Humming again!

Richard got the blog up and running! Thanks, Dick!!  All I wanted you should do was create an awesome blog and you went even further and named me as “The Man” in a correctional facility in SW OK.  I’ll post regular entries, but I have something specific in mind for “The Hum.”  I’m still processing the details in my head. So until then mundane entries will have to suffice. 

Banter with Richard

The following is my most recent Facebook inbox exchange with Richard Barron. It’s fun to see where the conversations will go and they are often hilarious!!

Richard R. Barron


LeAnn Skeen

Damn. I think about you just about every day. For instance about twenty minutes ago I was thinkin about you. I was tryin to remember about the time I decided to memorize the dictionary. I only got as far as A. (that is the first letter, right)? So that’s when I learned about antecedents and anthropomorphism. . . I think. What is antecedent again??????

Richard R. Barron

Antecedent is a pair of your mom’s sisters who plant a garden. I’m pretty sure.

LeAnn Skeen


So it really doesn’t have anything to do with your aunt a seein a dent?

Richard R. Barron

Your aunt makes dents in the soil with her apron strings so she can sow the reaping. Once the reaping is sewn, you can kill the reaper. But don’t fear him.

Most of what I know about antecedents comes from song lyrics, actually.

Just Checkin In….

I have been pretty busy but I wanted to check in briefly and get a post up before my account gets deleted or something.

Let’s see, what’s going on with me these days…? Hmmm… Well, Lawton has been the focus of national attention lately. These two teenage brothers posted a few youtube videos of one of them abusing the family cat. Youtube took it down, but the sheriff and TV station have been flooded with calls from around the world since it happened. Then on a message board, someone posted the kids full name, address, phone number, and his mother’s name and her email address. These kids are already in trouble with the law, but with their personal information out there, their lives could be in danger. This is the news story but don’t watch it if you are sensitive to graphic details (it was edited but still sickening to watch) of animal abuse. My computer only shows an X and not the video, so if you can’t see it here you can go to

Since I last blogged, Justin moved back to Lawton. He drove here from Tucson last month. He’s sharing a house with his sister and another rommate and happy to be home. He’s gonna enroll at Cameron this summer and finally go to college. He’s motivated because he doesn’t want to take thirty years to graduate, unlike his mom.

Speaking of me, I too have decided to finally finish my degree as well. I applied for admission at Cameron and hope to get started this summer. It shouldn’t take me more than a couple of years to finish up. I really need this. My cognitive abilities have diminished quite a bit, with the lengthy illness I had and other things. My vocabulary and writing skills have waned considerably. But I’m thinkin that with some brisk mental exercises, I can whip my brain back into shape in a semester or two! I was an English major and I don’t guess there is any sense in changing that, although I may go with English Education. Anyway, that’s what I’m gonna do.

That’s pretty much about all I can think of to tell y’all tonight. Thanks for stopping by!

Carry Me Home To See My Kin

Billy and I visited family in Northern Alabama recently. We left Oklahoma two days after Christmas and returned home on January 2nd after stopping in Memphis for a whirlwind tour on New Year’s day.

On the way out of Oklahoma on I40 between Oklahoma City and Fort Smith, we made quick stops in three towns. Okema, the home of Woodie Guthrie, Henryetta, home of Troy Aikman, and Checotah, home of Carrie Underwood.

About 2AM the morning we were leaving, a heavy thunderstorm pounded rain upon Richard Spur. By the time we left at 7AM it had moved on, but we caught up with it at the Arkansas state line and that storm was determined to hitch a ride with us all the way to Elkmont, Alabama where dad lives. Our driving speed was reduced to about 35 mph and we gave up about 60 miles west of Memphis and got a motel room for the night.

We had such a great time and I hated to leave. We stayed with Dad and Carol for a couple of days and then we went to my Aunt Myrna’s house in Huntsville for a couple of days. We left early on New Year’s day.

Dad and Carol took us to Pulaski, Tennessee where we ate and a Place called Legends. It’s one of their favorite restaurants. Dad is a retired policeman and paramedic, but he fancies himself as damn near a doctor, so if you need brain surgery or to have your toenails removed you should visit his website at Dad also builds models–mostly WWII aircraft. Dad and Carol have been married since July 3, 1981 which is the day I went into the hospital to have Michael who was born July 4, 1981. The dad pictures on here are his models and one of his retirement things from when he retired from Texas DOC in Huntsville, Texas. Also the picture of Billy with the banjoe is from Carol’s musical instrument collection. The shih tzu is their little dog Chance, whom I think they adopted the day they got married! lol. He’s very old.

We all went to Aunt Myrna’s and Uncle Gary’s on December 30, and Aunt Myrna had prepared a very nice lunch for everyone. We all visited for a couple of hours, until Dad and Carol went home. I have always loved staying at Aunt Myrna’s and Uncle Gary’s. When I was a kid, she used to take me shopping and when she went to the store she always brought back cracker jacks or animal crackers for us kids. Wherever she and Uncle Gary lived in the world, they always mailed us really cool gifts. Uncle Gary is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army so they have lived all over the world. The Aunt Myrna pictures on here are their dog Zoe, a bichon frise who is very spoiled and lots of fun, Uncle Gary’s golf ball collection–I thought it was all his holes in one, but I was wrong. I think it’s various golf resorts he visited. His handicap used to be a five, but he’s encountered some health problems and it’s gone up a bit. The Mona Lisa is so cool. I admired it and I thought it was a print, but it’s an original they had painted by an artist in Greece when they lived there in the 1960’s. There’s also a picture of Myrna, Gary and my cousin Matt. I lived with them for a while when I was a teen and he still thinks of me as his sister.

Dad and Carol live near Athens, Alabama and the big white house is one of many houses like that in that area. The honor system fruit stand is in Athens.

The Memphis pictures include the Lorraine Motel which is now the American Civil Rights Museum. A lone protester has set up shop everyday outside the museum for years. She believes the museum is practicing gentrification and I think her web address is It should be on the picture though, I think.

The crowd on Beale Street in Memphis was extraordinary. It was like that when my brother Thomas and I visited three years ago on an ordinary day, but this time we got there just in time for the Liberty Bowl festivities on New Year’s day. The fans were cheering for their prospective teams and I joined right in as if I was there for that reason. The house with all the people out front is Graceland.

It was a fantastic trip. We took over four hundred pictures and of course there wasn’t enough time to do everything we wanted to do. But gas prices were down and I wanted to go before they spiked again. We drove a total of 1751 miles and spent about $95 on gas.

Posted by Bigcat While Mom was Sleeping

1. Gunta. (swimming in the Arkansas River) Aka Goon and the Groovy Goony. He loved to be chased and ran off all the time. One day he was hit by a car. Thankfully the Tulsa Humane Society took him in and he was adopted by a good family who changed his name to Buddy. We only had him a few weeks.

2. Billy the Rooster. He’s really Billy’s dad’s rooster but I call him Billy in honor of a rooster by the same name who lived long ago and was a beloved pet that was tragically eaten for Sunday dinner. His story was actually beautifully told on the Soap Opera, Ryan’s Hope in 1977.

3. Rufus. (red collar w bone tag, lying on the floor) Billy’s mom’s dog. Watch out for him. He eats pigs.

4. Sis the bulldog. (resting on a pillow) Aka Sis Boom Bah. She’s a pit and is the most gentle dog I know. She belongs to Billy’s dad and lives next door to us.

5. Norton. (posing perfectly for the camera and the other is Nort and Sis kissing) I love him so. Aka Nort, Nortimer Snerd, and Nordon. He has been with us since Jan 2007. Last year when I was very sick and in the hospital I had Mother and Robert take him to the Tulsa Humane Society because I thought he was too much to handle. Mother told me later that she and Robert had become attached to him and were secretly hoping they wouldn’t take him. I cannot express how thankful I am that they didn’t. Truly, I wasn’t thinking clearly and I can’t imagine my world without a Nordon in it.

6. Bigcat. Born July 4, 1997 according to me. We got him in October 1998. He was my very first pet as an adult and he as had many many adventures. He once survived an apartment fire and was once built into a wall because he was too scared to come out when the construction guys started to build the wall. He is now a retired Tom Cat and lives a quiet secluded life in the country where he has been writing his memoirs on a typewriter he once received as a Christmas gift. I’m hoping that one day he will tell me about his kittenhood.

7. Cousin Jack. Aka Cousin, Jack, Jacky, Jackalak, and Lacky. Mother thinks he is her dog, but Cousin and I know better.

8. Frank. (pictured w me) Aka Lanky, widdle feller, Puppy Baby and sometimes Frankenfurter. He will soon be seven years old. Frank came into my life in May of 2002 when my heart had just been shattered a few months earlier in January when my twenty year old son Michael died. He was a balm to my broken heart. He would like all the others go go away so he can be the only dog in my life. He asked me to tell you that he is my favorite. No other dogs matter except for Frank.

My Dear Cousin

Cousin Jack and I first met on Christmas Day 1998. At the time I was living in Oklahoma City. Billy and I came to Lawton for Christmas. We stopped by my brother Robert’s house to give him his gift. At the time, I was definitely not an animal person. Only two months earlier in October 1998 a stray cat had befriended Billy. Billy wanted to take him in and I protested because of my allergies. Thankfully Billy won out and that stray cat became our beloved Big who has been with us for over ten years now.
Big helped me to overcome my indifference to animals. Once early on, my friend Paula saved Bigcat’s life when he had a bad leg injury. That’s how I met Paula when we were both operators at Southwestern Bell. I was mildly concerned about Big, but not enough to do anything about it and I didn’t have the money to take him to the vet. Someone at work told Paula my plight and she introduced herself to me and arranged an appointment for Big and paid the vet bill. We have been friends ever since and she is the godmother to all my pets.
So anyway, Robert had recently adopted a baby chihuahua and he was so cute, I would have taken him home with me that day if I could have gotten away with it. He was exactly the size of those little Taco Bell dogs that were all the rage at that time. Robert only had to pay $50 for him with papers because supposedly he wasn’t the quality of the other dogs in the litter or something like that.
Cousin and I grew very close through the years which is kinda strange since I always either lived in Tulsa or OKC while he lived in Lawton. Whenever I came to town, he always greeted me ecstatically and when I would leave Mother told me he would sometimes wait by the door for hours thinking I was coming back. When he was younger, he went nuts when he heard my voice on the phone because he thought I was there and he couldn’t find me. Mother eventually took over the care of Cousin Jack from Robert. She brought him to visit me as often as she could and he spent a lot of time with me in Tulsa and OKC. When I go to Mother’s and I can’t stay long, I try my best to avoid seeing Cousin Jack because he gets upset if I don’t stay and he can’t come with me.
His vet called Mother this morning with grim news. His biopsy came back and his growth is something called Hemangiosarcoma. It is a deadly form of cancer. His doctor also called me because Mother was too distraught to comprehend what she telling her. She told me that his condition is guarded and we need to watch for signs that it is growing internally such as loss of appetite and labored breathing. She said she has never seen this type of cancer on the skin until now. She said that she is certain they were able to remove the entire growth and that the reason the other doctor thought it was superficial is because there wasn’t much blood flow which is a good sign. She thinks it’s possible there isn’t any cancer internally but not likely. She also said that just because Cousin Jack appears healthy that it doesn’t mean he isn’t sick. So we all we can do is watch him and hope that one growth was all there was. This particular vet hasn’t ever seen a dog who lived with this type of cancer. She doesn’t recommend chemo and we agree. He’s ten years old and he doesn’t need to go through such a traumatic ordeal when it will not likely prolong his life.
My new friend, Dr. Ron was kind enough to talk to me about it. You may meet Dr. Ron in my Thomas Comes Home for Christmas entry. He posted a comment there. He is a veterinarian by day and a blueshound by night. He told me if it was showing up externally that it is somewhere else. By all accounts, it seems the news for Cousin Jack is very grim indeed. I am very grateful for my new friend and for his willingness to educate me regarding Cousin Jack’s condition. I have only known Dr. Ron a very short time, (since we picked up Thomas in OKC) but he’s a great guy and I’ve grown attached to him already!! Poor Dr. Ron!!
One quick update regarding my car crash post. I told you I am always careful to check to make sure no one passes me on the left when I turn left into my driveway. As I was driving home this evening from Lawton, I turned on my blinker to turn left into the casino parking lot. I forgot to check for careless drivers passing me and as I slowed down to turn. Sure enough an idiot in a minivan passed me on the left as I made my turn. I have no idea why we didn’t collide. She was going very fast, I’m sure and I was nearly stopped. I didn’t even see her until she was also in the casino parking lot where she swerved rapidly to avoid hitting me. She was completely freaked out. I saw her at that point because I nearly hit her in the driveway because she had so suddenly appeared. She could have killed us, but she was so visibly shaken we had to make sure she was okay. She had to ask me if we collided. She didn’t even know what happened. “No, ma’am, you didn’t hit us. If you had we wouldn’t be talking right now because we would probably be DEAD!!!!”

Car Crash on East Gore Wednesday December 17, 2008

Billy and I had just left a Window Cleaning job in East Lawton this afternoon around 3 PM as students were leaving MacArthur High School. The road was closed so I attempted to detour through a residential area which took us right upon an accident scene on East Gore.
I decided to take pictures since I happened to have my camera with me. I don’t expect my photos to receive international recognition as Richard’s ( have, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get the pictures just the same.
A high school boy was driving a Cadillac westbound on Gore Blvd at a high rate of speed according to witnesses. A 68 year old woman was driving a pick up truck and was making a U-turn into the westbound lane of Gore Blvd. Witnesses said the Cadillac t-boned the pick up. The woman in the pick up was partially ejected. She was taken by helicopter to an Oklahoma City hospital. I don’t know how serious her injuries are. The high school boy wasn’t hurt.
From what little I know about what happened, I don’t understand why the woman made a U-turn into the path of a speeding vehicle. People grow impatient with my driving all the time. I rarely pull out when a car is even remotely close or even if it’s not close but appears to be driving very fast. “You can go now” is a common phrase used by whomever happens to be in my passenger seat. Personally, I don’t see the point in jumping into oncoming traffic to please my passenger or the people in the car behind me.
I also live on a highway where the speed limit is 65 mph. I drive the speed limit and am often passed on the right, and tailgated. When I’m tailgated I slow way down sometimes to 20 mph and they usually back off. Coming from Lawton, I have to turn left into my driveway. I always have to be aware of impatient drivers behind me who pass me on the left when I slow down to turn. Stephanie, I gotta tell ya, it ain’t so bad not driving!!!

A Blogworthy Horse, Of Course!

I made a new friend this morning!! I pulled into the driveway and noticed someone I had never met before, hanging around in the pasture behind our house. I don’t know his name and I think he must be new to the neighborhood.
I haven’t had much experience with horses. I have gone riding a few times and every single time, I have been thrown!! Everyone tells me it’s because they can tell I’m afraid of them and they are all wrong!! I am not afraid of horses in the least. I think it is something else. I spoil my dogs and my cat but I have always been unintentionally indifferent towards horses. I never regarded them as a pet to be loved and gushed over. I guess I sort of considered them transportation or something to do, like a go cart ride or something.
But this time, I talked to my new friend with respect like he deserved. I fed him some Quaker Oats and visited with him in twenty degree temperatures for at least an half an hour. As Sally Field once said, “He liked me!! He really liked me!!” He didn’t want me to go and I didn’t want to go. I was afraid I would never get to see him again. My friend Sue Ellen suggested he could be a stray. I hope not. I don’t understand why he wasn’t in a warm barn somewhere though. If he comes back, maybe I’ll ask him to take me to his house so I can meet his owners. I think I better buy a bale of hay to keep on hand so he will have a snack when he visits too. I think he could use a little fattening up!!

Thomas Comes Home For Christmas

On Thursday, December 11, Mother and I went to Oklahoma City to pick up my brother Thomas from the airport. He flew in from the Solomon Islands because his job working for the Arch Bishop of the Diocese of Melanesia ended when the bishop retired. He’ll be here for a month or two while he waits to get his visa in order. Then he’s off to Vanuatu to do whatever it is he does. I just know it has something to do with the Anglican Church.

We had a great time in the city though. Thomas is always up for a good time so as soon as we left the airport, he wanted to go to Bricktown. I used to go to the all the Redhawks games when I lived in the city, and I was down in Bricktown all the time but I haven’t lived in the city for six years now, so it’s been a while since I’ve been to that area.

We went to Zio’s for dinner. I wanted to go to Cheleno’s for Mexican but Thomas was hungry for Italian. We went to the movies afterward and I saw Cadillac Records which I enjoyed very much. Mother and Thomas saw Australia. After the movies Jill met up with us and we went to a great blues club called The Biting Sow. It was a lot of fun. I don’t remember the name of the band but it was Dr. Ron and the blues something. We got to visit with Dr. Ron and that was very nice. We got home around two in the morning I guess.

Mother took me to the commissary and the PX today. I finally got the ingredients for my Egg Cream. I first learned about it watching Ryan’s Hope then my friend Judy told me how to make it via the Ryan’s Hope message board. I had to make do with Oklahoma supplies since we don’t have U-Bet chocolate syrup in Oklahoma. It was good anyway, but one day I’ll try a real New York Egg Cream! It’s pretty much just carbonated chocolate milk!! lol. I did use a Coca Cola shaped glass as instructed though!!

That’s about it for now. We’re expecting an Arctic Blast and it’s already really cold. It’s time to hunker down. You two stay warm!!!