Wolfenoot Morning

November 23, 2018 – the first Wolfenoot holiday! ❤️

Good morning Wolfenati,

It is 5am on Wolfenoot morning in New Zealand. My coffeepot is bubbling away, the cats are fed, and I just want to take a moment before the mayhem of the next 48 hours sets in.

About two months ago, I posted a thing my kid said on the internet. I have been doing this for as long as he has been saying things. I’m his Mom, and so I think he’s pretty great and cute and the stuff he says makes me laugh and fills me with amazement.

But this one tiny idea resonated and rippled across the world, and changed our lives and this piece of magic fell into my hands. I have done as much as I could to direct that magic well, to use this energy to foster kindness and to channel it into creating a force for good. It has definitely changed…

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Big Bites at the Black Bear Diner

When one cafe closes…a new diner opens.  Mike and I were bummed when Mimi’s Cafe on Memorial closed.  We often took advantage of their “buy one, get one free” entree coupons I’d receive via email, but we could tell by the dwindling of patrons it wouldn’t be long before they shuttered the doors.  Not much time had passed until we saw work being done to the property and noticed the banner that declared Black Bear Diner – Coming Soon!  With a Grand Opening on April 23rd, we made plans with our friends, Jay and Nadine, to check it out on the 2nd official day of business.

According to their “Our Story” place mat, Black Bear Diner started in 1995 in Northern California.  It is a family friendly establishment decorated in rustic art, wild life murals, and, of course, lots of black bears.  Serving up HUGE portions from their menu, they have bukoos of options to choose from.  For those who crave breakfast for dinner…you’re in luck as they serve breakfast all day.

Although the staff were super friendly, we had a few hiccups right off the bat.  Our table didn’t have enough place mats and silverware.  Once new silverware was brought to us, those dreaded water spots were all of over them.  Jay tried to wipe them off, but the water spots weren’t budging.  I pulled two sets of pristine silverware from the table next to us.  We had a long wait for our drinks and refills.  The waitress poured the tea and when Jay took a drink…he just about jumped out of his seat from all that sweet!  Multiple mishaps with Sweet vs UnSweet tea…had to have new fresh glasses made to avoid the tainted tea.

Black Bear Diner 16

The menus come in newspaper form, complete with old news stories featuring the development of Quail Springs mall and other local articles.  Once you open up the menu, you have a lot of options to consider.  After perusing for a while, we all made our selections.  Nadine chose the pot roast with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies.  She enjoyed it.  Very tender with good flavor.  Jay chose the Bigfoot Chicken Fried Steak.  He felt it was truly homemade, but it doesn’t live up to the name “Bigfoot” – expected it to cover much more of the plate than it did.  He also noted that his steamed veggies included crunchy carrots.  LOL!  Mike chose the meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans.  He loved it and would get it again, although there are so many choices on the menu, he’s interested in trying other things.  I chose the breakfast tacos.  They’ve already taken it off the menu…which I don’t blame them.  They were underwhelming.  The tortillas were soggy.  The flavor…eh…the hot sauce sorta helped.  The country red potatoes were bland and boring – pass the salt and pepper, please!  The star of the night was the delicious sweet cornbread muffin that came with the dinners. (I had to order mine in addition to my meal.)  This yummy golden baked goodness was extra tasty with butter and the choice of the natural jams provided.  Strawberry and Blackberry were favorites.

Black Bear Diner brags on their homemade desserts so we took the opportunity to indulge.  Jay had the Huckleberry ice cream.  He offered us all a taste, and it was absolutely delightful!  A refreshing and light way to end a meal.  Nadine had the apple pie which she felt they grabbed straight from the fridge as it was cold.  Mike went for his usual peach cobbler a la mode.  He sent it straight back to the kitchen as the cobbler was cold.  It came out again, and it was tepid, at best.  He talked to the manager before we left and let him know that they need to figure out how to correctly serve the cobbler.  I chose the chocolate cream pie.  It was rich and creamy, yet lukewarm.  When I order a cream pie, I expect it to be ice cold.   This experience had some hits and misses.  We felt like they needed more time to work out some kinks, but we all agreed that we’d go back to try it again.

Fast forward nearly two weeks later, Mike and I, along with his Aunt Violet, went to Black Bear Diner for breakfast.  First thing we noticed was the water spotty silverware…again.  The coffee is strong, and I was grateful it had a nice flavor.  The orange juice is fresh squeezed and was very well received.  Violet chose scrambled eggs, thick cut bacon, hash browns and a biscuit.  I love trying corned beef hash at different places so I gave theirs a “go”.  It was ok – I’ve had better.  I chose the hash browns since I was disappointed with the country red potatoes on the last visit.  Violet and I, both, agreed the hash browns seemed under cooked even though they don’t appear to be in the pictures.  Mike chose the Southern Scramble which came with sausage, scrambled eggs and gravy on top of a split biscuit.  He didn’t care for the sausage as he thought it was ultra salty.  He ordered an extra biscuit on the side to slather with some butter and Strawberry jam.  We REALLY wanted to love the biscuits as much as their sweet cornbread muffins, but we found them to be super dry and crumbly.  Violet had to eat hers with a fork because it wouldn’t stay together.

Again, more misses than hits.  Maybe they are still working out some kinks?  The portions are huge, and the staff is very friendly.  I would encourage anyone to go try it and form their own opinion.  Mike and I will most likely go back to see if the third time is a charm.

 

 

 

 

Pizza Party at Luigi’s

Four Tuesdays ago in a pizza place right down the way…Mike and I joined the gang for an evening of hilarity and good eats.  I had looked on Yelp to find a spot we hadn’t been to yet and landed on Luigi’s Pizza (4816 N. MacArthur).  Described as a family owned business, it had 5 star reviews and so we decided to give it a try.   This location was housed in an old Pizza Inn.  We walked in and found one lone gentleman, Muhammad, running the show.  The dining room was dark, and he promptly turned on the lights once he found out we were there to dine in.  It was like we walked into a time capsule from 1986…old posters on the painted brick walls, fake plants, bright red accent paint.  If I had a looking glass to peer into its past, I felt like I could have seen a sea of frosted jeans, Reebok’s, and BIG hair.

Luigi's 1

Muhammad was super nice, and tended to his lone table of customers in between his take out orders.  We all had a variety of pizza pies.  Some were create your own and some were specialty.  They offered thin crust and NY style.  It was unanimous…this little pizza joint offered up hot, fresh Yumnoms!

After diving into our dinner, Muhammad, convinced us to try a dessert.  Nadine bought an apple cinnamon calzone to share with all of us.  It was tasty too, but Jay noted how the top could have been basted with butter so the cinnamon sugar could  adhere to it better.

Luigi's 8

The night was full of great food and lots of fun.  Since we were the only dine in customers, we were able to roar with laughter.  Muhammad enjoyed our company, and he cracked jokes with us!  If you’re looking for some pizza goodness and smile…stop by this Luigi’s and see Muhammad!  He will welcome you and treat you like family.

Luigi's 2

Laffa Love & Sylvan Esso

A few weeks ago, Mike and I headed to Tulsa for some fun.  I had bought concert tickets back in November as soon as I found out that Sylvan Esso would be performing at the legendary Cain’s Ballroom.  Not really Mike’s kind of tunes so I hit up my friend, Jayme, to join me while Mike met up with a friend for dinner and then tried his luck at River Spirit Casino.  (Must have been luck be a lady night…but I will say that we very much enjoy staying at their hotel and seeing concerts such as Steely Dan and Santana!)

Jayme suggested we go to one of her most favorite local restaurants that was only a short couple of blocks from the concert venue.  She had me at Mediterranean fare…so off we went to Laffa.  I’ll tell you that right off the bat I felt it would be a great experience as the address is 111 N. Main St.  Anyone that really knows me understands how giddy I can get with numerology and seeing certain numbers such as 111, 1111, 222, 333, 444, 555…you get the picture.

 

For an appetizer, Jayme suggested that we try the Mezze Mini Medley which consisted of our choice of 3 dips and fresh hot laffa bread.  We decided to try the Pickled Beets with Fennel, West African Hummus and the Tzatziki.  They were all delicious, and I especially loved the sweet tart flavor of the beets.  After we shared one “slapped” loaf of laffa, the waitress was kind to bring out another.

Laffa 2

For her entree, Jayme chose her usual, the Laffa Platter.  It brought a variety of flavors all in one meal including salad, sweet potatoes, hummus, choice of falafel or shawarma, plus pita bread and four sauces.  I decided on a “staff favorite” and tried the Omani Shrimp with butter rice.  I was curious about the tomato coconut sauce and found it to have a smooth flavor – perfect for dipping Jayme’s pita bread into (Sharing is caring!).

 

After a delicious meal and conversation, we walked on over to Cains Ballroom for the sold-out show.  We eventually found our way over to the bleachers and stood up on them for a better view of the stage.  The crowd went wild when Sylvan Esso came out.  They played all of their hits with such enthusiasm and had fun with the audience.  It was an absolute blast!  They are touring again this summer, and if you are a fan, go go go see them live in concert.  You won’t be disappointed to get up, get down!

 

Little Red Heart <3

April is National Donate Life month, raising awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation.  Growing up and in my early adulthood, I had this stigma about being an organ donor.  Firstly, the religion I was raised in often flip-flopped back and forth on their stance on whether or not transplantation was acceptable or not; and even then, they have their hard-nosed rule on abstaining from blood transfusions which often play a role in the procedure.  Secondly, I was selfish and didn’t fathom the idea of sharing any of MY organs with anyone if I died.  Then, one cold February day in 2010, I met Mike.

Mike is unlike anyone I had ever encountered.  He has this insatiable zest for life.  He is a 17-year kidney transplant recipient – survivor.  His motto is, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” and sometimes it is hard to keep up with him!  He doesn’t take anything for granted.  He is one of the most kind, compassionate, generous, understanding, non-judgemental, fun and hilarious people I know…and how blessed I am that he is my husband!  Early in our friendship, it was because of him that I became an organ donor and now encourage others to register.  He leads a full life and dedicates every moment in honor of his donor, Sandy, and her family.  He is gratitude in action.

LifeShare 2

Today, we had the opportunity to volunteer with our new friend, Savannah, for the LifeShare Foundation registry/fundraiser event that was held at Sweet Mini’s Donut Company.  This local shop serves up miniature little works of art that you can pop in your mouth.  Mike says they are like glorified donut holes.  They have an amazing variety, and they are made to order.  We indulged in a 6-pack of hot and fresh dainty bites!  He had Cinna Minis, and I tried the Rock A Boa, Snickered, and Oh Oh Oh Ree Oh….and oh boy were they wonderful!

LifeShare 1

We were able to greet customers and talk to them about organ, eye and tissue donation and encourage them to get the Little Red Heart on their Oklahoma Drivers License that notates they are a registered donor.  We had cards they could fill out or they could sign up online through the LifeShare Registry (Oklahoma friends – you can too – just click on the link!).  If you live outside of Oklahoma, visit Donate Life America to register.

If you aren’t registered, please consider it.  Organ, eye and tissue donation truly saves lives and gives so many who are in need a second chance.

What If… – Emily B Green (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Dave described this very well! Super excited for my friend’s EP to be released! Love your music and style, Emily! ❤️

Dancing About Architecture

logo EmThere is some music which transcends genres. I’m not saying that in a sensationalist way or to invoke the modern trend for hyperbole, it is just that some music is built along such classic lines that it predates the contemporary need for generic labels and neat pigeon holes. Okay, there is a touch of jazz eclecticism to be found, soulful vibes abound and the balance between the neo-classic piano which forms the foundation of the e.p. and the deft designs and clever musical motifs built from rock, pop and indie that adds the sonic detail hint at the familiar. But for the most part it seems to create a genre of its own, partially because it is happy to hop generic boundaries at will but mainly because it doesn’t conform enough to any one. Eclecticism is the name of the game.

Em_woods.jpgThe more driven end of the music, songs such…

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Stables…Roosters…and Uncle Zep

This past Saturday, Mike and I ventured north to Guthrie with our friend, Leesa, for a fun night on the town.  We began our evening with dinner at a classic “go to” for local residents and out-of-towners alike, Stables Cafe.  (As of this writing, it was listed as #2 of 43 restaurants on TripAdvisor.)

Stables 1

The Tallman Livery Stable transformed into Stables Cafe in 1987 bringing “Broken Wheel BBQ” to town.  Their menu boasts a wide variety – full of starters, burgers, sandwiches, dinner plates, salad bar, BBQ Buffet, Spaghetti and all the desserts you can handle.

For a weekend evening, it was fairly busy, and after a short wait, we were ready to dig in! Leesa went for the ever popular Chicken Fried Steak  (that took up over half the plate) with a side of onion rings.  The chicken fry was meaty and not overly breaded.  Leesa loved the homemade onion rings as well.  The waitress bragged on their steaks so I went with an 8oz. KC Strip steak with a loaded baked potato that was nearly as big as a football!  The steak had pretty good flavor…not the best I’ve had, but it didn’t require steak sauce so that was a plus.  Both of our dinners came with a trip to the salad bar and a side of Texas toast.   You can bet your sweet bippy that there were leftovers!

Mike decided on the Chili Cheese Spaghetti “Dad’s Favorite Served Cincinnati Style”. It proved to be a delicious pile of comfort food…just look at this awesome cheesy goodness!

Stables 4

We were way too full to partake in any of the desserts showcased in the display up front…but we can save that for the next visit.

After supper, we drove on over to Roosters Hard Times Club, a bar/pool hall/hangout on Oklahoma Ave.  It was Roosters’ Birthday Bash and they brought in Uncle Zep, a local Led Zeppelin tribute band.  I guess it was apparent that we weren’t from around these parts as there were a couple of patrons asking where we were from and were surprised we drove up from OKC.  It was a fun place to people watch and the drinks were plenty as well as reasonably priced.  The bar was smoky as expected, but there were plenty of table and chairs for the crowd.

Uncle Zep rocked out the house.  They were tight and nailed many of the tunes.  Leesa’s favorite was “Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You”.  Mike liked “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, and I was thrilled that they played my jam, “When the Levee Breaks”.  We had a chance to talk to the lead singer, Hoppy, and he said they were a cover band that had morphed into a tribute to Led Zeppelin after they played a gig at the Festival of the Arts a few years ago focusing on music exclusively from the legendary classic rock band.

If you’re looking for a destination dinner date, I’d recommend a drive to Guthrie to eat at Stables Cafe.  Guthrie is a quaint town with lots of antique/vintage shopping.  Pollard Theater is also an option for a night of entertainment if you catch a play.  During the summer, Guthrie features Red Brick Nights, an outdoor music, shopping and food festival, once a month.  It is a family-friendly good time!  I imagine they will be coming out with their 2018 calendar soon.   Every October, Guthrie is also home to Oklahoma’s International Bluegrass Festival.  Last, but not least, I can’t let my spiel about Guthrie go without noting its widely beloved Territorial Christmas.
Fa La La La La La La La Laaaaaaaaaaaa!