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March 27, 2015

Editor's Blog

What to Cook When the Kids Come Home


What to Cook When the Kids Come Home

My youngest daughter and her boyfriend were here last weekend for a short visit. We did the usual stuff, which made me appreciate Tulsa all the more -- the Friday Night Art Crawl, Monet exhibit at Philbrook, running at the river, followed by coffee on Cherry Street and a stroll through the Farmers Market. Since they’re typically not big meat-eaters, and at any given time, may be eschewing meat altogether, I pulled out the vegetarian recipes for the weekend. With all the fresh and inexpensive vegetables available in the summer, it’s easy to cook up something delicious. My daughter requested these veggie enchiladas – they’ve always been a big hit in our family – so I wanted to share the recipe. You can use more of the vegetables you like and less of...

Posted at 08:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

Oklahoma Values: What About Our Women and Moms?


Oklahoma Values: What About Our Women and Moms?

I have two daughters, and I hope that collectively we women can leave a better nation to our daughters. Young women in the United States have almost limitless opportunities – if they are fortunate enough to get a good education; if they have opportunities to work their way up in their jobs; if they avoid getting pregnant before they’re emotionally and financially ready to have children; if, when they have children, they can afford daycare, food and healthcare. If you’re a woman, there are a lot of ifs. My daughters are lucky. Both received excellent educations through Tulsa Public Schools (although if they were in school these days, I don’t think the experience would have been as good with the high-stakes testing and ridiculous, unfunded, meaningless...

Posted at 04:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

Your Kid’s Not Cool? No Worries


Your Kid’s Not Cool? No Worries

If you’re concerned that you may have a nerdy kid on your hands, rejoice! According to a new study, those late-bloomer, cautious young teens are more likely to become competent, successful young adults who have good relationships with peers. The study, published in the journal Child Development and conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia, found that those idolized popular kids of early adolescence who were dating and doing god-knows-what-that-they-probably-shouldn’t-be-doing, actually ended up not doing so great as adults. (Didn’t John Waters already show us this in all those movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles?) And, if, god forbid, you’re trying to be a “cool” parent to boost your child’s popularity...

Posted at 12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

Why Should We Care About Washington State?


Why Should We Care About Washington State?

Watch out Oklahoma public school parents. Oklahoma could end up like Washington state where no matter what school your child attends, it’s failing. Yes. Almost every school in Washington is a failing school for not meeting the No Child Left Behind mandate of 100% proficiency in math and reading. Can any school attain that? As John Higgins, a reporter for the Seattle Times wrote in his article “Loss of No Child Left Behind waiver means schools will be ‘failing’,” No Child Left Behind requires all children to pass state math and reading tests this year. But even the Accelerated Progress Program at Lincoln school in Seattle — for students who score highly on cognitive and achievement tests — would be considered failing under the...

Posted at 07:59 AM | Permalink | Comments

Clowning Around


Clowning Around

I had two clowns in my office this afternoon. No, not my co-workers. They were real, live clowns from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. One of them, Victor Rossi, is from France and the other, Asa Walker, is from Kansas. Both will be performing in the circus at the BOK Center this weekend. The first show is on Sat., March 31 at 3 p.m., followed by one at 7:30 p.m. and then on Sunday, June 1 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The pair of pared-down fellows were giving me the low-down on circus life. It was kind of a warm up to my own “Greatest Show on Earth” – I was invited to be the Guest Ringmaster on Saturday afternoon. I’m pretty nervous about it, but the clowns assured me that even they get a little nervous, too, right before the curtain...

Posted at 02:30 PM | Permalink | Comments


Logic Is Not a Requirement for Serving in State Government

The logic portion of my brain is imploding. Does Governor Fallin want teachers, administrators and parents to have local control over their schools or not? I guess it depends…. It’s just so hard to keep track. First, she supports State Superintendent Barresi’s top-down, high-stakes testing stranglehold on Oklahoma’s school children, the most recent being the Reading Sufficiency Act. You know the one -- the one that came from Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Change. You know, the Jeb Bush in Florida? Here are the current members, which include Janet Barresi: I’m not sure how this can be construed as local control of our schools. And here’s an interesting article about how corporate interests are...

Posted at 06:47 PM | Permalink | Comments


Oklahoma Third-Grade Failures

According to the OK State Department of Education, one-third of third-graders in Tulsa Public Schools did not make a sufficient score on the Reading Sufficiency Test to be promoted to fourth grade. They have a couple more chances to make it by either showing their reading skills through a portfolio or taking another reading assessment. So, one-third of TPS eight-year-olds are hearing that they’re failures today. Maybe I’m looking at the glass as one-third empty, but I can’t help it. I can’t help thinking what a sorry, pitiful way this is to evaluate children’s abilities. Do children need to know how to read to be successful in school and in life? Yes. Most certainly they do. But what is the best, most effective way to achieve this goal? Do we...

Posted at 02:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

Tulsa Performing Arts Aren’t On City’s List


Tulsa Performing Arts Aren’t On City’s List

It’s Monday, and I just spent a weekend enjoying the arts in Tulsa. My husband and I went to art exhibits on Friday evening in the Brady Arts District, we heard Jimmy Webb perform at Guthrie Green on Saturday, and went back to see James McMurtry on Sunday. And we weren’t alone. Hundreds of our fellow Tulsans were out enjoying the beautiful weather and performances as well. And most of us were spending money in the area. The arts have transformed downtown from a ghost town to a walkable community gathering spot. We couldn’t find a parking space on Friday night. (I’m not complaining. It’s a great problem to have.) So, you can imagine my shock and disappointment when I saw that the proposed city budget is eliminating the Tulsa Performing Arts...

Posted at 05:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

Woody Guthrie Center Celebrates First Year


Woody Guthrie Center Celebrates First Year

I love the Woody Guthrie Center, so I have to tell you about some things happening there this week. To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Deanna McCloud WGC executive director; Ken Levitt, WGC board and executive director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation; and Bob Santelli, GRAMMY Museum executive director, made some important announcements. Santelli was here from Los Angeles to welcome the Woody Guthrie Center as an affiliate partner with the GRAMMY Museum in L.A. What does this do for Tulsa? The WGC will have access to the GRAMMY Museum’s exhibitions, and the partnership will offer new educational opportunities such as student internships and expanded resources for those doing research. Now I’m getting to the good part. To celebrate the first...

Posted at 11:52 AM | Permalink | Comments

Make a Bird Feeder with Your Kids


Make a Bird Feeder with Your Kids

As some of you know, I have a small segment on Good Morning Oklahoma on Tuesdays. It’s only about a minute, so if you go to pour yourself some more coffee, you miss it. I sometimes look for fun projects to do with kids, and I found this cool bird feeder idea online. There are variations, but this one seemed easy enough for me to do with my limited crafting skills. It’s also a good way to recycle a plastic bottle. SUPPLIES 1-litre plastic bottle, washed x acto knife Black marker Eye Screw Two wooden cooking spoons String to hang the feeder Birdseed HOW TO MAKE THE BIRD FEEDER To make the holes that the spoons go through: With the Sharpie, draw a circle about half-an-inch in diameter on the bottle, a couple of...

Posted at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

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About This Blog

Our editor-in-chief, Betty started working for TulsaKids when her youngest child was 3 years old. That daughter will be starting graduate school in the fall. Her son is now 27 and her middle daughter is 24. TulsaKids and her children literally grew up together (and she lived to tell about it)! Betty is an avid runner, cook (loves to eat) and coffee snob. She is an award-winning writer and most recently was honored with a Great Plains Journalism Award as Best Blogger of 2013. Last year, she wrote and illustrated her first children’s book, “May Finds Her Way” (2013 The RoadRunner Press). Watch for her every Tuesday on KTUL Channel 8’s Good Morning Oklahoma and Thursdays on KTUL’s Good Day Tulsa.

She enjoys getting reader feedback on articles, blogs or with suggestions for the magazine. Email her at

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