Yesterday the weather was exceptionally fine so after church we decided to have a little picnic. We picked up some fried chicken and sodas and drove up to Chandler Park. There is a nice playground with swings and slides for Molly and Will to enjoy while we old folks watched.
Smokey is a proud dog but not above some purposeful begging. The bad news is that Molly was eating a dill pickle. Smokey does not much care for pickles. We had a pleasant afternoon.
Last weekend Susan and I drove over to eat dinner at Molly's Landing. We had heard nice things about it and decided to give it a try. It is a bit off the beaten path. If you drive north of Catoosa on old Highway 66 and come to the double bridge you have gone too far. Turn around and go back to the next road on your right.
Molly's Landing is a rustic old place with various dining areas on two levels. It has a steak and seafood sort of menu; Sue had a steak and I had fish, both very good. It is a little pricey but the food is excellent and the atmosphere rather romantic. We enjoyed it.
Last weekend Susan and I drove up to Molly's Landing, a restaurant on old Highway 66 just north of Catoosa. They had lots of funny art objects sitting outside the entry. I rather liked this cat fashioned out of iron plate cut and welded with an acetylene torch.
Susan says that breakfast is her favorite meal to eat out. Since she offered to buy I was easily persuaded. Of course we went downtown to see my son Luke at the Blue Dome Diner.
I ordered my favorite, a sausage and mushroom omelet with a fruit bowl instead of fried potatoes and instead of toast Luke made a pair of his wonderful walnut blueberry pancakes. Oh! they are SO good. It is more than I can eat so I cut it in half and will enjoy the rest of it tomorrow. Two breakfasts for the price of one.
Susan had a pair of eggs over easy, bacon, fried potatoes, and biscuits and gravy.
My friend Anne thinks biscuits are cookies. Anne, THIS is a biscuit and it is eaten with savory cream gravy made from the sausage drippings. Yum!
The view of Tulsa's skyline from The Village at Central Park.
The area immediately south of Tulsa's old Central Park had succumbed to urban blight. Beginning in 1994 the City of Tulsa began to buy up the nine acres between the park and Oak Lawn Cemetery. In 1999 a developer was selected to build town houses in the area. The result was The Village. These residences are both ultra modern in construction and convenience yet are very traditional Georgian-style town homes faced in brick. They have been purchased and occupied as quickly as they come on the market. They have a web site if you are curious to know more. See it HERE.
Sue and I were out and about Saturday afternoon and discovered an interesting little underpass. We were looking for Molly's Landing north of Catoosa on old highway 66 and overshot the turnoff. The next side road was on the other side of the bridge (Sunday's jigsaw). When we took the turnoff we noticed that the road went under the railway that parallels the highway on the west. It appears that the little one-way tunnel was constructed around a very large corrugated tube. Simple but effective.
We drove through out of curiosity and found a cluster of 6 or 8 mailboxes which told us that there a group of homes hidden away on the other side. This is the view back the other way toward highway 66.
Fifteenth Street between Peoria and Lewis is home to a number of interesting shops and one is the Bead Merchant. The walls are covered with stands of glass beads in every size and color imaginable.
They have a variety of silver chain sold by length, and great bowls of silver charms to hang from them. You can buy tools for jewelry making and even take lessons on the art. I bought some silver a few years ago and used it to make charm bracelets for my granddaughters Hannah and Sarah.
Unlike New York City's Central Park, Tulsa's is rather small. Tucked in between 8th and 11th Street just west of South Peoria, it is a lovely little expanse of rolling lawn and shade trees, and frames a fine view of the downtown Tulsa skyline.
Today is the first day of school for Willy and Molly. Here they are, bright and early in the morning, dressed in their new school uniforms on their way to class. Everything is new for them -- a new home, new clothes, new school, new friends. They are maybe a little nervous but mostly excited in a positive way. They are very bright resourceful kids and will do just fine I think.
Will is in the fourth grade and his school is 4 blocks away and easily within walking distance. Sue walked with him this morning and back this afternoon. Tomorrow he will walk by himself. Molly is in the sixth grade and in middle school. Her school is about 4 miles from home and she will ride in a school bus that stops in the neighborhood. Sue also took her and picked her up the first day because she was unsure about which bus she should take. She figured that out today and will use the bus tomorrow. They are both excited to be getting themselves to school and back. That is another new thing and a step towards being independent.
They came back saying that they had a good first day. The teachers were "OK", and they made a few new friends. They were both positive about it. Molly's school is very large and she got lost a couple of times but did fine. It's all good.
Poor Smokey. He has been suffering from a grass allergy which causes him to scratch and gnaw on his feet. Last summer he did this and I took him to the City Veterinary Hospital to get a shot of cortisteroid which helped a lot. So today we went back to see Dr. Thomas who gave him another shot.
Smokey was very good about all this but looked a little offended. He thought we were going for a fun ride in the car and then I let this man stick him with a needle. Oh well, we gave him a little hamburger left over from dinner and all was forgiven.
Molly is 11 and her dad Jeff came down from Missouri to help celebrate. Jeff took Molly to see the new Harry Potter movie and Grandma Susan took her shopping for new school uniforms. She requested fried chicken and couscous for her birthday. I fried the chicken southern style just like my mother used to make. the pieces are shaken in a paper bag of seasoned flour then pan fried in very hot oil until tender and juicy with a crisp crust.
After dinner we enjoyed Susan's lemon cake with pudding frosting. We sang Happy Birthday to you, and Molly opened cards with $20 inside. A very happy birthday indeed.
On 11th Street just west of Utica is another Tulsa classic. El Rancho Grande has been serving genuine Tex-Mex in the same location since 1953. This is not your fancy gourmet Mexican food, this is authentic chili-con-carne, chedder cheese, a little greasy, fill up your belly Tex-Mex.
They have a good menu and a great lunch buffet. There was a time about 15 years ago when my son David was working for a Honda dealer on 11th street. We would meet and have lunch at Rancho Grande. It is a nice friendly family kind of place. They have a web site now. Visit them at El Rancho Grande.
Arnie's Irish Bar is a Tulsa institution. Arnie Simmons opened his bar in 1956 on 15th Street. It was what is called a "shotgun" bar, a long narrow room with a bar down the length, bar stools next to the bar, good shuffleboard tables along the other side, with just enough room to walk between them. At the far end were a few tables and chairs, a toilet, and a back door.
It had a certain atmosphere that made it feel special. Part of that was Arnie's music. He had an old reel to reel tape drive and an enormous collection of jazz. The music was always going, loud enough so you could hear it, not so loud that you couldn't talk. People would ask Arnie for something specific and he would shrug it off like he didn't hear, then pretty soon you would hear it playing. It was a nice place to hang out. I never had the time to be a regular but went in there when I had a chance. It was famous for being a madhouse on St. Patrick's Day.
Arnie retired, I gave up drinking, and I haven't been there in a long time. It passed into the hands of Donal Cosgrave who appreciated it and kept it going. Eventually he relocated to a space on the corner of 2nd and Elgin with the old Blue Dome Station on one side and Rose's Pawn on the other. Across the street is the Blue Dome Diner. He is in good company.
Arnie's Bar has a good website with a more complete cronicle of the history of the place. It is a good read and I recommend it. Check out Arnie's Bar.
Alan and his family have started back to Maryland, Susan and Jennifer are working, and I am home alone with Molly and Will. After a very busy weekend it is nice to nap and watch the birds. It has clouded up and I hear a bit of thunder rolling in the distance. We might get some rain. Smokey doesn't like thunder but rain is always welcome in August. Have a good week.
It has been a big day for Susan's mother Marjorie. She came to church with us at Christ Church and a group of old friends from St. Peters came to wish her Happy Birthday. L-R is Andy, Dan, Bob, Susan, Sue, Yvonne, Chuck, Deanna, and Connie.
Family gathered around our dining table for a birthday luncheon .....
... and a family portrait. L-R is Jennifer, Nicki, Alan, Menley, Virginia, Willy, Molly and Sue. Marjorie is the birthday girl.
When I saw these yellow daisys I had to stop and take a picture. Their bright cheerful color seems to radiate happiness. The lady of the house was watering the lawn and when I told her I liked her flowers she laughed and told me they grow like weeds. What could be better than a plant that likes the sun and heat and self-seeds itself each summer.
Brown-Eyed Susan is a smaller cousin to the sunflower. It is native to North America and can be found from Canada to Mexico. It grows all over the country and is the state flower of Maryland. As the sun passes across the sky the flowers turn to keep their faces towards the light. I suppose that habit as well as their round yellow face is why they are known as sunflowers.
American Indians used Brown-Eyed Susan for herbal medicine. It was used as a poultice for snake bite and a tea for colds. The tea was also used to wash sores and juice from the root was used to treat ear aches. All that and they are nice to look at.
Sue's brother Alan and his family have come to visit for the weekend. Their mother Marjorie will be 90 on Sunday and we will have a birthday reception for her after church. Susan made a nice quiche and salad for lunch. Clockwise around the table is Willy, Alan's wife Virginia, brother Alan, his daughter Nicki, her daughter Menly, Molly, and Susan. I am here of course, just behind the camera. Smokey is under the table, just in case something edible drops to the floor.
Disc Golf, sometimes called Frisbee Golf is growing in popularity. In simple terms it is like regular golf played by throwing a disc instead of hitting a ball with a club. The "hole" is a basket into which the disc is thrown. There are several 18 hole Disc Golf courses in Tulsa's parks. There is a new one at 41st Street in Riverpark. There are always people working their way from hole to hole, usually in groups of 2 or more, and often with a beer cooler as part of the equipment..
Like regular golf the idea is to travel through the course from basket to basket with the fewest throws. Disc golf is inexpensive and is physically accessible for all ages and athletic ranges and therefore attracts a diverse range of players. A great majority of established disc golf courses are free.
The early history of disc golf is closely tied to the somewhat mysterious history of the recreational flying disc (especially as popularized by Wham-O Inc.'s trademarked Frisbees) and may have been invented in the early 1900s, but it is not known for sure. Modern disc golf started in the late 1960s, when it seems to have been invented in many places and by many people independently. Serious players will have a variety of discs for distance, accuracy, and close range "putting".
Two of the best-known figures in the sport are George Sappenfield and "Steady Ed" Headrick who coined the term "Disc Golf" and who introduced the first formal disc golf target with chains and a basket, the Mach 1. He created the first disc golf course at Oak Grove Park in Pasadena, California. In 1975, Headrick formed the first disc golf association, the PDGA, which now officiates the standard rules of play for the sport. The sport has grown at a rate of 12-15 percent annually for more than the past decade, with nearly 3,000 courses in the US and over 3,000 globally. The game is now played in over 40 countries worldwide, primarily in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australasia. In 2009, approximately one out of every five rounds of golf played in the United States will be disc golf rounds.
(Excerpted from Wikipedia. See the full article HERE.)
Molly and Willy are attending Vacation Bible School at St. Dunstans Episcopal church this week. I pick them up at noon and we go to Sonic for a burger and fries. Yesterday we visited the Golden Driller at Expo Square. Today we went to check out the progress on the new baseball stadium for the Tulsa Drillers. They are working hard on it. It is beginning to look like more than a big hole in the ground. (Click on photos to enlarge)
On the far right at the horizon is the back side of the buildings at Greenwood and Archer. Extending around to the left is part of Interstate 244. On the left are the risers for the media booths and luxury suites.
My understanding is that when you enter the stadium you will be looking down toward the field. General admission seating will be above on both sides with reserved and box seats below ground level and nearer to the field. I am standing at the fence that restricts the construction area just west of Elgin on Archer, looking north-ish. If I have this wrong please correct me with a comment. (Read all about it in the Tulsa World)
The "Golden Driller" is an iconic statue which stands 76 feet (23 meters) tall. The statue's right hand rests on a real oil derrick. It stands in front of what was called the Oil Exposition Center, or IPE Building when it was built in 1966 to be the home of the International Petroleum Exposition. At that time Tulsa called itself "the Oil Capital of the World". The exposition was last held in 1979 after much of the oil industry had migrated to Houston. Since then the center has been host to many large trade shows. If the oil industry has moved the Golden Driller has remained.
Did you notice Molly and Willy resting near the driller's shoe? In case you missed them here is a better view.