Drunken Newton

What's black and white and red all over?

Way back in the early days Mr. Last let me know that there was "quite a restaurant presence in Bakersfield."

"Uh huh," I thought skeptically, "if you are a big fan of beer and BBQ."

I was an ignorant snob. For almost five years now Mr. Last has shown me delightful eateries in every corner of town. Recently we enjoyed the flavors of Moo Creamery, and this is a place worth going out of your way to visit. People come from all over and you should, too.

Mr. Last sampled the Arctic Char plate and I tried the Vietnamese Pork Burger. Merciful heavens! They were delicious in the extreme. It's really a shame you cannot lick the screen and taste:
Our server settled a bet about the sweet potato fries. Mr. Last was certain they were true to their name and deep fried in oil. I thought they must be baked based on the lack of any oily feel, taste, or spots on the white paper under them.

They are deep fried.

But only very quickly and after having been soaked in cold water overnight to prevent them from absorbing oil during the cooking process.

Incidentally, it turns out you can have beer and BBQ at Moo Creamery if you've got your heart set on it, but with so many other flavors to try I wonder why you would do that?

Dessert was a Drunken Newton sundae made with the most delicately-flavored brown sugar ice cream on a butterscotch cookie with caramel and figs:

Now you know.


She Shoots Shoe Shots by the Seashore

Who shoots shoe shots by the seashore?
This one: http://from-sun-to-snow.blogspot.com/


I Just Called to Say "I Love You"

I've been getting phone calls from the Bigger Brother for a while now. He figured out long ago how to find my photo and push the green button on his mom's cell phone. He'll probably build his own Droid so he can text me from kindergarten. He already knows the important letters like "O" is for Oma. You can see he's got Thomas firmly in hand and something very important on his mind:

I know this next picture looks kinda cold, but I melted when I first saw it. And again today when I received my first full-blown voice mail from the Michelin Man: "Hi. Oma. Bye Bye. Love You."

So I called him back just before bedtime and we talked
about choo-choo trains and truck ducks and Elmo and *sigh*
now I just keep replaying his sweet voice message over and over.

I remember back to those precarious first days in Grand Junction when all our energy and love was focused on his well-being...

...now that energy and love is coming right back at us raised to the tenth power.

There is never a wrong time to call someone just to say "I love you."



Grandfish and Other Delights

So I saw this artwork and immediately thought of my Grandfish, Tootsie.

Yes. I have a Grandfish.

And Mr. Last has a Grandkitten and a Grandhorse.

There are also Grandchildren. But the artwork did not bring to mind Grandchildren. It brought to mind my Grandfish, Tootsie.

And then it brought to mind this photo of Tootsie's adoptive mother in this red dress, and Tootsie's adoptive auntie in that red velvet:

Then I remembered this photo of the
two of them together in reddish clothing: 
Which reminded me of them peeking out from behind this tree: 

And peeking out from behind that lamp post
 (trust me, there is a lampost, it is just out of frame):
And then I remembered this photo that always makes me laugh:
Now we've come full circle.

I love you, Tootsie. And Tootsie's adoptive mother.
And Tootsie's adoptive auntie.


Everything You Need to Know About Me

I've got my eyes wide open.
I enjoy a good apple.
Casual clothes are my favorite.
I'm comfortable sitting on the floor.

Yep. That's pretty much everything you need to know about me.

It might be nice if we left off here.

But something else you should know about me, or perhaps you already know, is that I have lots of thoughts about lots of things and I don't mind sharing my thoughts with the world.

So. Keep reading. Or don't.

But really, you now know eveything you need to know about me.


More Love Letters

What. The. World. Needs Now. Is Love. Sweet Love.
It's the only thing that there's just. Too Little Of.

Yep. I'm still working on resolutions from last year.

Nope. Didn't make a single new one this year.

Fewer piles. More love letters.

I'm pretty sure these two are the organizing principles on which we can hang all the others. Fewer piles will always improve the view. And more love letters are bound to improve both the giver and the receiver.

Win-win-win, right?

Sometimes the fewer piles project gets me all excited. Other times the more love letters project captures my imagination. It's the best of all possible worlds when the two converge. Like the other day.

I worked on creating fewer piles of magazines, and a last loving look revealed pages of beautiful photos with little to no text on them that begged me to save them from the discard pile. 

So I did.

They have been reincarnated so that they can live on as love letters:



Kirghiz Horsemen: A True Story

Mr. Last and I enjoy reading before bed.

This is a true story.

The other night I got in bed early and picked up my book and soon was drowsy. Next thing I know it's ten p.m. and I startle awake to find Mr. Last is tucked in beside me with his current reading material. 

"I was walking down a road in Pakistan..." I reported. We often share what we remember of dreams when we awake.

"I was walking down a road in Pakistan watching for the Kirghiz...um, the Kirghiz..."

"Horsemen?" Mr. Last suggested.

"YES! The Kirghiz horsemen who are the descendants of Kubla Khan."

"I think you mean Genghis Khan."

"Yeah, that's what I meant. The Kirghiz horsemen who are the descendants of Genghis Khan. But it was my dream. How did YOU know about the Kirghiz horsemen?"

"It's right here in my book."

"You're kidding! I just read it in my book. WHAT are you reading?"

Explosive laughter when I realized he was reading Three Cups of Tea, and I was reading the recap in the next volume of the story, Stones Into Schools.

And after the laughter I reflected on the fact that I have never in my life before now dreamed I was walking down a road in Pakistan watching with happy anticipation for the sight of Kirghiz horsemen to appear on the horizon. Such is the wonder and the glory of being a reader.

Thank you, Authors Everywhere, for enriching my dreams and taking me places I would be unlikely to go were it not for your stories.

And thank you, Mr. Last, for knowing what I mean when I am reaching for a word, and for filling up so beautifully all the blank spots in my life.


The "music" of The Human Story

Something to consider as we take a moment
 to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today:


A Chain Letter Even a Mother Can Love

It's Maggie's fault. Or Tawny's. Or Elise's. Oh, I dunno. Who gets the blame for starting chain letters. I hate chain letters. Except this one is the good kind:

I promise to send something handmade to the first 3 people who leave a comment here. To be eligible, you must also post this in your blog, offering the same thing to 3 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 3 people *sometime* in 2011.

This is not part of the official rules (see above), this is a special rule for Oh, My Oma's blog only: If there are not 3 people reading this blog that care to comment in order to receive some handcrafted goodness from me in 2011, then I will choose from among everyone I have ever known, or unsuspecting strangers, to be the unfortunate victims winners.

2011: A Beautiful Year

Late November a skinny box came in the mail and I handed it to Mr. Last with instructions to wrap it for Christmas. And then I forgot about it. Do you do that, too? Buy yourself presents for others to wrap?

Anyway, I LOVE this calendar that I got from A Quick Study. It's four feet long and so you have to have a good space to hang it, but it is so beautiful it doubles as an art piece. Originally I thought I would write a little something on each day, but I can't bring myself to mar it's perfection. Sometimes I just stand in front of the wall and look at it. It makes me THAT happy.

I almost got a clever sunshine calendar drawn by Caitlin Keegan, and I cannot wait until next fall to see what catches my fancy then. Seriously, if you search Etsy for "wall calendars" you come up with over 1300 different and beautiful calendars.

So I don't know if the title of this post is a prediction or a wish, but if 2011 ends up half as beautiful as the representation I have of it on my wall, we are in good shape.


Visualize Whirled Peas

OK. Did you KNOW there were Food Rules?

Of course you did.

I am late to the party, as usual, because I just found the Eater's Manual and read it today. It's a super quick read. I can't believe I have managed to chew and swallow all these years without it. And it was a great relief to find out that eating is really not so complicated. I've been doing it mostly right for a while now.

Many people have read and enjoyed Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma but I have not.

However, I have viewed the documentary Food, Inc. and Pollan is in that.

Did you know he's the brother-in-law of Michael J. Fox?

Did you know the Hanford Civic Auditorium reminds me of the clock tower in Back to the Future?

Right. Forget Back to the Future. Let's get back to the Food Rules.

Boiled down to their essence, they are: 

Actually sticking with the Rules is not as easy as learning them, so to help me measure and keep track of what goes in my mouth I registered at http://www.livestrong.com/. Right now I'm just using it as a food diary, but Lance has kindly provided lots of handy tools and tips for health and wellness there. I might branch out if the food diary thing works for me. We'll see.

Speaking of a tasty morsel, check out GrandGril
enjoying her Mexican vacation: 
I know. !Ay Caramba! Now you are craving something sweet, aren't ya?

Apples and raisins are sweet.

And they are mostly plants.

See how easy that was? I think I'm getting the hang of the Rules.


Reading is FUNdamental

Lots of people read for pleasure. I happen to be one. I kept a list on this blog of every book I read from cover to cover last year. I was gratified to see that I read about 40 books in a year. That's not quite one book a week and it does not reflect books I merely skimmed, magazines I read in their entirety, or the many blogs I happily discovered and read through their entire archive.

I am aiming for 52 in Twunnee-leven, and the first one was a delightful Christmas gift from a dear friend; the second a delightful Christmas gift from my sweetheart. I recommend without reservation Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson as well as And The Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman.

This afternoon I watched Maira Kalman's TEDtalk from 2007 and I especially appreciated her comment on being open to the possibilities of not knowing in order to learn something new. I call that "accidental learning" and reading has always been a reliable source of inspiration for me.

If you are interested, you can find the talk here:


Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?

Getting to Know Me, Part II

Hi. I’m Julie.

Now that we've been properly introduced I'd like to indulge in a little over-sharing.

These are my recurring thoughts, the consuming obsessions that occupy my mind:

Words, language, meaning, love, sex, books, stories, family, diet Pepsi, mythology, spirituality, friendship, chocolate, humor, creativity, absurdity, mental disorders, transpersonal psychology, intuition, feelings, emotions, chickens, relationships, ethics, human behavior, animal behavior, child development, origami, maps, nature, Canada, world history, catastrophe, food, gardening, stringed instruments, musical notation, mathematical notation, tessellations, poverty and wealth, knitting, sewing, embroidery, crochet, quilting, death, collage, art journaling, social media, letterforms, graphic design, illustration, photography, counting backwards from 99, imagination and visualization, traveling at the speed of light, magic, conservation of energy, juggling…

I think you can see my problem. On any given day as I am going about my routine these thoughts expand and multiply and recombine in original ways that tangle my tongue and populate my dreams and,
after all, shape and define me (in part) as

the ONE

the ONLY



These are the germs of some of my ideas, plans & dreams. Thank you, Marta, for the inspiration. Later I will circle back around to mine this list and explore the details.

I hope you enjoyed the sneak preview of upcoming attractions.

Come back soon. With a box of Junior Mints or Raisinets, a bucket of popcorn – salt, no butter - and a 64 oz. diet Pepsi. For me.

You can also bring your favorite movie snacks for you…


When It's Not Foggy, January Looks Like This

Getting to Know Me

Have we been properly introduced?

Hi. I'm Julie.

This is a snapshot of my daily routine, from sun up to sun down, in (mostly) nouns:

Dark room, bedcovers, alarm buzz-beep-chime, mumble, light switch, stumble, bath tub, hot water, shampoo, wash cloth, bath towel, underwear drawer, sock drawer, work clothes, mouth rinse, tooth brush, blow dryer, hot curlers, hair brush, moisturizer, make up, shoes, purse, downstairs, kitchen, white dog, head scratch, refrigerator, juice, vitamins, yogurt, toast, banana, a kiss, a hug, car keys, driving glasses, garage, automobile, driver’s seat, headlights, Canadian radio, neighbors on their morning walk, neighbor man waving from a stool in his garage, stop lights, freeway on-ramp, state highway, fellow commuters, truck drivers, knuckleheads, speed racers, prison lights, dairy air, orchards, fields, county line, pink sky, Sierra silhouette, FedEx plane, municipal airport, CalTrans construction project, Ivy Street, brick walk, brick steps, alarm code, keys, light switch, coffee maker, desk, workstation, password, email, voice mail, interoffice mail, in box, phone calls, morning meeting, printer, file cabinets, copy machine, coworkers, log off, Canadian radio, lunch spot, diet Pepsi, service workers, bank/post office/library/dollar store/Marshall’s, Freedom Park, cell phone, adult children, grandchild/ren, driver’s seat, brick steps, desk again, swivel chair, keyboard, phone calls, coworkers, shuffled papers, sign off, light switch, brick steps, driver’s seat, gas station, Canadian radio or NPR, freeway on-ramp, fellow commuters some more, state highway, fast lane, off-ramp, neighborhood, driveway, garage, kitchen, back yard, dog, man, dinner, diet Pepsi, dirty dishes, dishwasher, upstairs, play clothes, Facebook, blog-stalking/-posting, pajamas, mouth rinse, tooth brush, covers, books, bed, cold feet, conversation, warm man, light switch, a hug and a kiss, dark room.

Inspired by Maggie and Marta.


"Shut the Front Door!"

Eighty is the new fifty. Check out Auntie Whoa's recent 15 minutes of fame:

It's true. A strong streak of creativity and independence runs through my maternal line. Auntie makes the next 30 years look like lots of fun. You go, girl!