Epidsode #2-Rekindle Your Love Affair with the Crockpot

Stove

Image by -JosephB- via Flickr

Dear Aimee,

I am a wife and mother of three. We eat out so much.  I know that if we ate at home more often that we could save big bucks.  I work and when I get home I’m just too tired.  Any tips for how we can get back to the dinner table and stop spending so much money eating out?  ~Whining and Dining in Weatherford, OK

 Whining and Dining,

We are kindred spirits! The restaurant owners in town are
some of my top friends on Facebook. Despite how far a woman’s role has evolved, one thing remains the same. Who
is it that the family always turns to for a hot pot of porridge? Mom. Yes, there are pizza nights, Chinese food nights, and Mexican restaurant nights, but unless I am lying in bed contagious I always provide. This mild Magierocophobia (clinical fear of cooking) is a widespread ailment these days. Why the big hang up?  Well, it’s definitely not due to a lack of know-how.  I could list enough names to fill a Bunco room of very capable women.
Meaning they could kick off their heels, load a rifle, grab a bow, or bait a hook.  Shoot, catch, or snare
whatever game happens to be in season. Then trek back to their shiny SUV and retrieve a respectable pocket
knife from their Louis Vuitton.  Proceed to feather, gut, dress, or filet their game which they later serve by
candlelight with a perfectly paired wine! There are some very competent, capable, and stylish women out here.  So if it’s not the know-how keeping us from the kitchen, maybe it’s our expectations. Many of us grew up around women that served a full meal three times a day.  Cooking is a side of beef, a dozen or so accompaniment dishes, homemade bread, and a sufficiently fattening dessert.  However today’s schedules don’t always allow for that full Sunday spread.  Trying to cook like Julia, run a home like Martha, and have an empire like Oprah will
only leave you with a complex identity crisis. It is okay,  actually it’s even natural, to just be mediocre in some
areas of your life.  So what if Hamburger Helper is gourmet in your house?  There are far worse things in life.  From one culinary challenged chef to another, here is my best offering.  Rekindle your love affair with the age-old
friend of the working woman…the Crock Pot.
There is a great Facebook page called Crockin’ Girls.  Like the page, and you will have access to hundreds of Sunday dinner worthy recipes that literally cook themselves.  I am rarely speechless.  But I have no words to
describe the feeling of walking in after a long hard day, and being greeted by the intoxicating aroma that echoes the come-hither phrase we all love to hear…”Dinner’s ready!”

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Episode #1

Woman in cowgirl attire on horseback.

Image via Wikipedia

The Real Housewife of Western Oklahoma-October 13, 2011

As a wife and mother of four, who is surviving and thriving as a W.O.C. (West of Oklahoma City) woman, I have learned that we girls out here are often misunderstood.  Recently I had a conversation with a friend from a more metropolitan area.  She sauntered over, gave my outfit an approving nod, and asked “So how do you ever keep up with style and fashion way out here in Oklahoma?” I laughed thinking it was a
joke, but she never cracked a grin.  If it wasn’t for the Botox,
I’m sure she would have been frowning with concern over my couture challenged life.  Unfortunately she is not the only one that thinks we are living out a real life John Wayne flick in these parts.  The prairie woman stereotype is certainly alive and well.  However let me
bear witness today. 
I will swear with my hand on a Bergdorf-Goodman receipt that I know
some of the most up to the minute, fashion slave, trend setting, red
soled shoe clomping, Louis toting, Tory Burch wearing, Chanel lip
stick smearing, and all around absolutely fabulous women right here
in our neck of the woods…err…plains.
But what sets
them apart and makes them of the rarest quality? They are also some
of the most compassionate, loving, sharing, encouraging, and
God-fearing women I have ever met. We are unique, our problems are
unique, and therefore our solutions will be unique.  I am excited to
gather with you all around our little virtual coffee table.  Let’s
put our feet up, let our hair down, laugh, cry, share, and learn all
about how we each survive and thrive in the W.O.C.  All the while
looking pretty fabulous I might add.  So send me your questions and
comments.  My replies are not just dug out of my own shallow pool of
wisdom. But like many of us, I also rely on my dear friends, family,
and Kathie Lee and Hoda to come up with the best possible solutions.
Fashion, family, work, or relationships…we all need to have a
little girl talk and with today’s schedules that’s not always
easy.  This meeting of the No-So-Desperate Housewives is now in
session…let the chatting begin!

 Oh, and if some of the fashion terms in the above italicized phrase are foreign to you…GOOGLE!  After all,
we W.O.C. girls have a reputation to protect!

Now for the commentary.  This was a fun introduction to the what the newspaper column will be like.  In the future episodes, there will be a question from a reader whose name will be kept anonymous.  There is no theme to the questions, or no guidelines.  So email me your questions, or if you are brave and don’t care who knows what you ask, then leave a question in the comments below.  That would be a good way to get many opinions on the topic too!  You’ll see more of what I’m talking about as it goes on.  Thanks for reading!

Waiting…for something beautiful.

Cocoon of a Monarch Butterfly. Libya.

Image via Wikipedia

I am listening to the song “Something Beautiful” by Needtobreathe while posting today.  I am exploding with words.  God has brought me just a short way down a never-ending journey, and I am already awe-struck with where He’s taken me.  Let me back track a couple of months.  What I am sharing may seem way too personal for some.  But I have realized that’s what emotional, artistic, and romantic minded people do…share.  Whether it’s a painting, a song, a poem, or a mediocre blog ;), to some people certain things are just too beautiful to keep inside.  Now that I am no longer hindered by an annoying FB status word count…I’m free to expand.  I can’t put it all here in one reading.  That would take too many words and you would inevitably find yourself bored.  So I will start at the beginning and it will meander along as we both have time…me to type and you to read.  Well, to get on with it…Many of you know that I was adopted as a wee babe.  Well just recently I went through the process to find my biological mother and father.  It was a success, and my biological mother and I chat some and it’s been a great experience.  Now flip over from the earthly view…to a spiritual  view.  It has changed me.  As the story of “me” has unfolded,  I have seen all the many ways that God has intervened in my life to bring me here…right here…to this family, to this life, at this computer, on this blog, writing to you.  Our pastor at church and this delightful women’s study I’m a part of has pointed out recently how our natural world is very much also a SUPERnatural one.  Life has and will get the best of me, but the fact that I am where I am today is nothing short of His divine intervention.  Am I special that way?  Not at all.  If someday we all get the opportunity for God to unveil the highlights reel of our lives, and He shows us each and every moment He reached through time and space to protect us and guide us…we will fall down in humble amazement and gratitude.  I have just had the rare and valuable gift of seeing a glimpse of this intervention.  Psalm 121 says, “The Lord will protect you from all harm, He will protect your life.”  Here on Earth, He will watch over us all until our day comes.  Then we, His children, will  pass on into eternity where His protection over our lives, through Christ,  will be made complete.  That doesn’t mean there will be no suffering or no pain today,  but it does mean we can proceed with fearless ambition towards every goal He sets before us.   Despite whatever obstacles the enemy places in our path, whatever negativity the naysayers sling in our direction, whatever situation we find ourselves in…Our Lord will protect us until His work in us is done.  So I have been humbled, I have been encouraged, and now I am writing.  I can’t sit idle anymore.  I won’t waste this amazing existence that He divinely ordained for me.  Why He brought ME here…why ME?  I don’t know.  And the humility of that question demands I get up off my lazy tail and do something with my life, my talents, and my abilities no matter how meager or mediocre.  Am I unique?  Not at all.  If you are alive and reading this, then I can assure you that God has moved Heaven and Earth to keep you safe as well.  Now the question and the challenge is…for what?   I hope that by flaying my heart open for all to take a look, that someone will relate and we can have a supernatural meeting of the souls on our very natural earthly journey.  I am always SO encouraged by hearing others thoughts and experiences.   I don’t have it all figured out…not in the least.  So if you have “something beautiful” going on in your life…please share.  His work is far too inspiring and valuable to keep to yourself.   So that’s the start of the story.  There is SO much more in the works.  Including a piece entitled, “Are You my Father?”  Hahaha…that will be a fun one.  Thanks for reading!

Good Morning Western OK!…err…Goodnight.

By the time most of you read this it will be morning.  However, it is night now and as many of you can relate…this is the only quiet time in a household of six.  This is my new blog.  I’m terribly excited!  Loving how you can pick themes and such like on that one site we all used to use…what was it called?  Oh yeah…MySpace!  I still have a MySpace.  Unfortunately I have forgotten my password and the email I used way back then is no longer valid.  So somewhere out in cyberspace…Aimee Jones will forever be stuck in 2009.  I think I can retrieve my account by sending in a DNA sample or something, but just haven’t found the time yet. 😉 Well, I am planning on posting my column submissions here weekly.  That way those of you who are out of range of the Daily Elk Citian or the Cordell Beacon can still participate.  Thanks for reading and please talk back.  Otherwise it’s just like when I crawl in bed and pour my heart out to my dear husband only to hear long deep repetitious breathing in response.  He tries, but some days he is the only adult I have had as a captive audience and I’m not sure any man has that much word endurance.  Maybe there should be a male enhancement pill for that! 🙂

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