Source: Hospitality and Humor in Cairo
Click on the link to see my guest post on Mohamad Al Karbi’s blog. I was moved to tears by his post about his Syrian father’s death recently – Home is where the heart is
My biggest surprise in Tulsa was the abundance of fabulous Art Deco architecture. It was known as the “Terra Cotta City” in the late 1920s which coincided with an oil boom. My grandfather, Raymond, was born on the Chickasaw Nation, Purcell, Oklahoma in 1899 or 1900 and eventually ended up in San Bernardino in California (where he married Juanita), following various boom towns. I love to imagine what life was like for both my sets of grandparents, marrying in the 20s and 30s when society was changing dramatically in terms of style and habits. Irish Nana Kathleen married in a short and daring coffee colored chiffon dress with a matching cloche hat. I kept it until recently when I passed it on to a younger cousin.
The Philcade building had a T shaped lobby lined with shops. There are few shops now but you can still browse the window displays. It was designed by architect Leon Senter for oil magnate Waite Phillips. His brothers formed the Phillips Petroleum company. Teddy is an oilman (geologist) and we have survived three major slumps. We used to joke that the 66 in Phillips 66 stood for the amount of geologists they ‘lost’ in a year…it’s not quite as funny as it used to be. Heck, yes it is!
Teddy and I had some lovely sunset drinks on the rooftop bar of the Mayo Hotel built in 1925 and designed by architect George Winkler. It has been wonderfully restored with many of the original features kept intact; from stained glass to ceramic tiles in the coffee shop.
This post is a bit all over the place but let’s begin. I went for a mammogram last week at the insistence of my new gynecologist who is determined to sort out my dodgy hoo-ha. He has suggested that I take a genetic test to see what cancers might lurk in my future – not as much fun as the Ancestry genetic test. He has put me on estrogen – top and bottom. Y’alls know I live in Texas, the land of strange modesty, and when you go for a mammogram, the female nurses delicately slip off part of your robe and pull out each boob. This time I said, “Look, I was brought up in Europe. If you don’t mind I am just going to take off the robe and stand in my knickers”. She laughed and said that in Sweden women just sit in the waiting room breasts akimbo.
She asked me why I was having a mammogram and said I was a little anxious about HRT. Turned out she is on the same treatment as me and she told me that 98% of women, diagnosed with breast cancers, had not been on HRT. That said, however, I bet many of them had been on the contraceptive pill. Then she asked me about my ethnicity and was a tad surprised about the Native, North African and other exotic parts of my DNA. She noted that I was slim and my skin was in good condition. In her opinion, people’s eating habits in America had much to do with their health and I have to agree. It shocks me to see queues of rich people waiting at McDonalds for their lunch (they have a choice). I would no more eat a fast food burger than fly to the moon. I do eat processed food from time to time but try to lean towards clean and organic food. Perhaps there is a tad too much vodka in my life…I’m not perfect!
So…on Saturday I went out early to take some of my fancy dresses to a resale shop. They only wanted one of them and gave me $4.55 for a dress worth close to $100. On the way home I gave most of it to the fireman with the charity boot – what a waste of time but he was a handsome guy! I called Teddy to ask him to get washed and dressed so that we could go out for lunch. When I got home he was still in his pajamas. Normally this would raise merry hell but the HRT has a curious calming effect. FINALLY, after many baleful looks, we got on the road. We went to a local foodie place that served a perfect lunch. I had a delightful glass of Albarino from Spain – just faintly pink and dry, followed by a miniature appetizer. It was four little chickpea fritters with two delicious salsas. You could taste each individual flavor. Teddy had a crab and avocado sandwich with micro cilantro (weird but lovely). To finish we each had one scoop of yummy ice cream about the size of an egg. That is a perfect portion for lunch unless you are a marathon runner.
I have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone and it drives Teddy crazy that I don’t answer his texts (all the more reason not to…) He asked me if I had seen his text. No, was the obvious answer but I got out my phone and looked at his text. It had been sent from a new ‘dragon?’ app where he just speaks into the phone and it sends the text. I texted, “Good for you, asswipe”, his face was a picture especially when the female computer voice nicely enunciated asswipe. He then spoke into the phone saying, “I am not an asswipe” to which dragon lady responded, “I – am – not –an – asswipe”. By this time I was really laughing but became hysterical when the phone auto-corrected his text to “I am not a Muslim”. My laughter ricocheted from one end of the restaurant to the other. As you know, I am not bigoted but just love those autocorrects. I am just grateful that most people can’t understand our Celtic accents.
HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!🐤🐰
PS The mammogram showed that I have benign stuff (that’s a medical term) bilaterally. Don’t you panic when it says anything other than negative?
The HRT is turning me into a snarky teenager…
I love the sharp edges of this contemporary hotel building contrasted with the bright, cold sun and autumnal leaves.
The shadows are so vivid in this shot, just before sunset.
This final image made me laugh out loud. If you look closely at the Petroleum Club of Tulsa, you can see that there is a Thai Spa. Do you think they get happy endings?
As you know, I love to visit churches when traveling – it appeases my lapsed Catholic soul and the photos are always good. In most of Texas (and Mexico) Catholic churches are open all the time, for sinners like me. This beautiful cathedral was locked but there was number to call. I called the number and the lady said that it would be open when Mass was said later in the day. This was a 24 hour trip (to Tulsa), so I didn’t have time to wait for Mass. I gently persuaded her that I needed it open NOW and I wrote travel blogs. She sort of sighed but came and opened the front door for me – what a treat! This cathedral was a real beauty.
This is where I lit all my candles for everyone. I kinda wanted to pray for myself but that’s not allowed and I had already manipulated the poor church secretary (one more black mark on my soul…) I love to see purple in a church and priests’ robes are purple at Easter. The smell of incense would have made it a sublime experience.
While I was taking photographs/praying, some men where repairing the organ that somehow made the experience a little more memorable, if slightly off key.
I have wanted to visit Tulsa for such a long time. Finally, Teddy had a short business trip so I accompanied him last fall for a one night stay. It is a small city but I saw some fabulous highlights. Oklahoma is mostly flat prairie, uninteresting to some but the sky goes on forever. Tulsa is unusual because it has hilly terrain. It has been a wealthy city for many years – it is an oil city and on route 66.
I expected people to be friendly and they were, with a little reserve. That might be because we travelled the day after the election in 2016. Everyone was frightened to say anything in case they offend their political viewpoint – we still are, for the most part. You could see that the oil slump had affected some of downtown but it was still resplendent with Art Deco architecture in another boom time and more recently with fantastic modern buildings.
Last year was a strange one for me and my health. The trip was in October and in my head I feel that I have aged hugely, in one year, but when I look at the photograph above I can see a glimmer of happiness. It is strange how the mirror rarely reflects the truth.
More lovely photographs to come from Tulsa.
Wouldn’t it be hilarious if priests were able to write funny little books about what children say in confessional? The adult version could outsell 50 shades of Gray and even the Bible… (I am visibly cringing as I write this, looking out for the bolt of lightning). As I got older, I stopped going to confession because there were too many sins. My mum said to me once, about boyfriend #4, “Are you having sex with him?” “NO!” was my outraged alternative fact. I don’t know why I
lied told that fact since she caught me and was just curious. My GP asked me if I really needed the Pill for my heavy periods or was I having sex – my red face gave the game away. God has since punished me with a dodgy hoo-haa, a mental illness and myriad other health issues…
I had stopped watching the news for a while when I was feeling blue but now I actively enjoy watching Sean Spicer get angry as he tries to defend alternative facts. He seems to magically transmogrify into Melissa McCarthy and I keep waiting for him to start pushing the podium into the press corp. That girl needs an Oscar for that skit – how did she look so much like him? Even he laughed when asked about it. What sins has he committed to get that job???
People from Scotland rarely mention an appalling fact about our ILLUSTRIOUS LEADER. His mother was born on one of our outer islands where the residents were almost exclusively from a strict Protestant
cult faith. If you did anything other than read the Bible and attend church on the Sabbath, you were shunned. Curiously all the Catholics and Protestants lived on separate islands – you can’t make this stuff up. Perhaps Mama Trump left for America because she couldn’t stand the restrictions but I imagine she is twirling in her grave about the various alternative facts. It is important for you to note that the population comes from a very small gene pool… That might explain many things – limited vocabulary, short attention span and generally daftness.
Here is a little puzzle for you – am I telling alternative facts below?
Our FANTASTIC, AMAZING President is going to make American
white great again. We will have a TERRIFIC wall through ecologically fragile areas to protect us from the NASTY Mexicans who have made our lives miserable. Global warming is just a story – let’s open up all our coal mines and use even more fossil fuels. Why don’t we build a pipeline carrying CANADIAN fossil fuels and build more GREAT refineries on the gulf coast? They are so lucky to have close proximity to a FANTASTIC Cancer Center in Houston and we can all use it because we will have an AMAZING health care system. Finally, I am so grateful that our cabinet is full of old wise white MEN, some with TERRIFIC links to Russia.
God knows how many novenas I will have to say for those
whopper alternative facts… PLEASE make my day with a comment. I will respond in the style of Sean Spicer (castigation or obsequiousness).