My Town

Shhhh!  Don’t tell the Senator, but I absolutely LOVE this town!

That would be Washington D.C., our Nation’s Capitol.   I took this photo from an old, historic hotel that has recently been renovated and turned into a swanky place with lots of international travelers.  It is right across from the Treasury building and from the roof-top, you can see the White House….Well, you can see the snipers on the roof-top overlooking the White House.  I waved at them.  They didn’t wave back.
You can also see people who are desiring a tour of the White House from up here.  

They say this line starts forming BEFORE 7:00 a.m.

Michelle Obama’s organic garden is supposed to be over there somewhere.  However, I have yet to see past the major security – even from this view.  I think it is safe to say the Secret Service has this place covered!

I am star struck in this town.  It is my Hollywood.  And I am not coming home until I see some politicians.


Week 3

So, we are now into week three of the current legislative session.  The Senator has a cold, I have been cleaning out closets and the kids get to enjoy a short week of school.  Can you spell f-u-n?

The Senator has been rather mum about the goings on down at the marble palace. I am sure this is not for a lack of activity, but rather because we really haven’t seen much of him.  Well, except last night when he ducked out of a reception to come home and watch the Batchelor…but ONLY because he wasn’t feeling good.  You know, because he was coming down with a cold or the flu or H1N1 for goodness sakes.  Anyway, he must get well soon because we are entertaining some of his colleagues next week at our house. And, I am cooking.  And, that is a scary thing.

Any ideas on a menu?  Anyone?


Decompressing with Prayer

So, yesterday was the first day of the Legislative session and I received a hall pass to stay home.  The snow and ice from last week not only cancelled the Speakers Ball Friday evening, but remained a hazardous presence on the roads I travel providing me with a perfect excuse to miss the festivities of the opening bell.

I am always a bit conflicted about the first day of session.  Let me explain.  Many times it feels like the first day of school where you are seeing old friends for the first time in a long while and a certain excitement fills the air.  Yet, there is also a dark cloud of uneasiness and anticipation that hovers over the hallways.

I think yesterday was one of those dark cloud days for the Senator.  Due to the economic issues facing our state, the legislative process is going to be difficult this year. There will be lots of requests from constituents, state agencies losing significant amounts of funding and politicians running for re-election who will posture for position using partisan politics…yes, the image of Daniel in the Lion’s Den certainly comes to mind.

Yet, the Senator takes this all in stride.  He came home from a long day at the Capitol and simply took some time to decompress. The fact that he was even home on the first day of session told me just how ‘rough’ his day had been.  He even offered to run our daughter to and from her basketball practice…need I say more?  While he was away, I managed to take note of his busy schedule for the week and glanced at a few articles he had brought home for me to read when I noticed something else in his stack of homework.  Something so subtle yet most special.  Prayers.

A few days before the legislative session some of his constituents went to the Capitol, sat in his chair on the Senate floor and prayed. They left their prayers on his desk.  Some were accompanied by a note, others left only their prayer. Most included their names. Here is a sampling of their kindness.

May the Lord bless you and your family and use you as an instrument…”

“Thank you for serving.  I pray for God’s guidance for your support of our Constitution.  Protect our freedom as you consider bills to support…”

“We pray for your strength and integrity …”

“We pray that you will let God be your guide, that you see His wisdom, in all that you do concerning your position in legislating Oklahoma.”

One was simply a prayer for, ‘Wisdom, Courage, Strength and Guidance’.

This one came by email:

A prayer for Cliff

Father you are able and willing to give Cliff wisdom to represent.  Your heart is for us to do justice, love, mercy and walk humbly….Give Cliff a strength to decide and act with justice, mercy, humility and wisdom.  Give Cliff a heart for the betterment of our state for the people of the state.  Give wisdom liberally.  Don’t hold back.  Let the people of Oklahoma be blessed through the wisdom (of these) decisions.


What to Wear

It’s that time of year again when the Oklahoma Legislature heads back into session and the Senator becomes a POW of sorts. By that, I mean he typically spends most of his time down at the marble palace, also known as our State Capitol…as opposed to his regular business office….or hanging out here at home.  And, I like to think he is being held prisoner down there because maybe I’m attempting to fool myself in that way.
All kidding aside, with the upcoming legislative session there are many events, meetings and dinners that take place.  In fact, this evening there are seven, separate political fundraisers happening at the same time.  All this political activity keeps the Senator busy and sometimes, these events include me, the Senator’s wife.  For example, on the docket next week is the first day of the legislative session at which time the legislative wives get together at the capitol.  These are wonderful women and some men, who gather together  just for fun and photos.  Let’s call it group therapy.
Tomorrow evening there is the Speaker’s Ball which is usually held the weekend prior to the opening session.  This is the calm before the storm where all these elected officials are on their best behavior. It could be compared to that first day of school where everyone is still friends… I think.  Even so,  this particular event has me continually perplexed and for a really random etiquette reason.  Because it is called the Speaker’s Ball, (emphasis on the word, Ball) don’t you think it is safe to assume this is a nice, formal event?  I have written about this before. And no one, absolutely NO ONE, ever seems to know what to wear to it.  Further more, according to my etiquette books, a Ball of any sorts would mean that the women wear long and the men are in black tie.  If the word Ball happens to be left off , but the invitation reads: Black Tie, then women should probably wear something nice, probably not long, and the men…well, it is conveniently stated for them if they read the fine print.  Right?
Needless to say, by calling it a Speaker’s Ball the title would indicate long evening gowns and tuxedos, but this particular invitation reads, black tie optional.  And that, my friends is the problem.  On top of not knowing what to wear, long or short, tux or no tux…this year’s event is being held at the State Fairgrounds.  Does this mean we are supposed to wear jeans and boots?  I’m just saying.
I’m thinking it’s time to contact the etiquette police at my local newspaper for their advice…. Parties Extra Helen Wallace...are you reading this?  The Senator’s wife desperately needs your help with what to wear!

Fair Weather Friends

I am beginning to think I am a magnet for bad weather.

This is what California looked like last week…when I had to fly out there for a few days.

And, this is what Oklahoma is going to look like…less than one week later.

Minus the mountains, of course but with an added mixture of sleet, ice and snow.

And, I will take that over mudslides and earthquakes any day!  Seriously.  Have you ever been trapped in an elevator while the building was swinging from left to right?  It’s not real fun.

Like I said…bring on the storm.



Currently in California at a board meeting and watching the rain. I have been here roughly fifteen hours and the rain has not ceased.  Not for one moment.

I have to admit, however, that I flew in yesterday amongst the most amazing cloud cover, with the sunset lurking out west and the rain and the thunder….the contrasting white and dark clouds hovering.  It was such a beautiful sight to see it was almost enough distraction from the roller coaster ride of a flight.  Almost.

And, I am still on Oklahoma time.  There is nothing like waking up at 3:45 a.m. only because it is 5:45 a.m. at home.  I wanted to call and check in on the Senator …but I restrained myself.  Not sure he would have fully appreciated the wake-up call.

If I make it out of the board room today I will take some pictures of the mud and the puddles before I begin construction on the ark for my return trip home.

The Senator’s Wife

Web Obsessed

Lots has been happening around the Senator’s hacienda.  Well, at least enough for me to justify putting this blog experiment of mine on the back burner.  But, I have not completely left the internet.  In fact, quite the contrary.

I have spent the past month re-working a web site for a national organization where I am a member of the Board of Directors.  I have talked about it here a little, this organization, and probably should have
blogged about my experience “updating” their web site.

Thank goodness for a local web design firm who did the initial re-do.  That is an art form in itself and involves substantial compensation.  I keep telling the Senator’s son, who has considerable artistic talents, that it is possible to work as an artist in the real world…  “Art is all around you” I repeatedly tell him, “you just have to find your niche”.  I highly recommend web design.

So, after the design team was finished with the initial template, it became my job to fill in the blanks. Not just adding the content and photos but also strategically locating them for ideal placement and viewing.  While this required much thought about what should go where and the actual image it would project,  I  became rather obsessed with the whole “web” thing.  I would set up a page, then another, then re-work them or figure out a better way to present the material.  I worked on this before my family was awake, while they were at work and school and after they went to sleep at night.  I found this project to be intellectually stimulating. Intriguing. Challenging.  Fun.  And I think I’m going to be a little worried about that!

There was a noticeable disadvantage to updating this web site all day everyday however, and that would be the five pounds I have added to my back side.  Sitting in a chair for extended periods of time is not a good thing.  Trust me.  And I just can seem to muster up the enthusiasm to hop on the treadmill with a similar passion.  This is a problem.

So, go take a look at  and let me know what you think!  This is an old organization with a rich history that is finally joining the technological revolution of the 21st Century!  Hip Hip Hooray!

The Web Obsessed Senator’s Wife