it happened – is only 450 or so miles. Close, and even closer, when those floods affect someone you know. The way the news was solely focused on an Olympic swimmer’s bad behavior, I had no idea how bad things were in Louisiana. To my relief, my friends in Lafayette and Baton Rouge had “checked in” on Facebook saying they were alright.

Then I received an email from another friend. “Just a quick note to let you know, even though Lucy and Ricky’s house didn’t flood inside, things are bad for them.” (For their privacy, I have changed their names.) “Please drop her a couple words of encouragement.”  That’s the kind of woman she is. I wrote Lucy that night, asking if there was anything at all that we could do to help.

imageShe responded this morning, and we emailed back-and-forth for more than two hours. Lucy told me they’d been in their new house for less than a year, and thankfully the house was okay. While their new neighborhood in Greenwell was damaged, (see left) their old house and neighborhood in Central, (below) just three miles away, were ruined by the flood. They have three people living with them right now, and Ricky’s company was a total loss. “I am focused,” she said, “on keeping everyone fed and comfortable.”

Lucy told me it had been very emotionally and physically draining, knowing that so much of Louisiana is a total loss.  “We will be fine,” she said, “I went through all of this during Katrina when we had 18 people living with us for four months. Back then, I saw the home and city I grew up in completely destroyed. This time I saw the home and neighborhood where we raised all three of our girls completely destroyed.”

imageI can’t imagine going through that once, but to go through it twice is mind-bending. Lucy agreed, “It’s definitely been an eye-opening and heart-breaking experience.”  I asked why they had moved. “We needed more land for the race cars and motorhome.”  It was good that they moved when they did. I pointed out that their toys saved them, and she laughed. “That’s true!” then she added, “I’m glad we moved, this house definitely saved our lives, and has given shelter to others.” Those others are her youngest daughter (who is expecting) and son-in-law, and a friend who has also lost everything.

“Last thing. . . looking on the bright side, we should have 5 1/2 people by next week. Our daughter should be induced if she hasn’t gone into labor by then. Can’t wait to get that baby in my hands!”

With all of her family history gone, she’s focusing on the good that is yet to come, because, that’s the kind of woman she is.

XO Donna

AWOL

4 Aug

I know it probably seems like I’ve been “absent without leave,” but the last three weeks have been crazy-busy, stressful, and exhilarating, as if I’ve been riding a giant roller-coaster… and, mind you, I hate riding roller-coasters. I’m always afraid I’ll be that person… you know, the one who gets sick!

Long story, short: On July 15th we moved again,  and downsized even further. On July 20th, up to our ears in boxes, we finally found our dream motor-home just up the road in Georgetown, TX.  The owners have been a dream to deal with, too.  Talk about getting lucky!

imageThen, on July 31st, the book I’ve been writing (for a couple of years) – Sick and Tired… & Sexy: Living Beautifully with Chronic Illness became available on Amazon. If you (or anyone you know) are dealing with chronic illness, I’m sure you will find this book to be both helpful, and a fun read.

I hope you all enjoy it. If you do, please tell your friends, and please write and tell me. I’d love to hear from you!
Here is the link:
https://www.amazon.com/Sick-Tired-Sexy-Beautifully/dp/1943658110

XO Donna

P.S. – I also wrote a new article for the online women’s magazine: 1010ParkPlace.com