Friday, November 29, 2019

My Own Idea of Thankfulness

I didn't take a picture yesterday, of the members of our family around our dining table - at least not a photograph that you could view. Instead, the picture I do have is a mental one - and a thankful one.

Let me give you a word picture: there were 8 of us able to get together for Thanksgiving, and, before we began the sumptuous dinner we had all helped prepare, we joined hands - not simultaneously - but with smiles and some remarks of "what are we doing?" I explained that I wanted everyone to say what they were thankful for. I'm aware that this is not original to the holiday, but the responses from each of us certainly were!

They ranged from the last to arrive before dinner being thankful we had saved some appetizers for him, to a very quick blessing so that we could start passing food. Others were more traditional, such as being thankful for their children or the love of their partner. I said I was able to enjoy the day because of all the help I had with the meal.

I watched all the faces of these special people in my life, laughing or smiling as each took time to respond in their own unique way. And that's my own idea of thankfulness, having them all there, sharing their own brand of happy with me. That image will never dim.   

Thursday, November 21, 2019

This Is "My Expanded Blog" - Enjoy!

After many months of ruminating about how I could make this blog more open and interesting - I went through several titles changes, thought about what parts of my life I wanted to share, what thoughts I had that might be of interest to my followers, and on and on - I consulted my creative other half, and working together, I finally untangled my brain and am happy with what I'm about to write here as we go forward.

First of all, I decided that my original title would stay because, after all, I am a published writer, and my "musings" are basically anything I think about and want to write about and share. I did come up with what I feel better expresses my intention with my work. My new subtitle definitely does that (I do have a crazy life and I want you to enjoy it with me!)

My posts will be at least one a week, and will include subjects of my writing life, my theatre life, my Disney life, my family life, etc., etc. etc.  There are so many facets of what creativity in a life style have given, and continue to give every day.

Please come back and visit often, and PLEASE send me your comments, remarks, or critiques. I sincerely want to know what my readers/followers think of my writings, and you also inspire ideas for new avenues to explore. There is a place to comment at the end of each post, and you can indicate whether you want your remarks published for all to read - or not. I look forward to how you can make this blog even better!

Lastly, on the Facebook Live show that my talented artist husband does every other Thursday (just go on FB and search "Randy Jack Ogren" - every other Thursday at 3 pm CST), I appear with him, once a month, to share stories and answer questions from our Disney followers. I am starting a new item on there with today's Live by occasionally sharing one of my favorite recipes. On the days that I do that, my blog will have the full recipe in print for anyone who wants it.

So! After that long-winded explanation, here is the recipe that will be on our show. It is one that I've been making for about 40 years, for special dinners, and my family - especially my husband - loves to have for Thanksgiving dinner:

Scalloped Corn Supreme

1 15 oz. can of cream style corn
1 cup milk
1 well-beaten egg
1 cup cracker crumbs (either saltines or Ritz type)
1/4 cup minced onion
3 Tbls. chopped pimiento
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttered cracker crumbs

Heat corn and milk. Gradually stir in egg. Add next four ingredients and a dash of pepper. Mix well. Pour into an 8-inch round baking dish. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over it. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serves 6. 

Have a great Holiday, and I'll be back here next week with - well who knows?!

Monday, November 18, 2019

This is the Week!!!

Be ready, loyal readers - this is the week I am going to launch my updated, revised, enlarged and more interesting blog!
My last post in March explained what was going to happen, and I certainly didn't expect it to take over six months to get to this point. I will spare you all the myriad of reasons that I was prevented from doing this!
Just keep checking back, because by Saturday, November 23rd, I will post a new title for my blog (still same blogspot address to access me) and present lots of information on what you'll be seeing here.
Thanks for your patience; I promise it will be worth it!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Something New Being Created!

To my loyal readers - and hopefully some new readers:

Months ago, I posted that I was going to rework this site. I am doing that, but it is taking much longer than I anticipated because I've been adamant that what I change and add will make it better, more attractive for my followers, and open it up to new paths as well.

That journey is almost complete. It is taking more time because it is the second project I'm busy with at the moment; the first being a new book my husband and I are collaborating on (the third in a trilogy of books on our careers at Walt Disney World, and its history).

Please keep checking back for the finish of my labors, and the launch of a much better site. The projected date should be no later than May of this year. And, again, thanks for your patience. I promise it will be worth the wait!

Monday, October 22, 2018

News For My Followers

Those who read this blog regularly (and thank you!) know that my husband, R.J., and I are working on our third and final book for the Walt Disney World "trilogy". Based on our publisher's estimate, it should be published in the spring of 2019. That is keeping me busy, and away from this blog, unfortunately.

There will soon be another site for my writing efforts: a new Facebook business page. It will be focused on promoting my books, both fiction and nonfiction.

I'm working on it right now, and hope to have it up, and constantly updated, very soon. (The first week of November is the projected launch date.) Keep checking here for the official start, and let me know - either on my blog or FB - what you think of the new site, and what you'd like to see that isn't there!

Back to work!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Shayla: "Our Furry Child"

I had to include a picture with today's blog, so that you would be able to appreciate this beautiful lady who is so much a part of our daily lives: our black labrador, Shayla.

We rescued her from a county shelter about eight years ago. She was three then. There has never been a time in our married life that we have not had at least two dogs in our family; at one time we had four! (That proved to be a bit much.) When we got Shayla, we had recently lost Rascal, a male Karelian Bear Dog who lived a full life for 17 years. We got him as a puppy, so it was the worst canine sadness of all for R.J. and me.

The other dog who shared Rascal's life was Molly Brown (a beagle/hound mix) and when Rascal died, she literally pined for him. He had been like a dad to her since the day we'd brought her home as a puppy from the pound. (We've always had rescue dogs.) Molly immediately accepted Shayla into the family, and I guess the feeling was mutual, because when Molly left this world, Shayla pined for her as well.

Thinking about a blog topic today, I passed our sleeping ball of fur in the living room, and decided that she need to be introduced to you all. She's almost 12 now, and the vet says she is very healthy for her age. We could have told him that. I sometimes think she is smarter than either of us, and, just for the record, she is also spoiled rotten. We have always spoiled our dogs with treats and lots of love, and they have all had long, healthy times here on earth.

Shayla is our only dog since Molly's passing. We talked about getting a friend for her again, but she seems to enjoy being our only canine, and we see no reason to upset that balance.

From the time I was born, dogs have been part of my life. My parents always had them, and R.J. and I got our first puppy in our first year of marriage. There are many stories about them all, and I think I'll feature different "furry children" in upcoming blogs. I've always believed that having them has added a unique richness to our home life. They've also constantly reminded me of the one-of-a-kind devotion they give to their human parents. That's a gift like no other.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Remembrance For A Friend

I've spent the better part of an hour trying to begin this post. All my words have been carefully thought about, but eventually deleted, because they all seemed to pale and wane when I read them.

I lost a special friend recently; a woman I cherished in my life for over twenty years. She was older than me, but I never thought of her that way. From the day we first met, there was a connection, enforced by mutual respect, and a love for life, that bonded us.

The struggle I'm having with writing about my sadness over this loss speaks to what a unique woman she was, and that's why just stringing together adoring adjectives fail miserably. She was a giving individual, both to her community, her family, and her friends. All commendable attributes, but many deserving people can be described that way.

She and her husband were welcomed into our home numerous times, as I was to hers, and we shared so many fun and rewarding moments together while we lived near each other. After I moved away, we would have regular visits by phone, keeping in touch with each other's lives, and commenting on a host of topics. 

I learned much from her. She was educated, worldly, and had a delightful sense of humor (and a laugh that never failed to make my day). I'd like to hope that a small part of what she taught me I have succeeded to emulate.

Our last visit in person was about a year ago, and a treasured memory. My husband and I were back in the town, where she still lived, for a book signing, and I loved being able to present her with my novel, which I lovingly inscribed to her. A few weeks later, she sent me a note praising my writing, and sharing specific ways in which the book had touched her. Her words were so beautifully crafted; I read that note over and over.

I've given you just a few of the many ways this woman influenced my life. I'm sure, if I'd expressed these to her during her lifetime, she would have deflected them. That was another reason I loved her; she was gracious and unassuming.

I guess the best thing to do is just to say, I was definitely lucky she chose to be my friend. And my tears will continue for some time, because I will miss her voice, her hugs, and her never-ending love of life.