Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cowboys and Roosters and...Stuff

Last Friday, my mom and I took the boys to Stuhr Museum's Cowboy Night. There are a few events at the museum that we try to go to every year, and the Cowboy Night is definitely one of them (along with the All Hallow's Eve and Christmas Past and Present). The boys get to play games from the 1890's, help with the quilt that's made by hand every year, listen to music, eat watermelon, make S'mores, and dig through hay for money.

Landon likes to practice his roping skills, and this year, he even got his picture on the front page of the Grand Island Independent! The guy you see laying on the ground is from the newspaper. Good thing he wore his lucky hat - it's my great-uncle's old work hat!

Taylor's favorite part is always the branding irons. They have blocks of wood and half a dozen different branding irons that they let people brand the wood with. Taylor now has three of these blocks, and Landon has two.
Saturday took us to the county fair. We didn't go on any rides (we were there in the afternoon, and the rides don't turn on till evening), but we did go through the barns with all the animals. As soon as we stepped into the rabbit & chicken barn, the roosters started going crazy. I used to help my great-uncle gather eggs when we visited, and when I was about 6 or 7, his rooster decided that there should only be one red-head in the coop. He chased me out, pecking the back of my legs, and I haven't liked roosters since! My mom was having a good time teasing me about the roosters getting out of their cages and ganging up on me. As much as I dislike them, I can still appreciate the pretty ones, like this guy.
Have you ever heard of a chirken? They are some of the ugliest looking creatures. I'm assuming they're a cross between a chicken and a turkey.

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VINTAGE THINGIES THURSDAY
I've decided to participate in Vintage Thingies Thursday sponsored by the Apron Queen. I love vintage things, and have many in my home. Most have come from my grandparents and great-uncle. Below is my vintage cookie jar. My grandpa's uncle used to have a grocery store in Crawford, Nebraska way back when (he had it before WWII, but I'm not sure how long after), and my grandpa worked there for a short time. Uncle Frank's store was the first self-service store in the area. When he closed/sold the store, my grandpa got this beautiful glass jar that has a metal lid with a red knob. Grandma and Grandpa always used it for a cookie jar, and that's what I use it for, now. Too bad I can't keep cookies in it for long!
Also, if you look to the left at the little vase with the berry spray in it, you'll see a vintage crocheted doily underneath. This was made by my great-grandma many years ago. I found it in the very bottom of a drawer and fell in love with the colors - red, gold/yellow, green, and cream.
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Lastly, I leave you with a picture of my hydrangeas. I planted the small bush last year, and it hasn't produced much, but I'm hoping once it gets a good root system, it'll be big and beautiful! I just need to find a good natural bug repelent that won't discolor the flowers. As you can see, some bugs have been munching on the leaves. Last year, I put sprinkled cayan pepper on. It kept the bugs off, but it also left red dots on the flowers!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Becoming Jane


I finally watched "Becoming Jane" the other day. It was much better than I had thought it would be. I laughed, and I cried, and I felt my heart breaking for her. I definitely have a new appreciation for her stories after learning more about her and her life.
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I'm sorry, but I have to vent so that I may keep myself from completely losing it right now. Taylor has a friend that drives me INSANE! This little girl is very spoiled, loud, and obnoxious. She rang our doorbell at 7am this morning, wanting Taylor to go to the park with her (did I mention that this 8-year-old has almost no adult supervision?). I told her he was still sleeping and I would have him call her when he could meet her at the park. I let him call her at 9:15 to tell her he could meet her at the park at 9:30. The doorbell rings at 9:22. Guess who? They left, and I told Taylor he needed to come home at 10. He came home, but she came with him and is now driving me crazy. I know I sound mean, but I promise you, I'm not. I just don't have any patience with disrespectful kids, and she is definitely one. She has absolutely no respect for adults or the rules of other people's homes. I understand that it's not entirely her fault. If her parents would act like parents, I'm sure she would be much more pleasant to be around.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Weekend Wisdom


"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. "

Eddie Cantor (1892 - 1964)
The photo is of me in the summer of 1983 on the road that leads to the family farm in Chadron.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ugh.

In this little village of ours, we recieve quarterly water bills. We got ours last week, and we were over by 3,000 gallons. That's odd. We are almost always under, even during the summer. We don't water our lawn, and I have very few flowers that require watering. I keep an eye on our water gauge that the town guy checks - it hasn't moved since they took out the extra one. Why we had 2 different gauges on our house, I'll never know, but they took off the one that was working and left the one that hasn't worked since before we moved in to this house. My guess is that they are too lazy to correct their mistake, and too stubborn to admit they even made a mistake, so I think they are just making up numbers and since the rest of the town is probably over, they decided to make us pay more. This wouldn't be the first time we caught them doing crap like this (can you tell yet that I really don't like living here?).

Anyway, we decided that we would be extra careful over the next few months and use as little water as humanly possible. Part of that plan was to only do laundry once a week - no more 1/2 -3/4 loads. Our loads are going to be full. So that's what I did yesterday. I did 6 FULL loads of laundry, but was super busy with other things, so I put off the folding till today.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I woke up this morning to the sounds of my husband cussing while moving the stove and things breaking (I have a fat rooster, a fat chicken, and two cute little ceramic pitchers sitting on the back of the stove). I jump out of bed to see what was going on and asked him what on earth he was doing. I was still sleepy enough to think that he had turned the radio on and was listening to static, and I didn't notice the water puddle I was standing in - in the living room. Our fridge has an ice maker, and somehow one of the hoses got a nice crack in it and was spewing water all over. It happened sometime between 10pm and 6am.

Oh! Did I mention that our laundry area is also in a corner of the kitchen? Yeah. Those 6 loads that I washed (and dried) yesterday were sitting in just the right spot for the water to be spraying directly on them. Guess what I'll be doing today.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fish 'n Trips

I am in pain this morning - probably because I am way out of shape! Taylor, Landon, and I spent the night at the Henry Doorly Zoo Saturday night. The boys and I arrived at the zoo around 6:30, and waited patiently with our friends/fellow scouts, Beth and Brant (there are only 3 boys in the pack, and one boy and his mom couldn't make it, so Landon happily took one of their spots). After dropping off our bags and moving our cars to the employee parking lot, we took an evening hike before heading back to the Aquarium for pizza. While eating, we found out our sleeping spots (they drew our group names out of a hat and got to pick where we slept based on the order our names were pulled out). We didn't get to sleep in the Shark Tunnel, but we did find a really good spot just outside the tunnel. There was a HUGE window that allows you to see inside the shark aquarium, and the five of us fit perfectly along that window. We didn't lay down till midnight or so, but were up well past 1am just watching the sharks, sea turtles, sting rays, and fish swimming around. I woke up around 5:15am and was wide awake, so I went ahead and got up and into the bathroom before everyone else got the wake-up call at 6. There were 100 people there, including 2 girl scout troops, so I was happy to have the bathroom to myself while I got ready for the day.

After breakfast and moving our vehicles from the employee lot to the main parking lot, we went for another hike. Towards the end of our hike, my sister-in-law called to let me know that she, her hubby, little boy, and Jeremy had all arrived at the zoo, so we met up with them. That was around 9am. We didn't leave the zoo till shortly after 1pm. Poor Landon was asleep before we even made it out of the parking lot, and slept the 2 1/2 hours to Hastings where we stopped at Sonic for our "Lupper" (lunch & supper). As exhausted as we were last night, we're glad we got the chance to sleep with the fishies, and would do it again if the opportunity comes again.

My to-do list is growing and growing, so there's a good chance that I won't be around the next few days so I can get it under control! When I come back, I'll try to have some pictures from the zoo and of the bench my dad made me.

Have a good week!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family Time

Between Friday night and Sunday night, I was home long enough to sleep, and that's about it! Saturday we had our Southern Family Reunion in Mondamin, Iowa. This is my maternal grandfather's side of the family, and it's always a good time. For the last several years, the reunions have been centered around my generation and our kids (in other words, there was more concern for whether or not the kids would be entertained). I found this kind of disappointing, even when I was in my teens. For years, the reunion was held at the park in Pisgah, IA. There wasn't much there except a covered picnic area and playground toys - not the fancy ones they have now, just the basic swings, slide, merry-go-round, see-saws, and monkey bars. I was happy that this year it was back in a park. Taylor fell in love with the see-saws. It hadn't occured to me that he had never played on them before and didn't even know what they're called! Poor Landon was stuck home with Jeremy. He woke us up at 5am getting sick. He was back to normal by noon-ish, so I don't know what was wrong.

These are the "kids". When we talk about generations on the Southern side, we always group them by what they are to my great-grandparents. There's Ralph the oldest, Ray the youngest, Maxine was baby #4, and Derrell was #5. My grandpa was the second oldest, and his sister, Eleanor passed away in 1987 (she was #3). When grandpa passed away, we found a whole stack of letters he had written home during WWII, and I spent almost 2 years transcribing them (they were mostly written in pencil, and I wanted to preserve his words) and putting them into binders with other info about his unit, experiences he had talked about after the war, and pictures he had taken while overseas. In this pile of letters, I found 2 that Ralph had also written home. One was written while he was in Italy, and the other was written the day after Japan surrendered. When I returned these letters to Ralph, he spent a good 1/2 hour or so reading, touching, and just staring at these letters with tears in his eyes. No doubt they brought back a flood of memories.

My brother is a swim coach, and his team had a swim meet in Hastings over the weekend, and we had taken their kids to the reunion with us. My oldest niece just adores Taylor, and sometimes it gets to be a little overwhelming for him, so I let him decide if we were going to mom and dad's on Sunday. We went, grilled some hot dogs and burgers, and just had a good time. My dad worked on the bench he's making me from my grandma's old bed. Once he's done, I'll take some pics. I need to paint it and make a cushion for it before I take pics, though.


Before everybody headed home, Taylor read to the kiddos on the front porch. They're sitting on one of those really old school desks. When the school that my great-uncles had gone to was going to be torn down, they held an auction, and my grandma bought the desk. I love this old piece, and keep telling my mom that she's just taking care of it for me till I can find someplace here for it!
I may not be around much till next week. I have a lot to do before Saturday when we take the Cub Scouts to spend the night in the aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo! The boys have been waiting for this since October, so we're all really excited!




Saturday, July 12, 2008

Weekend Wisdom


“The world is a playground, and life is pushing my swing.”
Natalie Kocsis

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Me from A to Z

I was tagged last week by Kindra, and am just now getting around to posting it! So here's me from A-Z.

A. Attached or single? Very attached.

B. Best friend? Definitely my mom.

C. Cake or pie? Chocolate Pie

D. Day of choice? Saturday.

E. Essential item? Camera (and plenty of memory cards and batteries!)

F. Favorite color? Reds, greens, and yellows

G. Gummy bears or worms? Neither! I’m not a gummy fan.

H. Home town? Hastings, NE

I. Favorite indulgence? Buying fabric and adding to my collections of aprons, vintage table clothes, wooden spoons, cookbooks, thimbles, and nutcrackers

J. January or July? Hmmm…I think I’m going to go with July for now.

K. Kids? 2 little boys –Taylor is 7 and Landon is 4

L. Life isn’t complete without? Family

M. Marriage date? June 19, 2004

N. Number of brothers and sisters? 2 brothers – Shawn is 3 years older and Kelsey is 6 years younger

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples

P. Phobias? I won’t go outside by myself when it’s dark – especially in the country. Although I’m not really scared, I absolutely HATE grasshoppers and June bugs.

Q. Quote? I have so many quotes that I like, and I’m not sure I could honestly pick just one – it depends on the mood I’m in. One that I read recently is this: Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

R. Reasons to smile? Life.

S. Season of choice? I’m not sure I can pick just one. Winter has sledding, snowball fights, snow angels and Christmas. Spring has soccer, garden planting my birthday and Easter. Summer has baseball, flowers, swimming, and the 4th of July. Fall has those nice crisp evenings, beautifully turning leaves (which fall so we get to jump in to big piles of ‘em!), and Halloween.

T. Tag 5 people:

Irma’s Rose Cottage

My Country Home

Photography by Stephanie

Beads and Botanicals

Raspberry June

U. Unknown fact about me? People are always shocked to find out I have tattoos (a heart on my left ankle, a daisy on my left hip, a butterfly on my left shoulder blade, and a dolphin on my back just above my right hip – I was young and bored!) People always laugh at me once they find out that I have to eat in even amounts so I can chew the same amount on each side of my mouth. For example, I have to have 8 M&M’s so I chew 4 on my left side and 4 on my right. My last quirk that I’ll tell you about is how I pick out shoes – if I can’t comfortably cross my toes in a pair of shoes, I won’t buy them.

V. Vegetable? Sweet corn, cauliflower

W. Worst habit? Allowing myself to be easily distracted.

X. Xray or ultrasound? Definitely an ultrasound. They are truly remarkable. Once I saw the boys, I knew they were real, and it was the most amazing feeling. Recently, Taylor had an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart), and I was in awe. It’s hard to describe how I felt watching it – terrified, relieved, amazed.

Y. Your favorite food? Meatloaf, but not just any meatloaf. It has to be my grandma’s recipe.

Z. Zodiac sign? Taurus

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Candle Dilema

I received my soy candle from Tania yesterday! She also sent one of her corn cob sachets, so as I was opening the box, the smell was just heavenly. I was trying to think of a way to describe what the candle's scent reminds me of when I checked Tania's blog, and there it was. Craig Morgan's "That's What I Love About Sunday" was playing (one of my favorite songs ever!), and that's what the scent is! It's a lazy afternoon on a porch swing or hammock on a perfect Spring day. It's being out in the country enjoying the smells and sounds that only the countryside can offer.

I love it. But, that's part of the dilema, although I do think I've come up with a solution. I don't want to burn the candle because I don't want it to go away. I want to smell it whenever I want. I guess I'll just have to stock up on them!

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We had a good 4th of July weekend. It was fun and lazy, but also productive. Jeremy decided to re-arrange the computer room, and I can't find the cable to hook up my camera to the computer. Once I find it (and my iPod dock!), I'll go into more detail and post pictures.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Weekend Wisdom


It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.
~Dick Cheney
I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of Dick Cheney, but this quote is so true. I wish you all a belated Happy 4th of July, and I hope you all had fun! If you didn't do it yesterday, I ask that each one of you takes just a few moments to think about what makes our country so wonderful and the price that has been paid by all of our veterans and their families.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I won!

Tania, from Fresh from the Farm, hosted a giveaway - and I won! This is the first blog giveaway I've won! It's a soy candle in the Pears and Berries scent. It sounds so delicous! You can check out her candles and many more products in her store Prairie AcScents.

I'm determined to buy all handmade items for Christmas this year, so between Tania, Kindra, and etsy, I've got a pretty good list started already!

More Memories

Since we’re taking a walk down Memory Lane, here’s another montage I put together 2 years ago for my Southern Family Reunion.

My handsome grandpa, (Charles), is the handsome sailor you see at the beginning of Moonlight Serenade. This is his family. It starts with my great-grandparents as kids, then goes through the mid-1970’s or so. I was wanting to make this a montage about “the kids” (grandpa and his 5 siblings), and to give the younger generations an idea of what life was like “back then”.

My great-grandparents (Ralph and Mary) were married in June 18, 1918, and by August 18, 1918, Ralph had landed in Europe to fight in WWI. He wasn’t gone long, though. They had their first baby in 1919, with two more to follow in 1920 and 1922. Then they took a break before having three more in 1927, 1929, and 1933!

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